The Whiskey Sour is a classic drink, certainly, but it’s never been accused of being a pretentious one. Nor, thanks to its unassuming simplicity, has it ever held a seat at the table with some of its classic brethren, like the Martini or Manhattan. As cocktail historian David Wondrich once put it, the Whiskey Sour “is the fried-egg sandwich of American mixology: simple, dull, reliable in a pinch.”
This is a drink that mostly exists to simply get the job done, but it can certainly be spruced up with a few quick tricks. First, be sure to use fresh-squeezed lemon juice (no bottled stuff or sour mix). Additionally, if you want a little more texture and froth, you can add an egg white to the mix. If you do, just be sure to give it a good, long shake without ice—known as a dry-shake—first.
The Whiskey Sour can be served up or on the rocks, depending on the drinker’s preference, and the type of whiskey doesn’t matter too much (though American whiskey, like bourbon or rye, is pretty standard).
|2 oz whiskey|
|0.75 oz lemon juice|
|0.75 oz simple syrup|
|Egg white (optional)|
|Lemon wedge for garnish (optional)|
Preparation: How to make a Whiskey Sour
- If using egg white:
- Add whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white to a cocktail shaker WITHOUT ice and shake well for 30 seconds to one minute.
- Add ice to shaker and shake until chilled.
- If not using egg white:
- Add whiskey, lemon juice, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until chilled.
- Double-strain into a chilled sour or cocktail glass, or into an Old-Fashioned glass over ice.
- Garnish with a lemon wedge (optional) and serve.