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Whiskey sour

A classic whiskey sour recipe - a whiskey cocktail, from 'Spirited' by Adrienne Stillman.

One of the most iconic sours, the Whiskey Sour originated sometime in the late 1800s and remained extremely popular during Prohibition. It is most often made with bourbon, but other whiskeys can be used, and served up or on the rocks, with or without egg white.

A recipe from Spirited: Cocktails From Around The World by Adrienne Stillman (Phaidon). Buy the book here.


2 oz (60 ml) bourbon
3/4 oz (22 ml) fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz (22 ml) Simple Syrup (p. 24)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Lemon twist and brandied cherry, to garnish
  1. Method

    Step 1

    Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 15–20 seconds, or until frosted on the outside. Strain into a coupe or rocks glass filled with fresh ice. When serving on the rocks, garnish with a lemon twist and brandied cherry.

    Step 2

    For a Boston Sour, add an egg white and dry shake for 30 seconds to emulsify. Add ice and the additional ingredients, then shake again for 15–20 seconds.

    Step 3

    Split the base using 1 oz (30 ml) each of rye and apple brandy for an autumnal rendition.

    Step 4

    Use malty genever instead of bourbon and an orange twist in place of a lemon twist.