A Whiskey Sour is one of the staple drinks that any bartender has to know off the top of their head. However, only some people want to take a trip to the bar to indulge in this classic cocktail.
This guide will cover the ten best whiskey brands to create a delicious Whiskey Sour from the comfort of your home. In addition, we’ve written up a simple recipe for this vintage mixed drink.
Recommended Whiskeys for Whiskey Sour
Here are our top ten whiskey brands to make the perfect Whiskey Sour.
Old Forester 100 Proof is a delicious Kentucky Bourbon whiskey that combines sweet notes and spice. A distinct apple flavor is present with this whiskey, which lends itself well to a great Whiskey Sour.
Knappogue Castle Whiskey has a classic Irish whiskey flavor. The whiskey ages in old bourbon barrels, which combines the delicious vanilla notes of bourbon and the nutty and oaky flavor synonymous with Irish whiskey in one bottle.
Nikka Days Whisky is a Japanese whisky with a fruity and floral flavor that not many brands have. This whisky is an excellent option for those who want a subtle whisky flavor that blends well with the citrus-lemony taste.
Wild Turkey 101 Rye is the best option for those who prefer a spicy and oaky flavor to their whiskey. This Kentucky rye whiskey has a bold, warm flavor that perfectly displays the best traits of American whiskey.
Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack Whiskey is the lesser-known, elegant cousin of the brand’s better-known Tennessee whiskey. This liquor combines a smooth finish with a full-bodied, smoky taste that Tennessee whiskey is famous for.
If you’re looking for a Whiskey Sour that tastes like your favorite hometown bartender made it, this is your best choice.
Lot 40 Canadian Rye Whisky shows that Canadian whisky doesn’t play around. The often underrated world of Canadian whisky is blown aside with this delicious drink that combines spice with a sticky-sweet toffee flavor.
Johnnie Walker Blended Scotch Whisky proves that rye and bourbon aren’t the only contenders for a Whiskey Sour. Notably, this scotch blend uses a 61% American rye content, which offers a sharp and slightly bitter taste that pairs well with the fresh lemon juice in a Whiskey Sour.
Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whiskey mixes the sweet and spicy flavors of rye whiskey with powerful flavor. This whiskey has a slightly higher alcohol content than your standard whiskey, so the distinct taste comes forward in a mixed drink.
Jameson Black Barrel Irish Whiskey has a naturally smooth flavor that meshes well with the bold smokiness of a classic Irish whiskey. Jameson is a famous whiskey brand, and the Black Barrel option has a deep and soft vanilla flavor that pairs well with the sharp lemon taste of a Whiskey Sour.
Bulleit Rye Whiskey proves that the Bulleit brand carries more than just fantastic bourbon. Although the Bulleit bourbon may make a lovely Whiskey Sour, the Bulleit rye whiskey is our choice because it mixes vanilla and citrus notes.
What Is a Whiskey Sour?
A Whiskey Sour is a mixed drink that combines whiskey, sugar, and lemon juice and is traditionally garnished with an orange wedge and a maraschino cherry. This classic cocktail is a variation on a Sour, a mixed drink that combines liquor with citrus juice and sugar.
In addition to the Whiskey Sour, there’s a Gin Sour, a Rum Sour, a Pisco Sour, a Tequila Sour, and many other variations.
On our list, there are a few brands that spell it “whiskey” and some others that spell it “whisky.” What’s the difference? It mainly comes down to branding and location. In England, Scotland, Japan, and Canada, “whisky” is the proper spelling, so brands from these countries tend to use this spelling.
In the United States and Ireland, “whiskey” is the proper spelling, so American and Irish brands will use “whiskey” in their packaging. Some brands opt to use “whisky” no matter their location because it refers to their preferred production process or they enjoy the old-fashioned look of this particular spelling.
A Whiskey Sour is generally a simple drink, though you can choose to make it as fancy as you want. Below we’ve listed a pretty standard recipe for a Whiskey Sour.
Make sure to use fresh-squeezed lemon juice because the tart lemon flavor is the key to a perfect Whiskey Sour.
You will need the following ingredients:
- 2 ounces whiskey
- Orange slice (for garnish)
- Maraschino cherry (for garnish)
- ¾ ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- ¾ ounce simple syrup
1. In a cocktail shaker, combine 2 ounces whiskey, ¾ ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and ¾ ounce simple syrup
2. Fill the cocktail shaker with ice and put the lid on. Shake for about fifteen to twenty seconds.
3. Strain the liquid into a drinking glass filled with ice cubes. Place the orange slice on the rim of the glass and the maraschino cherry in the drink. Enjoy!
Here are some frequently asked questions about making a whiskey sour.
Should I add egg whites to my Whiskey Sour?
Many people add egg whites to their Whiskey Sour to add a bit of froth and creaminess to their drink. The flavor is barely affected, so adding egg whites primarily changes the cocktail’s texture.
Add egg whites to your Whiskey Sour if you enjoy a frothy, creamy drink. To get a frothy egg white topping, use a method called dry shaking while mixing your cocktail.
When was the Whiskey Sour invented?
The Whiskey Sour may have a history dating back to the early 1800s, but the first written record of a recipe for the drink was in 1862, in The Bartender’s Guide by Jerry Thomas. This drink was popular with sailors, who often suffered from scurvy, a condition caused by a lack of Vitamin C.
Drinking a Whiskey Sour helped sailors get their Vitamin C, enjoy their liquor, and preserve citrus juice for months out on the sea.
Why is it called a Whiskey Sour?
While some vintage cocktails have inventive names like the Sidecar or the Hanky Panky, the name Whiskey Sour is straight to the point. It’s called a Whiskey sour because it combines whiskey with lemon juice.
In addition, the Whiskey Sour is part of a larger family of cocktails called “Sours,” such as the Gin Sour or Rum Sour, combining the liquor type with Sour.
How much alcohol is in a Whiskey Sour?
A standard one-serving Whiskey Sour contains two to three ounces of whiskey. The average ABV (alcohol by volume) for whiskey is 40%.
A Whiskey Sour is a classic cocktail that’s one of the most straightforward vintage drinks out there. Whether you prefer bourbon or rye, we hope our list has helped you track down the perfect whiskey for your custom cocktail.
No need to go to a bar for a delicious mixed drink, you can make your Whiskey Sour right at home with the right ingredients!