How To Make Whiskey Sour?

Today, we’re going to take a friendly and flavorful journey into the world of mixology with our focus on the classic cocktail known as the Whiskey Sour. If you’ve ever found yourself intrigued by the rich and tangy combination of whiskey, citrus, and sweetness, then you’re in for a treat.

Whether you’re a seasoned bartender or an aspiring cocktail enthusiast, we’re here to guide you through the step-by-step process of creating a perfectly balanced Whiskey Sour that will leave your taste buds delighted and your guests impressed. So grab your shaker and let’s get started on this delightful whiskey adventure. Cheers!

How to Make Whiskey Sour: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re a fan of whiskey and enjoy the tartness of lemon, then a whiskey sour is the perfect drink for you. This classic cocktail is a delightful blend of whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, and ice, garnished to perfection. In this article, we will explore the step-by-step process of making a whiskey sour, along with variations, tips, tricks, and answers to frequently asked questions. So, let’s get started!


To make a delicious whiskey sour, you will need the following ingredients:


The star of the show, whiskey provides the prominent flavor in the cocktail. You can choose your favorite whiskey to give your drink a unique taste. Whether you prefer bourbon, rye whiskey, or Scotch whisky, each can add its own distinct character to the cocktail.

Lemon Juice

Freshly squeezed lemon juice is essential to give the drink its signature tanginess. Opt for fresh lemons to ensure the best flavor. Squeeze enough lemons to obtain the desired amount of juice for your recipe.

Simple Syrup

Simple syrup is a sweetener used in many cocktails, including the whiskey sour. Its role is to balance out the tartness of the lemon juice. You can easily prepare simple syrup by combining equal parts of sugar and water, heating until the sugar dissolves, and letting it cool.


Ice is crucial for chilling the cocktail and diluting it slightly, which helps balance the flavors. Moreover, you can use regular ice cubes or mix things up by using crushed ice for a different texture.


For the finishing touch, garnish your whiskey sour with a slice of lemon, cherry, or both. Not only does the garnish enhance the drink’s visual appeal, but it also adds a delightful aroma when you take a sip.


To make the perfect whiskey sour, you will need the following equipment:

Cocktail Shaker

A cocktail shaker is used to mix the ingredients thoroughly and chill the drink. It consists of a vessel with a tight-fitting lid, allowing you to shake the cocktail vigorously without worrying about spills.


A strainer is an essential tool for pouring the cocktail into glasses without any ice or pulp. It ensures a smooth and clean pour, leaving you with a consistent and visually appealing drink.


A jigger is a measuring tool used to accurately pour the whiskey, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Its two-sided design usually has different capacities, allowing you to measure the ingredients precisely.

Citrus Juicer

A citrus juicer will help you extract the fresh lemon juice needed for the whiskey sour. You can find handheld juicers or electric juicers, depending on your preference.


A sharp knife is necessary for cutting the lemons and garnishing the drink. Ensure you have a sturdy and well-maintained knife to ensure safe and precise cutting.

Cutting Board

A cutting board provides a sturdy surface to cut and prepare the lemons. Make sure it is clean and stable to avoid any accidents while handling sharp objects.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Now that you have all the ingredients and equipment ready, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of making a refreshing whiskey sour:

Prepare the Ingredients

Start by gathering all the required ingredients and tools on a clean and organized workspace. This will ensure a smooth and uninterrupted preparation process.

READ  How is Whiskey Made?

Measure and Pour Whiskey

Using your jigger, measure the desired amount of whiskey according to your taste preferences. For a classic whiskey sour, a ratio of 2 parts whiskey to 1 part each of lemon juice and simple syrup is often recommended. Pour the measured whiskey into the cocktail shaker.

Measure and Pour Lemon Juice

How To Make Whiskey Sour

This image is property of

Next, measure the lemon juice using your jigger and add it to the cocktail shaker. The lemon juice provides the cocktail with its trademark tanginess, so adjust the amount based on your desired level of tartness.

Measure and Pour Simple Syrup

Measure the simple syrup in the same manner and add it to the cocktail shaker. The simple syrup acts as a sweetener, bringing a perfect balance to the sourness of the lemon juice.

Add Ice to the Shaker

Fill the cocktail shaker with ice cubes or crushed ice, leaving enough room for the ingredients to be shaken properly. Additionally, the ice will chill the mixture and dilute it slightly for a smoother and more enjoyable drinking experience.

Shake the Ingredients

Hold the lid tightly on the cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for about 15 to 20 seconds. This motion helps combine the ingredients thoroughly, chilling the drink, and allowing the flavors to meld together.

Strain the Mixture

Place the strainer on top of the cocktail shaker and strain the mixture into a glass. The strainer will catch any ice or pulp, ensuring a clean and visually appealing drink.

Pour into Glasses

Divide the strained mixture evenly among the glasses of your choice. Depending on the size of the glasses and your personal preference, you may adjust the quantity poured into each glass.

Garnish the Drink

Finally, finish off your whiskey sour by garnishing it with a slice of lemon, a cherry, or both. These garnishes not only add a touch of elegance but also provide a delightful aroma that complements the drink.


While the classic whiskey sour recipe is a timeless favorite, there are several variations you can try to add your unique twist to the cocktail. Here are a few popular ones:

Egg White Whiskey Sour

For a creamy and velvety texture, you can add an egg white to your whiskey sour. This variation adds a touch of richness and creates a beautiful foam on top of the drink.

Bourbon Whiskey Sour

Substitute the whiskey with bourbon for an alternative take on the classic cocktail. Bourbon brings its own distinct flavor profile and can lend a smoother, sweeter, or even spicier character to your drink.

Blended Whiskey Sour

Instead of using a specific type of whiskey, you can try a blended whiskey sour. Blended whiskey combines malt and grain whiskies, resulting in a more balanced and versatile flavor.

Frozen Whiskey Sour

If you prefer your whiskey sour with a frosty twist, you can create a frozen version. Simply blend the ingredients with ice until smooth, pour into a chilled glass, and garnish as desired.

How To Make Whiskey Sour

This image is property of

Tips and Tricks

To help you make the best whiskey sour possible, here are some helpful tips and tricks:

Choosing the Right Whiskey

Experiment with different types of whiskey to find the one that suits your taste preferences the best. Whether you go for a smoky Scotch or a robust bourbon, the whiskey you choose will significantly impact the flavor of your cocktail.

Squeezing Fresh Lemons

For the freshest and most flavorful lemon juice, opt for freshly squeezed lemons rather than bottled lemon juice. The natural acidity and aroma of fresh lemons will elevate the taste of your whiskey sour.

Adjusting the Sweetness

If you prefer a sweeter cocktail, add a touch more simple syrup to the mixture. On the other hand, if you enjoy a more tart and piquant drink, reduce the amount of simple syrup accordingly.

Experimenting with Garnishes

While a slice of lemon or a cherry is the classic choice of garnish, don’t be afraid to get creative and try different garnishes that complement your whiskey sour. From a sprig of mint to a dusting of cinnamon, the possibilities are endless.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Substitute the Whiskey?

Absolutely! Whiskey sours are highly versatile and can be made with various types of whiskey. Feel free to experiment and find the one that suits your taste buds the best.

Can I Use Bottled Lemon Juice?

While fresh lemon juice is recommended for the best flavor, you can use bottled lemon juice if you’re in a pinch. Just keep in mind that the flavor might not be as vibrant or fresh.

Can I Make a Large Batch of Whiskey Sours?

Yes, you can easily scale up the ingredients to make a large batch of whiskey sours for a gathering or party. Simply adjust the quantities accordingly, and follow the same steps to prepare the cocktail.

What Other Cocktails Can I Make with Whiskey?

Whiskey is a versatile spirit that can be used in various cocktails. Some popular whiskey-based cocktails include the Old Fashioned, Manhattan, Whiskey Smash, and Irish Coffee.


You now have all the knowledge and instructions to make a perfect whiskey sour from scratch. Whether you enjoy the classic recipe or decide to explore the variations, this delectable cocktail will surely become a favorite. Remember to experiment with different whiskeys, adjust the sweetness to your preference, and garnish with flair. Cheers to your whiskey sour-making adventures!