This Classic Whiskey Sour is truly classic and it’s easy too. Forget the sour mix and try this recipe with lemon and simple syrup…it’s perfect!

Classic Whiskey Sour

I so wanted to share this Whiskey Sour cocktail with you again today. It’s here…Fall that is. It starts this afternoon and I thought it fitting to start if off with a transitional cocktail; one that I first put on this blog 6 years ago. Were any of you reading this blog 6 years ago?!! Really? Then you’ll appreciate the new photos…it was time; maybe past time! 🙂

What makes it transitional? First; there’s bourbon. While I will use bourbon occasionally in the summer combined with fruit…it’s far more likely to find it’s way into a cocktail made during cooler weather. The color and the flavor seem to evoke different emotions and this simple yet elegant cocktail are the perfect representation for a change in seasons. Just a bit of tart and sweet combined with Bourbon Whiskey and you’ve got a classic.

I’ve written about other classic cocktails; especially the Manhattan, and I won’t deny that experience had me start thinking about other cocktails of my parents generation and this was one that came to mind. I can see why it’s maintained it’s popularity; it’s an elegant combination of ingredients and certainly beyond simple to make. A combination of bourbon, lemon juice and simple syrup is shaken together with ice. Historically A Classic Whiskey Sour has included a bit of egg white which creates a a slight frothy head on the drink and I do prefer it this way but the egg white is not crucial to the flavor so it’s definitely optional.

Many people might concoct this particular cocktail using a ‘sour’ mix but those too often use artificially flavored ingredients. This is such an easy drink to prepare and the use of fresh lemon juice really is key to it being a great cocktail. I’ve never been one to buy pre-made mixes; there is just no way they can compare with fresh juice and simple syrup combinations.

Classic Whiskey Sour

As simple as the cocktail is; the trickiest part of mixing this drink is adjusting the ratio of sour (the lemon) to sweet (the sugar) to get a flavor balance that pleases you. The proportions in this recipe suited my tastes perfectly in that they are not overly sweet. If you prefer a slightly sweeter cocktail, just add a bit more of the simple syrup.

If I recall, my parents served this in a highball glass and that’s what you’ll most often see but I just wanted something a bit fancier so a martini glass it was and it’s beautiful isn’t it? Enjoy…and cheers!


A Classic Whiskey Sour

Serves 1 adjust servings

Preparation 5 min

Cook Time 5 min

Total Time 10 mins

There is a reason some cocktails are classic and the whiskey sour is a good example; just as good today as when it was first created.


  • 2 ounces of bourbon (I love Maker's Mark; it's not outrageously pricey but it's a good quality bourbon and in this drink...the bourbon is VERY evident)
  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz simple syrup (Mix 1/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved; remove from heat and cool).
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons of egg white (optional)
  • lemon wedge and maraschino cherry garnish


  1. Combine bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white in a cocktail shaker. Shake well for 20 seconds. Add at least a cup of ice and shake for another 20 seconds.
  2. Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass and garnish with the lemon wedge and maraschino cherry on a skewer.

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