Whiskey Sour is truly a classic. One of the oldest types of cocktails in the world is the sours, and this mix of citrus, sugar, and spirit is exactly that. 

Traditionally, this cocktail contains whiskey (bourbon as the popular choice), fresh lemon juice, sugar, and egg white, which nowadays is optional. The original recipe includes the egg white for the rich and smooth texture that it gives to the drink, and it’s known as “Boston Sour.” One more variation of this drink calls for a bit of red wine floating on the top, also known as “New York Sour”.

 If you decide to use egg white, there is one important thing you need to know. A technique called “Dry Shake”, where you put all ingredients into your shaker, vigorously shake for about 15 seconds without ice, then add the ice and shake again. The reason for that is for the egg white to mix well with the other ingredients and form a nice frothy texture.

By now, you probably wonder who invented this cocktail and when. We don’t know. No one does. But if we had to guess, it was probably the early 1800s. The recipe for Whiskey Sour has been documented in “Jerry Thomas Bartenders Guide” from 1862, and that is the earliest known documentation of it.

On the list of IBA Official Cocktails.


Warning: Consuming raw eggs possesses a minor risk of food poisoning.



  1. 2 Ounces (60 ml) of bourbon.
  2. ½ Ounce (15 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  3. ½ Ounce (15 ml) sugar syrup.
  4. ½ Ounce (15 ml) of egg white – Optional. 
  5. Garnish with a few drops of Angostura bitters, or /and an orange slice, and a cocktail cherry.

How to make the Whiskey Sour…

  1. Get a shaker and put everything in it. If you’re using egg white, perform a dry shake.
  2. Strain either into an Old Fashioned glass /rocks glass over ice or into a chilled coupe glass, no ice.
  3. Garnish and enjoy. 

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