Mike Parker

The Classic Whiskey Sour...and a Few Variations

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at 9:04 AM
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There are few cocktails as classic as the venerable Whiskey Sour. Depending on which legend you prefer to believe, the Whiskey Sour made its debut either in Wisconsin in 1872, or it may have been invented by Elliot Stubb, an English steward on the good ship Sunshine, who allegedly mixed Key lime juice, syrup, and ice cubes to create the cocktail in a bar in Peru in 1872.

Regardless of its origins, the Whiskey Sour remains a popular choice, and is often regarded as one of the manliest of Manly Drinks, although plenty of women enjoy it as well. The basic recipe is pretty simple:


  • 1 1⁄2 oz whiskey
  • 3⁄4 oz lemon juice
  • 3⁄4 oz simple syrup
  • Ice, crushed or cubes
  • Garnish
  • Cherry
  • Lime wedge


Combine ingredients in a chilled shaker. Shake then strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a cherry and lime wedge.


  • Add a dash of egg white to create a Boston Sour.
  • Float a little red wine on top to create a New York Sour.
  • Use rye whiskey as the base, add equal part lemon juice and orange juice, replace the simple syrup with grenadine and you’ve got a Ward 8.