Mix up a classic whisky sour, then check out our old fashioned, Manhattan, whisky highball, sazerac and more whisky cocktails. We've also got plenty more cocktail sours to try, including Tom collins, amaretto sour and pisco sour. After, read how to elevate your cocktail skills with our best home bar hacks.

Our drinks expert, Hannah Guinness, shares her at-home bar tips to help you take your whisky sour to the next level.

What is a whisky sour?

The origins of the sour stretch back centuries to when sailors devised a way of preventing scurvy (a disease caused by a lack of vitamin C) on long voyages by mixing their spirit ration (usually rum or whisky) with lemon or lime juice. The sour is a foundational drink for many modern cocktails – from margaritas to daiquiris – but remains a classic in its own right.


Bourbon is traditionally used here but an easy-going, fruity Irish whiskey could also work well, as would a blended scotch. Irish whiskey expert Ronan Collins has tried and tested the best Irish whiskeys – check out the results.


Use either an old fashioned glass or coupe for this recipe – we prefer the latter is it really showcases the creamy top of the drink.

Bar hacks and garnishes

Make sure you shake the drink vigorously in a cocktail shaker (10-15 seconds at least) to get a properly foamy top. For a tropical twist, try our pineapple whisky sour.

Take your skills to the next level with this handy cocktail kit from the olive shop. Completed with easy-to-use cobbler shaker, double jigger, fine mesh strainer and bar spoon, it has everything you need to make next-level drinks at home. Buy here.

Vegan version

To make this recipe vegan, swap the egg white for 2 tbsp of aquafaba.

Whisky sour recipe


  • 100g soft light brown sugar
  • 50ml bourbon
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 1 egg white


  • STEP 1

    Put the sugar and 100ml water in a pan and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Cool. This will make more than you need but will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

  • STEP 2

    Put the bourbon, lemon juice, egg white and 25ml of the brown sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously for 15-30 seconds. Strain into an old fashioned glass and serve.


Hannah Guinness olive magazine portrait
Hannah GuinnessSenior sub editor and drinks writer

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