Want to perfect the whisky sour or master its many cousins? Try everything from simple gin sours to tropical variations with our top drinks recipes.


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. Nowadays, we've experimented with this classic cocktail to bring you the most delicious variations and traditional serves at their very best. It's a staple of many a classic cocktail menu.

Try our ideas below and then get stuck into our favourite easy cocktail recipes, vodka cocktail recipes and American cocktails for more mixed masterpieces.

Best cocktail sours

Whisky sour

In a whisky sour, the lemon juice is (almost) as vital as the bourbon. The whisky adds a gentle warmth to balance out the creaminess of the egg white, make sure you shake your drink vigorously to get the iconic foamy top.

Whisky Sour Recipe

Tom Collins

Winningly simple to make, try this sour Tom Collins for a deliciously refreshing aperitif.

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A highball glass filled with a cocktail, garnished with a red cherry and set against an orange background

Amaretto sour

Make a round of Amaretto sours, topped with egg white froth and a maraschino cherry, for a pretty tipple to serve to friends and family.

An amaretto sour in a tumbler topped with a cherry, with a napkin on the side

Easter amaretto sour

Our spiced twist on the classic amaretti sour uses sweet PX sherry, with notes of dried fruit, and a homemade hot-cross bun syrup for a seasonal serve. Leave out these if you fancy the traditional version of the cocktail.

Hot-Cross Amaretto Sour

Pisco sour

This Peruvian version of the pisco sour uses fresh lime, smooth pisco, egg white and a simple sugar syrup. Garnish with a few drops of bitters for a hint of herbal flavour. Shake with gusto to get the characteristic foamy head.

Pisco Sour Recipe

Gin sour

A fresh, zesty cocktail featuring a classic dry gin. A healthy glug of gin, sugar syrup, lemon juice, fresh grapefruit juice and some decorative basil leaves make this a great cocktail to sip in the sunshine.

Lion of soho cocktail

Pineapple whisky sour

Like a whisky sour, but with the added wonder of pineapple juice. Adding a little fruit makes this whisky cocktail light and refreshing, perfect for a summery sipper. This elegant drink is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Pineapple Whisky Sour Recipe

Guava chilli sour

The perfect blend of subtle heat and creamy texture, this vibrant chilli sour uses fresh guava and tequila to get the party started. Take some inspiration from a classic margarita and run a lime wedge around the glass, then dip into our chilli and salt mix.

Guava chilli sour

Sherry sour

This easy-drinking sour cocktail combines richly spiced oloroso sherry with a sharp citrus base for a sophisticated twist on the original. With just four ingredients, this simple serve is great for toasting a special occasion.

sherry sour


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

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