Nick Hall
How to Make the Pefect Whisky Sour for World Whisky Day | Man of Many
A Whisky Sour cocktail is a bourbon-based mixed drink that is often referred to as a Boston Sour. According to Brian Petro of The Alcohol Professor, the cocktail dates back as far as the late 1790s, when Vice Admiral Edward Vernon of England began mixing a few ingredients together to serve his crew. Battling scurvy and malnutrition, Vernon apparently wanted a drink that not only combatted sea-sickness but would not heavily intoxicate sailors. His answer was to water the alcohol down with lemon or lime juice. For the British, it was gin and brandy, but by and large, the Americans loved their bourbon, and thus, the Whisky Sour recipe was born.
What is a Whisky Sour?
If you’ve ever tried your hand at putting together a cocktail at home, you’ll know that most are relatively easy. The Old Fashioned and the Margarita require few ingredients and little preparation time, but in the case of the Whisky Sour recipe, things are a little trickier. If you’ve got the will, we’ve got the know-how to get your World Whisky Day off to a cracking start.
Whisky Sour Ingredients
For the traditional American-style Whisky Sour recipe, the cocktail calls for a sweet bourbon with light citrus notes and a touch of smoke. The natural sugars in bourbon allow the sharp flavour of the citrus to cut through clearly without being too overpowering. By using this spirit, you’ll avoid ending up with a Whisky Sour that is more sour than enjoyable.
What is the Best Whisky for a Whisky Sour?
7 Best Bourbons for Whisky Sour
After over 220 years making bourbon, it is safe to say Buffalo Trace knows what they’re doing. This Kentucky Straight is the ideal ingredient for your Whisky Sour recipe, thanks to its citrus notes.
1. Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon
The signature bourbon from Elijah Craig is a worthy addition to your Whisky Sour cocktail. This bourbon has a smooth balance of rich flavours, subtle smoke and warm spices.
2. Elijah Craig Small Batch
This small-batch Kentucky straight bourbon is s refined through a unique filtration process using Texas Mesquite and oak charcoals. The final result is a subtle smoky finish with a smooth flavour.
3. Wild Turkey Longbranch Kentucky Straight
Aged in oak for over 10-years, this Kentucky bourbon is the perfect base for your Whisky Sour cocktail. At 45% ABV it’s also a little stronger.
4. Eagle Rare 10-Year
Crafted in limited quantities and placed in charred American oak barrels, Knob Creek’s small-batch is a naturally sweet bourbon with rich, wood caramel flavours.
5. Knob Creek Small Batch
America’s oldest distilling company, Michter’s has released a bang-up bourbon perfect for your Whisky Sour recipe. This one is the brand’s premiere release.
6. Michter’s US 1
Old Forester lays claim to the first bottled bourbon, way back in 1870. This Kentucky straight is a smooth reincarnation of that first batch and a worthy addition to your Whisky Sour cocktail.
7. Old Forester Kentucky Straight
If you are keen to get into a Whisky Sour but you aren’t too keen on bourbon, you can substitute the base for a Scotch whisky. It certainly takes a lot of the sweetness out of the cocktail, allowing for the citrus to cut through the whisky profile. Here are our recommendations for the non-bourbon Whisky Sour recipe.
Non-Bourbon Whisky Sour
Typically peaty and peppery, the Talisker 10-year is a great addition to the Whisky Sour cocktail. “It’s a distinguishable single malt with its signature smoke, you can’t go wrong with any of the Talisker collection and it packs a little more punch at 45.8%,” Cameron and Jared said.
Talisker 10-Year
The boys from The Whisky Mill suggest opting for a blended whisky if you’re trying to avoid a sweet bourbon profile. “Blended whisky is brilliant in cocktails and this beauty contains some of the greatest single malts from all corners of Scotland, essentially everything you want in a whisky sour,” they say.
Johnnie Walker King George V
The best Whisky Sour recipe is a bit of contentious one. Whether you are a fan of bourbon and citrus or you prefer a heavier, darker mix, you can make a Whisky Sour to match. With the help of The Whisky Mill boys, we’ve got an absolute cracker to share. Cameron and Jared have worked for years to refine their cocktail recipes, sacrificing many a night and memory in the process. We made sure they documented their very best and forced them to share it with us. Here is how to make a Whisky Sour this World Whisky Day;
Best Whisky Sour Recipe
In order to make the best Whisky Sour recipe, you’ll need some specialised equipment. The last you want to do is try and mix a cocktail in a mug before you pour out an ungodly mess into your sour glass. Here is the equipment you need to make a Whisky Sour cocktail;
Whisky Sour Equipment
This copper-coloured stainless steel shaker holds 700ml worth of booze, so you can make a Whisky Sour for the whole neighbourhood this World Whisky Day.
This Winco 4-prong stainless steel bar strainer allows for easy pouring without spilling. Look like a pro when you dish out a fresh cocktail, and chuck it in the dishwasher when you’re done.
The ultimate tool for making sure your cocktail remains lump-free and without seeds. Use this to ensure you the best Whisky Sour, not the chewiest.
The best Whisky Sour recipe deserves premium glassware to accompany. These sour glasses feature a rounded cup with stem, making them perfect for sweet, citrus drinks. The stem keeps the drink from warming in your hand.
Sour Glasses
Even though this Whisky Sour recipe is about as simple as they come, that doesn’t mean you won’t run into a bit of trouble on the way to celebrating World Whisky Day. Amateur mixologists and experienced bartenders have tried for years to reinvent the iconic cocktail, many falling short in the process. Here, Jared and Cameron explain the common Whisky Sour recipe mistakes you need to avoid.
Common Whisky Sour Mistakes
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