Whiskey Sour Cocktail

I’m a big fan of bourbon. But having tried numerous different kinds over the past year due to all the different cocktails I’ve concocted, I’ve come to discover that so far Woodford Reserve is my favorite. Now I know there are plenty more out there that I have yet to try, but this is what I’ve discerned thus far. Why am I talking about different kinds of bourbon? Because the type of bourbon you use makes all the difference in the drink you’re mixing up. If you don’t like the bourbon, chances are you’re not gonna like the drink. So no matter what drink you’re making, be sure you like the alcohol you’re using.

I made this discovery this week when I created my very first Whiskey Sour. It was just too strong for me and I really don’t believe it had anything to do with the cocktail itself. Others that tasted the drink (my husband and mother-in-law) both loved it. But I felt the drink was just too strong for my palate. In case you haven’t guessed, I did not use Woodford. I was out of Woodford (which I need to remedy ASAP). So I used Blanton’s because that’s what we had. This is the third or fourth time I’ve used the Blanton’s and I gotta tell you, not one of my favorite bourbons. I couldn’t tell you why exactly, just that it’s not for me.

Now, that’s not to say the Whiskey Sour is not a great drink. As with all my cocktails, this one is a classic. And anything that’s been around for over 100 years can’t be all bad. But as with your favorite brownie or chocolate chip cookie, everyone has their preferred chocolate to use. And everyone (including myself) believe that their specific chocolate makes their brownie or cookie better than all the others. So if you’re a fan or Bulleit or Blanton’s or another bourbon I haven’t heard of (and I’m sure there are many) then use that to make this fantastic drink.

The Whiskey Sour is a smooth cocktail that’s definitely not for the weak. It may have a serious kick, but the tart flavor from the lemon juice make it the perfect choice this time of year when citrus can be found at every corner grocery store. You could use grapefruit, limes or even oranges in this cocktail. But if you want the original, then lemons are absolutely the way to go.  While it’s true the Whiskey Sour wasn’t found in print until the late 1800’s, many believe the cocktail was created decades before when sailors added citrus fruit to their alcohol to help prevent scurvy. Of course it’s been updated over the years by adding sour mix or a variety of citrus fruits and even herbs. But at this blog nothing compares to the original and the original is just four ingredients: bourbon, simple syrup, lemon juice and a maraschino cherry.

Whiskey Sour Cocktail


  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 maraschino cherry
  • 1 lemon slice (optional)


  1. Combine syrup, lemon juice and bourbon over ice in a cocktail shaker. Vigorously shake for about 15 seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with the cherry and lemon slice.