Classic Cocktails: Whiskey Sour

Recipe by Fred Minnick 


This is considered the entry-level whiskey cocktail because people understand sweet and sour. Its history goes back to the mid-1800s, to the lemon shortage of that time: According to 1875 newspaper accounts, “The Lemon trees of the South are dying off by the thousand. If this thing continues ‘whiskey sour’ will be a rare drink . . .”

I like young bourbons for this cocktail. Think Jim Beam White, Hudson Baby Bourbon, and even Mellow Corn Whiskey. After you pick your poison, the recipe goes as follows:


  • 1 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1.5 ounces grain-forward bourbon



1. Dry-shake the first three ingredients to create a frothy texture.

2. Add ice into the shaker, add 1.5 ounces of grain-forward bourbon.

3.Shake vigorously.

4. Strain and pour over ice.

Michael Eman
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Kevin Gibson is a free-lance writer who writes for numerous publications, including Bourbon+ magazine, Thrillist, and Alcohol Professor.