Cherry Bomb Sour by Stranahan's Colorado whiskey
If you like your cocktails to come with a little twang, the whiskey sour is a delightful classic that’s well earned its place as a go-to favorite.
A traditional American cocktail, the whiskey sour first appeared in the Waukesha Plain Dealer Wisconsin newspaper in 1870. It mixes the deep flavors of whiskey with bright notes of lemon, sugar and an optional dash of egg white to settle the blend.
Sometimes garnished with an orange slice or a maraschino cherry, this simple yet exciting recipe has seen a few variations throughout the centuries. Today, we’ll explore a few brave updates that take the basic whiskey sour formula and update it to explore a variety of flavors, ingredients and cultural influences from around the world.
Try one or more of these cocktails and cheers to whiskey, to innovation and to good times.
Spicy Yuzu Passionfruit Sour
This recipe comes courtesy of Kikori Whiskey, a Japanese rice whiskey distiller that prides itself on fragrant aromas and velvety textures. The spicy take on the sour was originally conceived to celebrate the 2022 Year of the Tiger.
- 1.5 oz Kikori
- 1 oz Yuzuri
- 1 oz lemon juice
- .5 oz passion fruit purée
- 1 egg white
- .75 oz Thai chili honey syrup*
- Angostura bitters in a small spray bottle
*Chili Honey Syrup
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup water
- 1 small red chili pepper
Combine all chili honey syrup ingredients in a small saucepan over heat until sugar is dissolved. Take the saucepan off heat and let sit for one hour. Strain into a glass container and refrigerate until use. Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. If you're feeling extra crafty and festive, take a tiger stencil and hold it just above the foam on the cocktail and spray bitters to create an image.
Not Your Average Sour
Stranahan’s Colorado-made whiskey is a taste of the Rocky Mountains in a glass. The small batch, single-malt American brand was co-founded by volunteer firefighter Jess Graber and longtime whiskey enthusiast George Stranahan. With mezcal, amaretto, fresh lemon and nutmeg, this recipe will surely knock your socks off.
- 1.5 oz Stranahan’s Original
- .5 oz mezcal
- .75 oz orgeat syrup
- .5 oz amaretto
- .75 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1 dash angostura bitters
Directions: Combine Stranahan’s Original, Mezcal, orgeat syrup, amaretto, fresh lemon juice, and angostura bitters in a strainer and shake. Pour in a glassware of choice over ice and garnish with fresh grated nutmeg.
Woodford Reserve Spire
This festive treat comes from the fine folks at Woodford Reserve, whom you may recognize as the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby. The Reserve Spire sour brings cranberries to the table, making it the perfect holiday-season addition, or just something fun and flirty to brighten your sour sips.
- 1.5 oz. Woodford Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- 2 oz. lemonade
- 1 oz. cranberry juice
Directions: Add ingredients to mixing glass and stir. Pour over ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Cherry Bomb Sour
One more from the rugged Colorado distillers at Stranahan’s, this cherry-flavored experience is bright, power-packed and sure to go over well with guests.
- 1.5 oz Stranahan’s Original
- .5 oz Sweet Vermouth
- .75 simple syrup
- .75 oz lemon juice
- 2 bar spoons cranberry preserve
- Egg ehite
- Italian bitters
- Lemon oil
Directions: Combine Stranahan’s Original, sweet Vermouth, simple syrup, lemon juice, cranberry preserve and egg white in a shaker. Shake and strain into glass over ice and garnish with cranberries on prick and lemon oil. Add a dash of italian bitters and stir. Pour into coupe glass and garnish with brandied cherry.
From the minds of New York City eatery Atlantic Grill comes a classy take on the fan favorite. Michter's Sour Mash Whiskey blends with lemon juice, passion fruit puree, St. Germain and syrups to create a vibrant and sensational cocktail.
- 2 oz Michter's Sour Mash Whiskey
- .5 oz Lemon Juice
- 1 oz Passion fruit puree
- .5 oz St. Germain
- .5 simple syrup
- .5 sour cherry syrup
- 1 egg white
- Orange zest
Directions: Add Michters, lemon juice, passion fruit puree, St. Germain, simple syrup, cherry syrup and egg white to the shaker, and dry shake it for 15-20 seconds. Add ice to the shaker and give it a quick shake. Pour over into a coupe glass, and garnish with Liquor Cherries and orange zest.
Now that you’ve mastered the art of whiskey sours, why not give champagne cocktail recipes a try? Prefer to leave cocktails to the experts? Visit one of the bars from our list of best cocktail lounges across the country.