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The Whiskey Sour, a classic cocktail with a rich history, has evolved over time, bringing forth variations that enhance its flavor and texture. The first time I had a Whiskey Sour was back in college. Hastily made with sickly sweet sour mix and whatever well whiskey was behind the bar.
Unfortunately, I probably wasn’t the only one to fall victim to this common shortcut. I swore off Whiskey Sours and for good reason. A real Whiskey Sour made with fresh citrus, balanced flavors, and a frothy twist will leave you craving another sip.
The Whiskey Sour made its debut in 1862, within the pages of Jerry Thomas’ influential cocktail book, “How to Mix Drinks.” The recipe consisted of bourbon, fresh lemon juice, and simple sugar. Initially, it did not include egg whites. However, over time, the addition of egg whites became popular, leading to variations like the Boston Sour or New York Sour.
For the purpose of this blog post, we’ll focus on the version with egg white, as it offers an undeniable frothy texture and adds so much character to the cocktail.
Perfecting the Whiskey Sour Technique
To create the ultimate Whiskey Sour, proper technique is key. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Begin with a “dry shake”: Shake the cocktail ingredients (excluding ice) vigorously in a cocktail shaker. This dry shake helps break down the proteins in the egg white, resulting in a creamier and smoother texture. It prevents dilution that may occur if ice is added right away.
- Shake with ice: After the dry shake, add ice to the shaker and shake vigorously for an additional 20-30 seconds. This is the chilling process.
- Strain and serve: Strain the mixture into a double old-fashioned glass over fresh ice or serve it straight up in a coupe glass. The egg white will create a beautiful foam crown on the surface, enhancing the visual appeal and texture of your cocktail.
Are Raw Egg Whites in Cocktails Safe?
Not sure about using raw egg whites? I can’t make this call for you but I’ll tell you I do it all the time. Use fresh eggs at the very least. If you’re still weirded out by it, you can use pasteurized liquid egg whites sold in a carton. This will reduce the risk of foodborne illness from consuming raw eggs. As always, consume at your own risk.
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Whiskey Sour Recipe
- Prep Time: 5
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 1x
- Category: Cocktail
- Cuisine: American
A classic Whiskey Sour cocktail recipe made with bourbon, lemon, simple sugar, and egg white. Frothy, citrusy, and refreshing.
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice
- 3/4 ounce simple syrup
- 1 egg white or 1 ounce liquid egg whites
- Luxardo cherry and orange wedge for garnish
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and dry shake vigorously with NO ice for 20-30 seconds. This is to whip up the eggs and make them frothy.
- Add ice and shake for another 10 seconds and strain into a double old-fashioned glass over a giant ice cube or fresh ice. This can also be served straight up in a coupe glass.
Use fresh eggs at the very least. If you’re unsure about using raw egg white, you can use pasteurized liquid egg whites sold in a carton. This will greatly reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 221
- Sugar: 0.7g
- Sodium: 53mg
- Fat: 0.2g
- Saturated Fat: 0.2g
- Carbohydrates: 18.5g
- Fiber: 0.1g
- Protein: 3.8g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: classic whiskey sour, how to make a whiskey sour
Love this cocktail but I found that within the first 10-15 seconds of rigorous shake, it wanted to explode out of my shaker! I tried both the egg white and liquid egg white with the same result. But, I’d say I prefer the egg white right out of the shell, the liquid egg white made the cocktail more cloudy. Is there a trick to not have it push itself out of the shaker before you’re done shaking?
This is inevitable unfortunately. A very tight fitting lid helps. You can also shake the egg white alone and then add the remaining ingredients and shake to mix.