New York Sour Recipe

5 from 1 vote
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The New York Sour is a delicious spin on the classic Whiskey Sour. If you’re a bourbon lover who loves a citrusy and refreshing cocktail with a unique fruity twist, look no further than the New York Sour!

A New York Sour cocktail on a table.

The original Whiskey Sour appeared in 1862 in Jerry Thomas’ How to Mix Drinks. This cocktail did not contain egg whites. The introduction of egg whites came a little later and is often referred to as a Boston Sour, by some purists.

New York Sour vs Boston Sour

The New York sour is a modern-day variation of the Whiskey Sour. It’s essentially the same cocktail but made with a float of dry red wine to top it all off. Some variations call for red wine in place of egg white, while others incorporate both techniques. I prefer the cocktail made with both egg whites and red wine.

It’s a phenomenal blend of complexity and silky smooth texture. The Whiskey Sour has also sparked other popular variations such as the Tequila Sour, Pisco Sour, and Amaretto Sour.

Looking for more delicious classic whiskey cocktails? Try the Sazerac, Improved Whiskey Cocktail, Old Fashioned cocktail, and Brown Derby cocktail!

Ingredients

Ingredients for a New York Sour laid out on a cutting board.
  • Bourbon: I like Elijah Craig or Larceny for this cocktail.
  • Fresh lemon juice: always use fresh over concentrate. If you don’t have fresh lemons, I prefer ReaLemon juice.
  • Simple syrup: a 50-50 blend of dissolved sugar and water.
  • Egg white or pasteurized liquid egg whites: fresh eggs work best but pasteurized liquid egg whites work if you’re concerned with consuming raw eggs.
  • Dry red wine: dry fruity wines such as Zinfandel, Chianti, or Bordeaux work well with this cocktail.
  • Luxardo cherry garnish

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities below.

How to Make a New York Sour

Step 1.

Begin with a “dry shake”: in a Boston shaker, combine bourbon, lemon, egg white, and sugar without ice and vigorously shake for 30 seconds. 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.

Step 2.

Shake with ice: after the dry shake, add a cup of ice to the shaker and shake vigorously for an additional 20-30 seconds. This is the chilling process.

Adding ice to a glass cocktail shaker with Whiskey Sour ingredients.

Step 3.

Strain: double 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.

Double straining a Whiskey Sour into a double old fashioned glass.

Step 4.

Slowly pour the red wine over the back of a spoon to carefully float it on top of the drink.

Quick Tip

Use a speed pourer to float the red wine. This will help to precisely pour the wine over a spoon. Place your finger over the air intake hole to slow the flow of wine.

Pouring a red wine float over a bar spoon in a New York Sour.

Expert Tips

  • Always double-strain shaken cocktails through a fine mesh strainer. This removes tiny ice chips and also aerates the egg whites.
  • Chill your glasses ahead of time in the freezer to keep your drinks cooler for longer. This is one of my favorite tricks in the summer.
  • Shaking with larger ice cubes or ice chunks will prevent the ice from breaking down and producing small ice chips. This makes straining easier and enhances egg white foam and head retention.

Dry Shaking Egg Whites

Dry shaking is a technique of shaking cocktail ingredients with no ice. Dry shaking egg white will help break down the proteins in the egg and make it foamier and silky smooth. If you shake with ice first and only, it tends to dilute the egg whites and make them more watery.

Any cocktail with egg white should be shaken aggressively for a solid 20-30 seconds to whip up the egg, otherwise, it defeats the purpose.

Once the egg whites are frothy, add ice, give the cocktail a vigorous few shakes to chill, and strain into your glass over ice. The egg white will float on the surface yielding a nice foamy crown.

A close up shot of a finished New York Sour cocktail garnished with a brandied cherry.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of wine should I use?

You can use any wine you like or have on hand. I lean towards fruity dry wines so the cocktail is not overly sweet. Look for California Zinfandel, Chianti, or a Bordeaux.

Are raw egg whites safe to consume in cocktails?

Consuming raw eggs always poses a risk for foodborne illness. If you’re concerned, you can use pasteurized liquid egg whites sold in a carton or aquafaba. At a minimum, always use fresh eggs.

Can I make this without the egg?

Yes, a red wine float alone adds sweetness and depth.

What’s the best bourbon to use?

Buffalo Trace
Larceny
Elijah Craig
Michter’s
Henry McKenna Single Barrel
Four Roses Single Barrel
Woodford Reserve
Knob Creek
Maker’s Mark

More Whiskey Cocktails

Enjoy this recipe? If you made this cocktail, please leave a ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ star rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments!
5 from 1 vote

New York Sour Recipe

Servings: 1 cocktail
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
A classic New York Sour recipe made with bourbon, lemon, simple sugar, egg white, and a red wine float. Frothy, citrusy, and refreshing.

Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2-3/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 egg white, or 1-ounce pasteurized liquid egg white
  • Dry red wine, Zinfandel, Chianti, Bordeaux
  • Luxardo cherry, for garnish

Instructions 

  • Begin with a “dry shake”: In a Boston shaker, combine bourbon, lemon, egg white, and sugar without ice and vigorously shake for 30 seconds. 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 a cup of ice to the shaker and shake vigorously for an additional 20 seconds. This is the chilling process.
  • Strain: Double 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.
  • Slowly pour the red wine over the back of a spoon to carefully float it on top of the drink. A speed pourer really helps to be more precise with this step. Place your finger over the air intake hole to slow the flow of wine.

Notes

Always 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 or aquafaba.
Always double-strain shaken cocktails through a fine mesh strainer. This removes tiny ice chips and also aerates the egg whites.
Use a speed pourer to float the red wine. This will help to precisely pour the wine over a spoon.
Chill your glasses ahead of time in the freezer to keep your drinks cooler for longer. This is one of my favorite tricks in the summer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 221kcalCarbohydrates: 18.5gProtein: 3.8gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 53mgFiber: 1gSugar: 0.7g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: American
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About Shawn Williams

My name is Shawn, author behind Kitchen Swagger. I'm a food & drink enthusiast bringing you my own simple and delicious restaurant-inspired recipes.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi! Step one says: “Combine all ingredients…”

    I believe you mean all except the wine and cherry.