Whiskey sours are quite refreshing, especially during the summer. If you have been bored drinking the same whiskey mixtures, it’s time to try something amusing. New York sour is a simple, yet alluring cocktail that can be a new inclusion in your favorite list. When you take the first sip, you must get an incredible experience. In this article, we are sharing an easy-to-make New York sour recipe so that anyone with the essential ingredients can try it at home and enjoy it. Let, set, go!

What Is New York Sour?


Though the name sounds modern, New York sour is not a newly discovered thing. Even, the origins of the drink don’t belong to New York, according to history.

Whiskey mixtures come with tons of variations. New York sour is one of the variants of the regular sour mixture. The cocktail was first introduced in Chicago in 1800. Many people believe that it was invented by the same bartender who also formulated the Manhattan cocktail, though some historians deny it. This is one of the humorous facts about the drink.

It was called the Continental sour in the beginning. Then it was renamed Southern whiskey sour after a short while. People started to call it New York sour when it became a popular cocktail during the alcoholic prohibition era from 1920 to 1933.

Difference between New York Sour and Whiskey Sour

If you have ever drunk both of them, you should find out that New York sour is almost the same thing as regular whiskey sour. However, it can be very baffling to beginners due to the similar ingredients and color. To tell you the truth, both drinks are produced with almost the same basic ingredients. The only thing that differentiates the two drinks is the floating red wine. The added red wine makes it juicier. Besides, it provides a tannic bite. This is perhaps the only sign to recognize New York sour from traditional whiskey sour.

Variations of The New York Sour


New York sour is already a variant of the whiskey sour itself. But, mixologists are like magicians who can make you astonished with their mixing skills. Expert mixologists like Spin and Shake can add incredible twists to the traditional New York sour. If you are a wine-based cocktail lover, these five variations of New York sour will allure you for sure.

  • Pine Pepper Crush: The ingredient includes pineapple, cracked black pepper, tequila, and floating port wine that makes a wonderful combination.
  • Port New York sour: The cocktail is similar to traditional New York sour. However, fortified port wine is used to make the float instead of red wine.
  • Bordeaux sour: Rather than making the float, the Bordeaux wine is mixed with the drink. The ingredient also includes lemon juice, maple syrup, maraschino cherry, and orange bitters.
  • West 75th: This delicious-looking cocktail is a blend of New York sour and French 75. The ingredient contains orange bitters, lemon juice, raspberry syrup, and a classic French brandy called Calvados.
  • Ward III whiskey sour: Syrup, lemon, and bourbon prepare a perfect combination. Besides, fresh egg white and a thin layer of Italian red wine called Chianti make it unique.

New York sour ingredients


The ingredients of New York sour may vary depending on the variation. However, the basic New York sour requires only four components. The more taste you want, the more items you have to add. We are mentioning common ingredients that are widely used to prepare the cocktail.

  • Whiskey: Whiskey works as the base of this cocktail. The common whiskeys you can use to prepare this drink are rye or bourbon.
  • Lemon juice: Lemon juice is one of the basic ingredients for this cocktail. However, make sure you have squeezed a fresh lemon before making it. Orange juice is also fine to use as an alternative to it.
  • Simple syrup: This is another component for making the cocktail. The syrup should come with a 1:1 sugar-water sweetened ratio.
  • Red wine: The only thing that differentiates it from whiskey sour is the floating red wine. So, this is unavoidable.
  • Fresh ice: For the chill taste and serving, fresh ice is an essential ingredient.
  • Egg white: This is an optional ingredient for this cocktail, but it adds a different taste.
  • Maraschino cherry: If you want to prettify the cocktail, Maraschino cherry is the most common ingredient to use.

Though these are the common components of New York sour, different ingredients can be used for variation. For instance, you can use Port wine or Chianti instead of red wine.

The best wine to use in New York sour

The floating layer is the prime characteristic of the New York sour. The layer is garnished with colored wine that looks stunning. Red wine is vastly used to make the floating layer around the world. Other kinds of alcoholic ingredients including Port wine, Bordeaux wine, Calvados, and Chianti are often seen to be used. However, red wine is the best layer maker for this kind of cocktail. It suits such drinks so well due to its reddish color, fruit flavor, and tannins.

How to make New York sour


Since we have got all the ingredients and ideas, it’s time to try your homemade New York sour. Follow the steps carefully.

Essential ingredients with measure:

  • Rye whiskey (or bourbon) – 60 ml
  • Fresh lemon juice – 30 ml
  • Simple syrup (1:1 sugar-water) – 22 ml
  • Red wine – 15 ml

Making the cocktail:

  1. Pour Rye whiskey, lemon juice, and simple syrup together into a shaker and add ice.
  2. Shake all ingredients well until they mix and the mixture becomes chilled.
  3. Take a rock glass and fill it with ice. Now, strain the mixture over the fresh ice.
  4. Pour the red wine over the back of a spoon very gently so that the wine floats on the top of the cocktail.

This is a single service New York sour recipe. You can add the ingredients according to the same ratio for more than one serving.