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How to Make the New York Sour

The New York Sour is an iconic classic cocktail which shouldn’t work, but it does. Taking the Whiskey Sour one step further by adding a layer of red wine!

New York Sour - portrait

The New York Sour cocktail is a refreshing, creamy, and boozy drink that is one of the best and least known. Adding a layer of red wine to a classic whiskey sour seems like it would to throw it all off, but it is a perfect match to the sweetness of the classic cocktail. Since discovering the New York Sour, it has become one of my favorite cocktails.

This iconic sour cocktail recipe was invented in the late 19th century in Chicago and gained popularity instantly. Back then, it was known as the Continental Sour. However, as time passed, the name also changed. Some people referred to it as Southern Whiskey Sour, whereas others called it a Claret Snap. However, soon it gained a permanent name all across the globe, which is the New York Sour. Maybe, in the late 1800s, more people dared to try this classic whiskey cocktail with a float of red wine in New York City than anywhere else in the world!

What goes into a New York Sour?

With five simple ingredients, you can make this creamy New York Sour recipe so easily!

  • Bourbon Whiskey: Although you can use any whiskey, I prefer bourbon. Irish whiskey can make it. bit more smooth and rye whiskey gives it a bite!
  • Fresh Lemon juice: Lemon juice adds a tangy and citrusy flavor to this drink. Please only use fresh, it makes all the difference! If you donÔÇÖt have lemon juice, use lime juice.
  • Simple sugar syrup: You’ll need no more than a half ounce of simple syrup. You can either make it fresh or prepare it in a large batch and store it in the refrigerator. You can make simple syrup by mixing the two ingredients in equal parts in a small saucepan and then mixing until the sugar has dissolved!
  • Red wine: That layer of red wine of course adds that rich, deep red color to the top of the glass! It’s up to you which red wine you want to use. You can either use simple fruity red wine or dry red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Egg white: Raw egg whites from only fresh eggs are an optional ingredient for this recipe! It gives the cocktail, not only the foam, but a silky texture that is hard to replicate.

What tools you need to make New York Sour

You’ll definitely needing a cocktail shaker for this one! Grab a jigger, a barspoon, and a rocks glass for this New York Sour recipe.

Take out your cocktail shaker and pour in the whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white in it. Time to do the dry shake! Seal the lid and start shaking it vigorously. The harder you shake it, the foamier the end product will be. Now stop midway and add fresh ice! Seal the lid again and continue to shake for another 40 to 50 seconds. Now pour it all into an ice-filled rocks glass. You can use ice cubes or crushed ice! Next step is slowly pour red wine over the back of the spoon. You can see a layer of red wine forming to the top. You’ll see the wine floats on the surface of the drink. After float of dry red wine has settled, then you can garnish it with a lemon twist.

  • ­čŹŞTop Tip(le): Here are a few points to remember when making New York Sour:.
    • If you donÔÇÖt have bourbon whiskey, use rye whiskey or Irish whiskey.
    • If you donÔÇÖt want to add egg white, no problem. You can use aquafaba or none. This it true for all cocktail recipes using raw egg.
    • Simple sugar syrup is super easy to make, but you can also use maple syrup if you have it on hand.
    • It’s really important to pour the wine over the back of a spoon. You can’t get the same effect without it.

Where to find more whiskey cocktails

Here are a few of my favorites:

 Plus more sour cocktail recipes here

Disclaimer: Some of these posts contain affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means that I may receive compensation if you click on these links and buy something, but, donÔÇÖt worry, it wonÔÇÖt cost you a dime!

Where to find ingredients for New York Sour cocktails

You can find all the ingredients at Spirits Kiosk (10% off the entire site by quoting this code: ALushLife10SK.) in the UK; or in the USA!

Here is the recipe!

New York Sour

New York Sour

An iconic classic cocktail which shouldn't work, but it does. Taking the Whiskey Sour one step further by adding a layer of red wine!
No ratings yet
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Course Cocktails
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 202 kcal


  • 2 ounces Bourbon
  • 1 ounce Fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 ounce Simple syrup
  • 1 egg white optional
  • 1/2 ounce red wine


  • Add the bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white (optional) into a shaker
  • Shake as hard as you can
  • Add ice
  • Shake, shake, shake
  • Strain into a rocks glass over ice.
  • Slowly pour the red wine over the back of a bar spoon.
  • You'll see the wine float on top of the cocktail in a layer at the top
  • Garnish with a twist of lemon


Serving: 1gCalories: 202kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 4gSodium: 56mgSugar: 11g
Keyword New York Sour
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