Last Modified On:
October 9, 2023

New York Sour Recipe: Easy to Make at Home

Make a delicious New York Sour recipe at home with ease! Our guide includes all the steps to create this classic cocktail, featuring a perfect blend of whiskey and wine.

3 minutes

Feeling like you need a drink? Want to impress your friends with your mixology skills? Look no further than the New York Sour! This classic cocktail has been around since the late 1800s and has stood the test of time for good reason. In this blog, we'll take a deep dive into the history of the New York Sour or the New York Whiskey Sour, provide you with a step-by-step guide to making it at home, give you tips on how to select the best ingredients, and even answer some questions like how does it taste and is it safe to add raw egg white in a cocktail?

So grab your shaker and let's get started. Plus, stick around till the end for more whiskey-based cocktails to explore!

History of the NY Sour

The New York Sour, also known as the NY sour, is a cocktail with roots that trace back to the late 1800s. Its origin can be attributed to the vibrant cocktail scene in New York City during that time. While its exact creator remains uncertain, what we do know is that this drink quickly gained popularity and became a staple in bars across the city.

The "Continental Sour" was later renamed the "New York Sour." It was inspired by whiskey sours but with a twist - a float of dry red wine on top. This addition added visual appeal and a subtle fruity flavor that complemented the lemon tartness and whiskey richness. The New York Sour quickly became a classic cocktail loved by locals and visitors alike.

Why is it called a New York Sour?

A New York Sour – a variation of the classic whiskey sour cocktail with a twist – is named after the city where it's believed to have originated, New York. This wine "sour" adds a unique visual and flavor contrast to the drink, hence the name.

What's the difference between a whiskey sour and a New York Sour?

The New York Sour sets itself apart from the classic Boston Sour by adding a unique twist - a red wine float instead of bitters. This addition gives the NY Sour a distinct flavor profile and visual appeal, making it stand out among whiskey sours.

What does New York Sour taste like?

The New York Sour offers a balanced blend of whiskey's richness, lemon's tanginess, and a touch of sweetness from simple syrup. It creates a zesty and slightly sweet foundation. It stands out with its red wine float, adding fruity and tannic complexity.

As you sip through the wine layer, you will taste berry notes and experience a subtle dryness that perfectly complements the sour base. The result is a well-balanced and sophisticated cocktail that is sure to impress any palate.

Step-by-Step Guide to New York Sour Recipe


  • 2 oz (60 ml) bourbon or rye whiskey
  • 3/4 oz (22 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz (15 ml) simple syrup (1:1 ratio of water and sugar)
  • 1/2 oz (15 ml) red wine (such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec)
  • Fresh Ice
  • Lemon twist, for garnish
  • Maraschino cherry, for garnish

New York Sour Recipe Instructions:

1. Chill the Glass:

  • Place a rocks glass or a sour glass in the freezer for a few minutes to chill it.

2. Prepare Simple Syrup:

  • To prepare simple syrup, in a small saucepan, combine equal parts sugar and water (1:1 ratio). Heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Let it cool before using. Store any extra simple syrup in the refrigerator for future cocktails.

3. Measure Ingredients:

  • Measure out the bourbon or rye whiskey, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup using a jigger or measuring tools.

4. Shake the Cocktail:

  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Add the whiskey, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup to the shaker.

5. Shake Vigorously:

  • Seal the shaker and shake vigorously for about 15-20 seconds. This chills and properly dilutes the cocktail.

6. Strain into the Glass:

  • Double-strain the cocktail into the chilled rocks or sour glass using a cocktail strainer and a fine-mesh strainer. This removes ice shards and pulp for a smooth texture.

7. Float the Red Wine:

8. Garnish:

  • To release the aroma, hold a lemon twist over the glass and give it a quick twist. Add a maraschino cherry on a cocktail pick, placing it near the lemon twist or on the surface of the wine float.

Preparation & Garnish Tips

Preparation Tips:

  1. Choose a balanced dry red wine with good acidity and fruity notes to complement the New York Sour cocktail's flavors.
  2. When shaking the cocktail, use lots of ice and shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds to properly chill and dilute the mixture.
  3. Double-strain the cocktail using a cocktail strainer and a fine-mesh strainer to remove ice shards and citrus pulp for a smoother texture.

Garnish Tips:

  1. Place a maraschino cherry on a cocktail pick and let it sit near the lemon twist or on the wine float.
  2. Choose a rocks glass or sour glass to showcase the layers and presentation.
  3. Wipe the rim of the glass to remove any drips or spills for a clean and appealing presentation.

Essential Ingredients for the Perfect New York Whiskey Sour

Selecting the Best Whiskey or Bourbon

If you want to make a delicious New York Sour, choose the right whiskey. Rye whiskey is flavorful and authentic. Bourbon is sweet and tasty. Try different types of whiskey to find what works best for you. Look for a whiskey that goes well with the other ingredients in your cocktail. This will make your New York Sour taste amazing!

Is It Safe to Add Raw Egg White in a Cocktail?

Raw eggs, including egg whites, can be safely enjoyed in cocktails. However, it is important to handle them safely and store fresh eggs in the refrigerator to avoid any risk of foodborne illness. If you're concerned about consuming raw eggs, pasteurized egg whites are a safer option.

More Whiskey Based Cocktails to Explore

  • Old Fashioned: Whiskey, sugar, bitters, and an orange twist.
  • Boulevardier: Bourbon, Campari, sweet vermouth, similar to a Negroni with whiskey.
  • Manhattan: Rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, garnished with a cherry.
  • Sazerac: Rye whiskey, absinthe rinse, sugar cube, and Peychaud's bitters.


To sum it up, the New York Sour is a classic cocktail that combines the richness of whiskey with the tanginess of red wine. It's easy to make at home with just a few simple steps. Remember to choose high-quality ingredients such as a good whiskey and a flavorful red wine to enhance the taste. And don't forget to have fun with the presentation - a well-crafted cocktail always adds to the experience. So why not give it a try and impress your friends with your mixology skills? Cheers to a delightful and refreshing New York Sour!