Each year on August 25, the original sweet and sour cocktail—the Whiskey Sour—is celebrated as National Whiskey Sour Day.
Unfortunately, whiskey sours sometimes get a bad rap. They oftentimes fall into the category of maligned cocktails whose reputations took a hit in the 1980s, when cloying mixes and super-sweet club drinks diminished the prominence of cocktail standard-bearers like whiskey sours and daiquiris.
Don’t let their fall from grace deter you—a properly balanced whiskey sour is velvety, smooth, and definitely worthy of your attention.
Whiskey Sours have been around since the dawn of the cocktail era. In 1862’s cocktail classic The Bon Vivant’s Companion or How to Mix Drinks, Jerry Thomas defines the recipe for a whiskey sour as a combination of bourbon or rye, sugar, seltzer, and lemon juice.
Over time, the seltzer has largely been abandoned. Many modern recipes call for the frothy, silky addition of an egg white . And the simplicity of a traditional whiskey sour makes it endlessly riffable.
While you can never go wrong with a classic whiskey sour, here are a few evolutions to try this National Whiskey Sour Day:
The addition of a red wine float in this New York Sour cuts through some of a traditional sour’s acidity, and lends this classic an alluring ruby hue.
Jim Kearns, of New York City’s The Happiest Hour, has created a Smoky Sour—a cinnamon and tea-infused twist on the original.
The Baltimore Bang incorporates apricot brandy and cognac for a less-sweet variety that packs a punch.
Now matter how you choose to style your sour, raise a glass to one of the world’s most adaptable cocktails this National Whiskey Sour Day!
National Whiskey Sour Day is typically celebrated