Although some accuse the whiskey sour of being an “old man” drink, it’s a fun and playful cocktail at its heart. The whiskey sour offers many opportunities for experimentation and creativity. A favorite variation is the New York sour, in which the whiskey sour is topped off with red wine to give it a sunset-like glow, writes Liquor.com. However, wine does more than provide aesthetic delights. Red wine evens out the sour taste of citrus fruits, according to Liquor.com. A tangy New York is best with a fruity wine like Shiraz, Merlot or even Port, says BBC’s Good Food. To get wine to “float” properly, pour it slowly over the back of a spoon, says Food & Wine.
Other additions include the addition of bitters to give the drink some spice. Decoratively, drops of bitters can make excellent patterns in egg white foam. Another source of spice is the addition of ginger liqueur for a sour whiskey and ginger, suggests the BBC’s Good Food. A splash of amaretto is a great option for those looking to sweeten the drink, as is adding a dollop of orange marmalade, writes Thrillist.
Perhaps the best part of the whiskey sour is that while it can test a bartender’s mettle, its dodgy past helps it resist cocktail snobbery. The drink is available for a range of palates and derives its strength from its variety.