Cocktail Recipe

A Simple Whiskey Sour

The first time I ordered a whiskey sour was at a chain steakhouse – a “Texas Roadhouse” maybe? – in Massachusetts. I had just turned 21, and I was eating out with a group of friends, none of whom were old enough to order drinks yet. After downing a Sam Adams, I was encouraged to move onto something “harder,” I wasn’t driving, after all.

When the waitress came by, the only thing that I could think of – besides “Jack and Coke” – was, for some reason, an Amaretto Sour. I was quickly told that I would be summarily beaten if I ordered that.

The helpful waitress, with an equal measure of annoyance and amusement, and in an effort not to have an ignorant 21-year old jokingly put in a headlock in our booth, suggested that I replace the amaretto with whiskey.

I agreed. And ordered another after I downed the first.

Granted, I don’t remember the details of those specific drinks. They were bottom-shelf drinks poured in the bar of a chain restaurant, so I’m sure it was crappy whiskey with a good portion of cloyingly-sweet processed sour mix.

Having aged and (supposedly) matured, my tastes have changed somewhat, and I’ve also learned to make a better version of the whiskey sour.

My whiskey sour
My whiskey sour


  • 2 oz Jameson Irish Whiskey (or other blended whiskey)
  • 1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp morello cherry juice
  • 2 dark morello cherries
  • 1 slice of lemon

Pour whiskey, lemon and sugar in a shaker, and shake.

Pour over ice in a tumbler glass.

Pour cherry juice over the top.

Garnish with cherries and lemon slice.


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