How To Make A New York Sour

A riff on the beloved Whiskey Sour, the New York Sour takes the classic cocktail and tops it with a float of dry red wine. Known at various points as the Continental Sour, the Southern Sour, and the Brunswick Sour, the New York Sour came out of — oddly enough — Chicago in the 1880s.

While the drink’s inventor is unknown, it’s believed that this drink was a product of behind-the-bar experimentation, earning an early reputation as a “better tasting and better looking” Whiskey Sour.

Just like the Whiskey Sour, this cocktail is easy to prepare, though mastering the red wine float can present some challenges for rookie bartenders. The key is to not rush things and pour the wine over the back of a bar spoon to finish the cocktail. A steady hand will be rewarded by a vibrant red layer of wine resting atop the drink.

The whiskey-lemon-simple-syrup blend beneath passes through this float on its way to your palate, picking up dryness and tart berry notes along the way. When selecting a whiskey for this cocktail, opt for either rye or bourbon. Rye delivers a spicier, dryer cocktail, working in tandem with the wine, while bourbon will play up the drink’s inherent sweetness. As for the red wine, we recommend something fruity and fairly full-bodied, like a Merlot or a Malbec. For a more silky, velvety New York Sour, feel free to add an egg white to the mix.

New York Sour Ingredients

  • 2 ounces whiskey (rye or bourbon)
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • 1 egg white (optional)
  • ½ ounce dry red wine (Merlot or Malbec)
  • Garnish: brandied cherry and lemon peel

New York Sour Directions

  1. Add whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white (optional) to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Fill with ice and shake until chilled.
  3. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass over fresh ice.
  4. Carefully pour a float of red wine on top.
  5. Garnish with a brandied cherry and lemon peel on a cocktail pick.

Rate This Recipe:

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Yield: 1
Calories: 215
Updated: 2023-02-24

New York Sour Recipe Video