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The New York Sour Cocktail

The New York Sour Cocktail

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Try a new twist on a classic cocktail by adding a layer of sweet wine.MORE+LESS-

Updated September 7, 2017

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  • 1

    Add the whiskey, lemon juice, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake well.

  • 2

    Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice.

  • 3

    Gently pour the wine over the back of a spoon to create a layer of wine on top.

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • A sweet red wine float adds a unique New York take on the traditional Whiskey Sour.Let’s face it. Everything from New York is cooler than everything not from New York.Except for pizza. Chicago wins at pizza and that’s that. No argument. Hands down. Deep dish all the way.But, otherwise? New York probably has the hippest stuff. I mean, Buffalo wings came from there, so New York is cool by default.Today though, we’re not talking about pizza or Buffalo wings. Today we’re gettin’ our drank on.The New York Sour... it’s the cool cousin of the not-quite-as-hip-as-it-could-be Whiskey Sour. You ready for this?We’re following a recipe from Epicurious for this one. You’ll need all the usual stuff for a Whiskey Sour, plus some sweet red wine. Because what isn’t improved with a little red wine?If you have a cocktail shaker, you’re more awesome than me. If you don’t, just grab a couple of glasses, fill with ice, and then start pouring in your ingredients.To create the layered look, grab a spoon, flip it upside down, and gently pour the red wine over it. This should create beautiful layers. You might be able to pull this off without making a mess, but my husband couldn’t. Whatevs.This sweet and sour drink will definitely become a new favorite for cocktail hour.

New York Sour

Michael Kraus

Just a few ingredients add up to a complex whole in this Gilded Age cocktail, an ideal vehicle for a rich VSOP cognac. This recipe first appeared in the 2012 SAVEUR 100, with the article Cognac Cocktails.

New York Sour

20 Best Sour Cocktails to Try

Sour cocktails are one of the oldest cocktail families: and for good reason! The sweet tart flavor is simply timeless: it doesn’t matter what decade you live in! What’s a sour? It’s a mixed drink made of liquor, citrus, and sweetener. You might be surprised by the familiar names of cocktails that are part of the sour family. The Margarita! The Cosmo! Sours are near and dear to Alex and me: they are my favorite family of drinks, so we’ve set out on a quest to try them all.

Here are the basic the elements of a sour cocktail:

  • Liquor: Sours can be made with just about any spirit: whiskey, vodka, gin, tequila, and brandy.
  • Citrus (the “sour”): Usually you’ll see lemon juice or lime juice, but some variations have grapefruit or orange.
  • Sweetener:Simple syrup or orange liqueur like Cointreau or triple sec (which contain sugar) are the common sweeteners.
  • Egg white: (optional): Often you’ll see classic 1920’s style sour drinks topped with an egg white foam. This gives the drink a creamy, rich texture and frothy topping, like in the Boston Sour or Gin Fizz.

As you can imagine, there are endless variations on the sour. Below we’ve listed the 3 most popular sour cocktails, then listed the rest organized by type of liquor.

How to Mix the New York Sour Cocktail


Fill cocktail shaker halfway with ice, get two rocks or double old fashioned glasses and follow the directions above in the tips for two lemon twists.

After measuring out each ingredient, pour it into the cocktail shaker.

Step one

Gather the ingredients – bourbon, lemon, simple syrup and wine.

Step two

Measure 4 ounces bourbon. (A)

Step three

Squeeze 2 ounces of lemon juice. This is what I use to get the juice out of the lemon. I find that most of the lemons I use yield 2 ounces. (B)

Step four

Measure 2 ounces simple syrup. (C)

Step five

Fill two glasses with crushed ice. Make sure the ice is heaping over the rim of the glass because as you pour the contents of the shaker in the glasses, it will melt the ice.

Step six

Cap the shaker and shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Strain and divide the liquid between the two glasses.

You will notice in the photo below, that I left roughly a half inch from the liquid to the top of the glass. This is to accommodate the wine. You will also notice that the ice is still a little heaped at the top. That is perfect.

Feel free to add more ice if it doesn’t look like the photo below.

Step seven

Measure 1 ounce wine for each cocktail.

Step eight

Slowly pour the wine into the glass, making sure it’s floating nicely.

The wine will do its own thing. Some of it sinks. Some of it floats.

Now for the vertical view of the New York sour cocktail.

I was trying out a new macro lens, which means I can get closer to the drink. Here are the two photos of the results.

And the vertical macro view. Aren’t they pretty!?

I hope you enjoyed this New York sour cocktail recipe.

Please feel free to leave me a comment. What’s your favorite whiskey (and how do you spell it, whiskey or whisky)!?

And as always, may all your dishes/drinks be delish!

If you’ve tried this New York Sour Cocktail or any other recipe on the blog, I’d love the hear what you thought about it in the comments below. I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!

Port New York Sour

Port was created in Portugal as a way to preserve the country’s red wines during their long, hot journey down the river from the vineyards in the Douro Valley to the town of Porto, where the wines are stored in warehouses and then shipped around the world.

Port probably isn’t the first item that comes to mind when you’re stocking your bar with cocktail-friendly ingredients. It may not even be the second—or the tenth. But maybe it should be, as one bottle of port can multi-task to perform the job of several ingredients. It can add sweetness, replace vermouth, add multilayered flavor and temper the alcohol content of high-proof drinks.

“Generally, port has a round, comforting, viscous sweetness that can play really nicely with Sours, Bucks and Mules,” says Washington, D.C., bartender Sarah Rosner. “I have also noticed a trend toward low-ABV cocktails recently and think it will start shifting from a modifier to a base.”

Rosner uses the versatile ingredient in her Port New York Sour recipe, a riff on the New York Sour that skips the optional egg white and replaces red wine with tawny port. She begins with bourbon, fresh lemon juice and simple syrup, and then floats the port over the top of the drink, creating an eye-catching halo effect.

That healthy one-ounce pour of tawny port helps to deplete the bottle fast (port only lasts a few weeks once open and refrigerated), while lending nutty and caramel notes to the cocktail.


Excellent note on the wine-- a sauv or dry red really wouldn't do this justice. Used a smooth bourbon and fresh lemon and tada! A winner for the Christmas Quarantine drink menu.

Easy to mix with handy ingredients, this was refreshing and beautiful. The wine drinkers and beer drinkers all agreed they would make it again.

Looks very refreshing . . . Need to go to the wine store. Thanks!

Strong and delicious! The picture shows a greater proportion of wine than the recipe calls for, but the technique to float the wine works perfectly.

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