25 August is National Whiskey Sour day. Although it’s an occasion centred mostly towards those in the United States, there’s no denying the appeal of this classic cocktail. Now, no one knows who really picked this day to celebrate the drink but its popularity stretches across the globe.

According to history, the Whiskey Sour was first enjoyed by sailors. The first written recipe for the drink appeared in 1862, in Jerry Thomas’ ‘The Bartender’s Guide’. Its base is made up of three ingredients – liquor, syrup, and lemon. Legend has it that citrus was chosen due to its high Vitamin C content, which helped keep Scurvy, a sickness that commonly afflicted sailors back in the day.

high west Whiskey Sour

Typically, National Whiskey Day is celebrated during summer. With rising temperatures, the cocktail is a refreshing alternative to the Old Fashioned or whiskey on the rocks to beat the heat. In Asia, where humid temperatures are all year-round, the cocktail is the perfect refresher for a hot day.

Fortunately the kind folks at High West have provided a perfect opportunity to explore the popular, yet often forgotten, citrussy libation. Providing a more traditional take on the cocktail including High West Double Rye whiskey, lemon juice and egg white. There’s also a non-traditional twist called the Frisco Sour which incorporates Benedictine for a floral and herbaceous kick.

Both cocktails take full advantage of High West Double Rye whiskey, which has a balanced spicy yet sweet flavour profile with notes of cinnamon, anise, and honey, perfectly complemented by the sour lemon. It’s the perfect base for this summer beverage.

High West Whiskey Sour

2 oz Double Rye!
0.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
0.5 oz Simple Syrup
1 Egg White
Brandied Cherries to garnish
Angostura bitters


Chill a martini glass. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Strain back into the cocktail shaker and shake again with no ice (reverse dry shake). Double strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with Angostura bitters and brandied cherries.

Frisco Sour

1.5 oz Double Rye!
.5 Lemon Juice
.75 Benedictine


Combine ingredients in a tin and shake until chilled.  Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

(Images: High West Whiskey)

written by.
Richard Augustin
Former chef turned writer; Richard has tip-toed around the publishing industry for two decades. When not busy chasing deadlines, you can still find him experimenting with recipes in the kitchen.

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