New York Sour Cocktail – Who’d Have Thought It Tastes This Good?

Harry Lambourne
15th November 2021

Egg white, lemon juice, whiskey and red wine. These are not necessarily 4 ingredients you’d look at and think, ‘now that’s going to be tasty’! Well, that’s the New York Sour Cocktail and it’s greater than the sum of its parts.

The New York Sour Cocktail, which dates back to the 1880s, is a variation on the classic Whiskey Sour Cocktail. However, the addition of red wine, (preferably a dry and fruity one), adds a whole new depth of flavour. It also really ups the presentation, as the red wine float descends down the glass, slowly turning the colour from gold into something resembling a red sky in the early morning. A deep and cloudy red.

Without further ado, let’s look into what you’ll need to make this delicious cocktail.

Ingredients & Equipment for a New York Sour Cocktail

To make a New York Sour, you’ll need a cocktail shaker, strainer, shot measure and a tablespoon. Next, for what goes in the New York Sour.

  • 15ml of Dry, Fruity Red Wine. Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot work particularly well. We used the Château Picoron Tattarrattat Merlot. The fresh and fruity nature of this particular wine makes it a perfect pairing for a New York Sour.
  • 15ml Simple Syrup. This is key for a number of cocktails and a good ingredient to have on hand. Read here for a simple recipe.
  • 30ml of Lemon Juice. We would highly recommend always using freshly squeezed lemon juice. This provides a better final product and means you can use the peel for your New York Sour cocktail garnish.
  • 1 Medium Egg White. Again, pre-packaged carton egg whites are an option, but we advise on using fresh eggs. If you are using purchased egg whites, then use around 20ml.
  • Ice. A big ice cube is always preferable to smaller ones. They won’t melt as quickly, so have the potential to be reused in the cocktail shaker. This will be especially relevant if you can’t help but to go back for a second New York Sour!
  • 60ml of Rye or Bourbon. We used Buffalo Trace Bourbon. However, use whatever seems right for your budget and taste. For reference, rye has a more herbal and peppery taste, whereas Bourbon generally is sweeter with vanilla notes. For this reason, you may want to use a more herbaceous and peppery red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon, if you want to use Rye.

How To Make a New York Sour Cocktail

  1. First things first – assemble the lemon juice, egg white, simple syrup and bourbon, (or rye), in a cocktail shaker and….shake! This method of shaking before adding ice is called dry shaking. By dry shaking you really froth up the egg white and get the velvety texture you’re looking for in a New York Sour.
  2. Secondly, add ice to the shaker and shake again. Get those arms pumping!
  3. Thirdly, strain the liquid into a chilled tumbler glass. 
  4. Then, float the red wine. This is done by pouring the wine over the bottom of a spoon.
  5. Finally, garnish with lemon peel and enjoy your New York Sour Cocktail!
A New York Sour Cocktail
A New York Sour

New York Sour Tasting Notes

The New York Sour Cocktail is wholly unique. Lip-puckeringly tart, with a real dry, fruity and fragrant nature. Not only this, but texturally it is something special. Completely smooth, almost foamy. A creation to be admired and one you can achieve in your very own home if you’ve got some red wine on hand, (which I’m sure you do!)


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