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New York Sour, a Classic Cocktail Recipe

by | Nov 10, 2020 | 0 comments

Sometimes adding 1 ingredient to a drink can drastically change how it tastes. Adding an egg white to a whiskey sour gives depth and body. Additionally, a float of red wine creates a sophisticated, sweet, sour, and dry beverage that’s completely unique from its base. The New York Sour is a classic cocktail twist everyone should experience.

New York Sour

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Recipe by Carl Busch Course: BeverageCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium


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There is something special about a New York Sour. A combination of bourbon. lemon and wine really hits the spot.



  • 2 ounces 2 Bourbon

  • .75 ounce .75 Fresh Lemon Juice

  • .75 ounce .75 Simple Syrup

  • 2 ounces 2 Dry Red Wine


  • Combine all ingredients except red wine into a tin
  • Dry shake for 8 - 10 seconds
  • Add ice to tin
  • Shake for 10 - 15 seconds
  • Double strain into glass
  • Float red wine

Upgrades are all around us in life: sometimes we upgrade to the newest phone. Sometimes we get a larger meal in the drive thru. And sometimes, we upgrade our cocktails.

Most of the time, upgrading a cocktail is done by changing the spirit from rail to your favorite premium liquor.

And, sometimes, like with the New York Sour, you add another ingredient and make something completely different.

For the base of the cocktail, we use the same recipe as our WHISKEY SOUR VIDEO, just with a different type of bourbon. You can use whatever one you want, I just happen to like Larceny, so I went with that one today.

To finish the drink, and make it a New York Sour, I added a red wine float. Like with bourbon, the red wine you choose for this drink is completely up to you. Different red wines are obviously going to change the taste of the drink, so definitely use one you like.

Carl usually prefers a tawny port because it’s sweeter and gives the drink more depth, but today we’re using Park Farm Winery’s Prairie Reserve, a local Iowa wine that tastes similar to a malbec or merlot.

Floating the wine on top of the drink gives the cocktail sophistication and depth. You get the taste of wine with your first sip, which then blends nicely into the whiskey sour flavor that comes through.

Floating is a technique that can be harder to learn. Understanding viscosity and what will float on top of another liquid can be tricky. The best tip I can give you is: sugar sinks. So, since the whiskey sour has a higher sugar content from the simple syrup, the red wine will be less dense and will float on top of it.

Using a spoon with a big surface area to disperse the wine as you pour will help make this bartending technique much easier.

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