New York Whiskey Sour

This New York Whiskey Sour is the epitome of what I consider a classic. One part bourbon and one part full-bodied red wine, this cocktail not only looks great, but its rich and smooth flavor will place this recipe on repeat. This cocktail is known for its red wine float.

Other bourbon cocktails you may also enjoy: Blackberry Mint Julep Cocktail, Fancy Free Cocktail (Video), Double Old Fashioned Cocktail, or Cinnamon Maple Whiskey Sour.

New York Whiskey Sour

Also known as the Continental Sour or Southern Whiskey Sour, this amazing cocktail has been in existence since the 1800s, and some say it was not originally created in New York. Go figure.

However this masterpiece was created, I thoroughly enjoy each time I get the opportunity to taste it. It’s simple — made with only four ingredients — but has the sophisticated profile of a very complex cocktail. It’s similar to your classic Whiskey Sour, with the addition of the red wine float.

Which whiskey bourbon should I use?

Everyone has their favorite, but I will share a few that I’ve used that work well with this cocktail. You can’t go wrong with Noble Oak, Buffalo Trace, Larceny Small Batch, Woodford Reserve, Maker’s Mark, Basil Hayden’s, Old Forester, or Bulleit. One thing to note…a mid-range or young bourbon will do. I’m not opposed to expensive or high-quality bourbon being used in cocktails, but I would much instead savor and enjoy those “neat.”

You can also use a rye whiskey is you want a more intense flavor.

And what about the wine? Will any red wine do?

For the red wine that gives this cocktail its infamous and quite stunning “float,” I would choose a fruity, dry red wine. In this category, you’ll find Malbecs and Shiraz, but I also use a bold Cabernet Sauvignon for this recipe.

Where’s the egg white?

Adding an egg white is an optional ingredient and will give this cocktail a nice velvety texture. I’m just not there yet with the whole drinking eggs thing. 🙂

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • I will begin with the simple syrup because it’s the one ingredient that requires some preparation. It’s a quick blend of one part water and one part sugar. Yes, you can purchase it pre-made from your local liquor store, but save some dough and whip this up at home in a few minutes.
  • The lemon juice gives this cocktail the citrus balance needed to make this drink a great one. And fresh is best in this case.
  • I chose to use a Cabernet Sauvignon for the red wine float because it is one of my favorite red wines. This aromatic red wine can boast notes of plum, blackberry, and even black cherry. It goes great with the other ingredients.
  • We can’t forget about the bourbon selection. Bourbon gives this cocktail its warm vanilla taste with a sprinkle of dark chocolate notes. It’s the perfect complement to the wine.
New York Whiskey Sour

How to make a New York Whiskey Sour:

  1. You begin this recipe by preparing your simple syrup; if you didn’t purchase it. To make simple syrup, add an equal amount of room temperature water and sugar into a container and mix until it resolves.
  2. Add your bourbon, simple syrup, and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker, fill it with then shake for thirty seconds until it is frothy. Pour your cocktail into a glass on ice.
  3. Using the back of a bar spoon (paid link) (close to the edge of the cocktail glass), slowly top it off with a gentle pour of your red wine. You’ll feel like a mixologist while you create that nice separation between the two layers making it look all nice and pretty. 🙂
  4. You can sip immediately. Cheers!
pouring red wine on back of bar spoon

Whether your having family and friends over or spending quality time with a special someone, this cocktail will set the mood just right. Give this New York Whiskey Sour a try when you want to make a great impression on those who enjoy great cocktails.

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New York Whiskey Sour

New York Whiskey Sour

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

  • Author: Eric Jones
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1x


A New York Whiskey Sour is a classic cocktail made with one part bourbon and one part red wine. It tastes great and has a rich, smooth taste.


Units Scale
  • 3 oz. Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1 oz. Simple Syrup
  • .5 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz. Cabernet Sauvignon


  1. Add whiskey, simple syrup and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake for 30 seconds. 
  2. Pour cocktail into glass on ice and slowly pour wine using back of spoon over your cocktail. 
  3. Serve immediately. 


I tend to adjust the amount of red wine I add depending on the day. Feel free to add 1 to 1.5 oz. of red wine.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Cocktail
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 318
  • Sugar: 0.5g
  • Sodium: 24mg
  • Fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 24.6g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Protein: 0.1g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

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  1. Really tasty. Perfect for these colder days!

    1. Eric Jones says:

      Thanks, Tara! Yes, it is perfect for those chilly nights. Glad you enjoyed it!