Like many other classic cocktails, the origin of the New York Sour is nebulous, although it may have been invented in 19th-century Chicago (and was later renamed by a New Yorker, presumably). The thing is, this is pretty much a Whiskey Sour, but with one key difference: a red wine float. Red wine and whiskey might not sound like the best combination, but it’s important that you keep an open mind. This cocktail is, in our opinion, superior to a regular Whiskey Sour. The wine provides a juicy and slightly tannic bite, and when you see the two-tone color scheme, you’ll wonder why New York Sours aren’t as ubiquitous as tap water.
New York Sour
Makes 1 New York Sour
- Rocks glass
- 2 ounces bourbon
- .75 ounce lemon juice
- .75 ounce simple syrup
- 1 ounce dry red wine (such as a malbec or grenache)
Step One: Simple Syrup
Just like a regular Whiskey Sour, this drink begins with simple syrup. If you don’t know how to make it, mix equal parts white sugar and warm water, then stir until the sugar dissolves. (It should take less than a minute.) Add .75 ounce to your shaker.
Step Two: Lemon Juice
In case you weren’t aware, there are all sorts of sours out there. You can make a Vodka Sour, a Gin Sour, and even a Tequila Sour (which is pretty much a Margarita). One thing every sour needs? Lemon juice. Get a lemon, juice it, and put .75 ounce lemon juice in your shaker.
Step Three: Bourbon
If you aren’t sure which bourbon to use for this drink, check out this guide to 5 Great Bourbons For An Old Fashioned. Every bourbon in that guide also works great in a New York Sour - but I especially suggest the bottles that are under $50. Add 2 ounces bourbon to your shaker.
Step Four: Shake
Next, add around 5 or 6 ice cubes to your shaker, and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. You want to get a nice froth on this drink. After you’re done, strain everything into a rocks glass filled with ice.
Step Five: Red Wine Float
Now comes the fun part: the red wine float. But first, you need an appropriate red. Honestly, any dry red is going to work for this, but we like something $20 or less that’s medium-to-full bodied with notes of blackberries, blueberries, or really any kind of berry. An Argentine malbec, a Spanish grenache, or an inexpensive Côtes du Rône, for example. You’re going to float this wine on top of everything else, and if you don’t know how to do that, it’s easy. Just find a big spoon, place it just over the surface of your drink, and gently pour your red wine over the top of it, so that the liquid slowly cascades over the side like a miniature, alcoholic waterfall. Finally, take a step back, and appreciate this intricately layered cocktail you’ve just created. Then drink it.