Classic Boston Sour Cocktail Drink Recipe

Looking to learn how to make a classic Boston Sour recipe? You’ve come to the right place!

The Boston Sour is a traditional whiskey sour cocktail with the addition of egg white, which when shaken, produces a frothy foam that rests at the top of the drink.

This pucker inducing sweet meets tart cocktail features premium whiskey, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white.

Garnish with a lemon twist and maraschino cherry skewer for an eye-catching cocktail sure to impress guests!

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Save our Boston Sour Cocktail recipe to Pinterest!

What Is A Boston Sour?

The Whiskey Sour is a classic mixed drink containing whiskey, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup. The iconic cocktail goes back centuries, first mentioned in old mixology texts as far back as the 1870s!

The Boston Sour is a variation of the classic whiskey sour. It was created in the city of Boston, during American Prohibition. It is said that the egg white was shaken into the popular craft cocktail to make the crude and unrefined bootlegged alcohol of the era a little easier to drink.

So the Boston Sour is simply a Whiskey Sour with egg white added to the shaker until it creates a soft and luscious foam. The texture is velvety-smooth, giving the drink a delightfully creamy mouthfeel.

You May Also Enjoy These Sour Cocktail Recipes…

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Traditional Boston Sour recipe ingredients.
Traditional Boston Sour recipe ingredients.

Boston Sour Recipe Ingredients

Our Boston Sour recipe is quick & easy to make, always prepared with quality ingredients:

  • Whiskey: we tested this recipe with Glenfiddich Scotch, Bushmills Irish Whiskey and Evan Williams Bourbon.
  • Lemon Juice: always use fresh lemon juice instead of citrus concentrate as it is off putting and overly tart.
  • Egg White: a Boston Sour elevates the classic cocktail by adding a frothy egg white foam to the top of the drink. Ensure you are using a freshly cracked egg.
  • Simple Syrup: sweeten the drink with homemade simple syrup, which is prepared using equal parts water and white sugar.
  • Garnish: decorate the glass with a lemon wheel and twist as well as a Maraschino cherry cocktail pick.
Boston Sour Photo Image.
Boston Sour Photo Image.

Boston Sour Recipe Tips

This Boston Sour recipe is easy to make at home, ready to serve in under 10 minutes.

It’s best to prepare this classic American cocktail with bourbon but it also works well with Scotch, Irish whiskey or Canadian rye.

The recipe below serves one person. If you’re hosting a large gathering feel free to multiply the ingredients by the number of guests and muddle the drink in a punch bowl or jug. If you’re incorporating egg white you must dry shake the ingredients in a cocktail shaker as the vigorous shaking action creates the desired creamy foam. You can then scoop the egg white into each prepared glass.

Store the whiskey bottle in your freezer so when guests arrive it is well chilled.

Serve the drink in a handsome rocks glass, similar to what you’d use for an Old Fashioned.

We like to garnish the glass with a lemon twist and wheel as well as a Maraschino cherry cocktail skewer to make thing fancy. You can also use a simple orange slice.

You can make a vegan Boston Sour by substituting egg white with aquafaba.

Boston Sour Egg Whiter Foam Trick

While most drinks are shaken together with ice in a cocktail shaker, the Boston Sour requires a dry shake. You’ll shake the ingredients first without ice, then add the ice and shake again. This method is used with many cocktails that have egg white added, resulting in an eye-catching white layer of foam on top.

There’s another bartending technique that produce even more foam called the Reverse Dry Shake. Shake the ingredients with ice first, then strain out the ice and shake again. We like the texture of the foam in a dry shake, and it’s the most common technique when making cocktails.

Garnish a Boston Sour with lemon twist and maraschino cherry cocktail skewer.
Garnish a Boston Sour with lemon twist and maraschino cherry cocktail skewer.

Best Bartender Tools & Cocktail Equipment

Before hosting a swanky Boson Sour party you’ll need to ensure you have the best bartender tools and cocktail equipment.

  • Cocktail Kit: cocktail kits are the perfect gift for newbie mixology fans as they include basic bartender tools like a jigger, shaker and spoon.
  • Cocktail Shaker: a bartender’s best friend. Purchase a premium cocktail shaker to muddle or shake up your favourite pink gin cocktails.
  • Cocktail Glassware: make sure your bar is stocked with a selection of unique glassware to show off your favourite cocktail creations.
  • Hawthorne Strainer: this unique strainer features tightly wound coils and perforated holes. It keeps ice and other large ingredients like lime wedges in your cocktail shaker rather than in the glass.
  • Bar Spoons: slender and long bar spoons are a must-have when stirring drinks.
  • Bottle Opener: easily open bottles of beer or cider with the flick of your wrist or purchase a corkscrew for fine wine.
  • Pouring Spout: once you’ve opened a new bottle of gin insert these affordable pourers to make cocktail assembly a breeze.
  • Cutting Board: purchase a petite cutting board for your bar to slice garnishes or citrus wedges like lime, orange, lemon or grapefruit.
  • Ice Bucket: chill bottles of gin quickly in an ice bucket or keep by the bar when muddling gin mixers into cool creations.
  • Ice Crusher: fans of the Mint Julep love an ice crusher.
  • Ice Cube Kit: we suggest purchasing a selection of ice cube trays. Silicone styles are our favourite as they’re easy to clean and are available in various shapes and sizes.
  • Jigger: use a jigger to accurately measure spirits, juices, syrups and shrubs.
  • Juicer: invest in an electronic juicer or buy an affordable hand-held to easily juice fresh citrus like lemons and limes.
  • Muddler: fans of the Mojito love a sturdy muddler to mix mint and lime. Muddler’s are handy for any cocktail featuring ingredients that need a pounding like fresh herbs or citrus wedges.
  • Citrus Peeler & Zester: adorn your craft cocktails with a thick citrus peel or finer ribbons of lime or lemon zest.
  • Rimmer: Bloody Mary and Caesar lovers should outfit their bar with a handy rimmer for salting and sugaring glassware.
The Boston Sour is a classic whiskey cocktail featuring frothy egg white foam.
The Boston Sour is a classic whiskey cocktail featuring frothy egg white foam.

You May Also Enjoy These Whiskey Cocktails…

You can prepare this Boston Sour recipe with Bourbon, Scotch or Irish Whiskey.
You can prepare this Boston Sour recipe with Bourbon, Scotch or Irish Whiskey.

Travel The World to Taste The Best Whiskey

There’s no better way to familiarize yourself with the best Boston Sour recipe then by planning a vacation to visit the world’s best whiskey distilleries.

Some of the world’s most famous whiskey/whisky distilleries can be found in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The booming whiskey trend has also produced a high demand for premium whiskey produced by distilleries in Canada and America.

We’ve visited a handful of whiskey distilleries in Europe as well as a chic whiskey cocktail bar at Multnomah Whiskey Library in Portland and Stranahans in Denver.

In Scotland we enjoyed a scenic road trip to the Isle of Islay, which is best known for its famous Islay Scotch whisky distilleries. If you’re looking to experience the best things to do on the Isle of Islay visit award-winning distilleries like Bruichladdich, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Ardbeg and Bowmore.

We also suggest sipping local Scottish whisky on the Isle of SkyeGlasgowEdinburgh and The Highlands. One of our favourite things to do in Edinburgh is the The Scotch Whisky Experience.

Fly over to Ireland and you’ll find plenty of fine whiskey produced by famous distilleries like Jamesons and Bushmills. There’s no better way to educate yourself about Irish Whiskey then by taking a tour of Jameson Distillery near Cork and Bushmills along the Causeway Coast. They’re both worth a day trip from Dublin.

Looking to plan the ultimate road trip of Canada to discover the best Canadian whisky?

Our favourite Canadian whiskies include Lot 40 from OntarioMasterson’s from AlbertaCaribou Crossing from QuebecGoodridge & Williams from British Columbia and Glenora from Nova Scotia.

We love serving a Boston Sour at cocktail hour with premium whisky.
We love serving a Boston Sour at cocktail hour with premium whisky.

Types of Whiskey

The wonderful world of whisky can be confusing for newbies as there is a lot more variety compared to vodka and gin.

Whisky is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash or by distilling beer. Various grains are used for different varieties, including barley, corn, rye, and wheat. Whisky is typically aged in wooden casks, generally made of charred white oak.

The best way to familiarize yourself with whiskey and find a new favourite is by sipping as many varieties as you can. You’ll find single malt whiskies, blended whiskies, single pot still whiskey and and everything in between.

Our Boston Sour recipe features premium whiskey and the flavour profile of the cocktail can be adjusted to suit your tastes based on whichever bottle you chose. Add a Bourbon to your cocktail shaker and you’ll enjoy a sweeter flavour. Or grab a bottle of Islay Scotch to experience peaty undertones.

  • Scotch: is made in Scotland with either malt or grain. The spirit must age in an oak barrel for at least three years. Many of the top Scotch bottles are revered for their peaty character. Popular Scotch brands include Johnnie Walker, Ballantine’s and Ardbeg.
  • Irish Whiskey: has a smoother flavor than other types of whiskey. It’s made from a mash of malt, can only be distilled using water and caramel coloring, and must be distilled in wooden casks for at least three years. Popular Irish whiskey brands include Jamesons, Bushmills and Green Spot.
  • Bourbon: An American-style whiskey, bourbon is made from corn. In fact, to be called bourbon whiskey, the spirit needs to be made from at least 51% corn, aged in a new oak barrel and produced in America. It has no minimum aging period and needs to be bottled at 80 proof or more. Popular Bourbon brands include Ezra Brooks, Wild Turkey and Maker’s Mark.
  • Canadian Whisky: must be barrel-aged for at least three years. It’s lighter and smoother than other types of whiskey because it contains a high percentage of corn. You will find that most Canadian whiskies are made from corn and rye, but can also include wheat and barley. Popular Canadian whisky brands include Canadian Club, JP Wiser’s and Wayne Gretzky Estates.
Now you're an expert on how to make an easy Boston Sour Cocktail recipe!
Now you’re an expert on how to make an easy Boston Sour Cocktail recipe!

How To Make A Classic Boston Sour Cocktail Recipe

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5 from 1 vote

Boston Sour Cocktail

How to make a Boston Sour. Our easy cocktail recipe features whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup & frothy egg white. Garnish with lemon peel and maraschino cherry.
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Boston Sour
Servings: 1
Calories: 209kcal


  • Jigger
  • Rocks glass
  • Cocktail Shaker


  • 2 oz Whiskey
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
  • 1 Egg White (1/2 oz)
  • Lemon Peel + Maraschino Cherry garnish


  • Add the whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white to a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds.
  • Add ice to the shaker and shake again for 30 seconds, until cold.
  • Strain the drink into a rocks glass and let the egg white foam collect at the top of the glass.
  • Serve with ice and garnish with a lemon peel and maraschino cherry.


Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 12.6g | Protein: 3.8g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 48mg | Potassium: 90mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.7g | Calcium: 7mg

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