Favorite Whiskey Sour Recipe

This easy whiskey sour recipe is naturally sweet and takes mere minutes to make. Garnish with an orange slice or enjoy as is. 

whiskey sour recipe

Here at A Couple Cooks, Alex and I love to make classic recipes using healthy, whole food ingredients. So why can’t that extend to cocktails, too? While we may not be able to call cocktail recipes a health food (sorry), we can make them naturally sweet using natural sweeteners! This whiskey sour uses maple syrup for the sweetener instead of simple syrup: and man, is it tasty! It’s become a family favorite recipe — you’ll see it often at our family gatherings! Keep reading for this whiskey sour recipe, and how it came to be.

The inspiration for this whiskey sour recipe

So, are you a whiskey sour fan? I wasn’t, until the whiskey sour was introduced to our family by Alex’s step-father, Joe. Joe is 1,000% passionate about whiskey sours: it’s his drink of choice. When he’s entertaining, it’s normal for Joe to ask, “Want a a whiskey sour?” So of course over the years, this drink has become the standard for festive family get-togethers.

In honor of Joe’s 50th birthday, we created this an all natural whiskey sour recipe as an alternative to the store-bought whiskey sour mix he usually buys. This whiskey sour uses maple syrup and fresh lemon juice. While that might sound dubious, it truly makes for our best whiskey sour recipe! Joe started serving it all the time, and it was a hit with cousins, brothers, sisters, aunts, and uncle alike.

Now when our family gets together, you’ll see a big jug of maple syrup and a ton of lemons on the counter! Want to try out our family recipe?

easy whiskey sour recipe

Whiskey sour ingredients

The ingredients for this whiskey sour recipe are few and simple. To make a whiskey sour with no refined sugar, you’ll need the following:

  • Whiskey (as high quality as possible)
  • Lemon juice
  • Maple syrup
  • Water

Simply mix them up and you’re good to go! We’ve listed the measurements in the whiskey sour recipe below: they’re in tablespoons instead of ounces to make it easy for family cooking. Just mix or shake all the ingredients together until the maple has dissolved. (For vegan, you can substitute maple syrup.) Serve it over lots of ice and enjoy!

Whiskey sours are traditionally served with a slice or orange and a maraschino cherry, but this drink tastes just as good without the extra ingredients. You can also add an egg white to your drink to make it a Boston Sour!

Whiskey sour mix

Let’s say you’re looking for a whiskey sour mix, but you don’t want to get one of those store bought containers with lots of sugar. You can definitely use this recipe as a whiskey sour mix! Simply mix up a big batch of the maple water and lemon — remember that it’s equal parts of each! Then measure out 6 tablespoons to mix with 3 tablespoons whiskey. It’s that simple!

Let us know if you make this whiskey sour recipe in the comments below! It’s become a fan favorite and a family favorite alike.

Looking for more easy cocktail recipes?

Outside of this whiskey sour recipe, here are a few of our favorite cocktail recipes:

Looking for other drink recipes?

And a few more popular drink recipes over here:

This whiskey sour recipe is…

This whiskey sour is vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, naturally sweet, and refined sugar free.


Whiskey Sour Recipe

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (13 votes, average: 4.85 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 minutes
  • Yield: 2 medium drinks 1x


This easy whiskey sour recipe is naturally sweet and takes mere minutes to make. Garnish with an orange slice or enjoy as is.



  • 3 tablespoons whiskey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (or honey or simple syrup)
  • 2 tablespoons water (more or less to taste)
  • Ice


  1. Juice the lemon. Mix the whiskey, lemon juice, maple syrup, and water.
  2. Stir or shake until the maple is dissolved. Serve over lots of ice. Adjust whiskey to taste.

  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Mixed
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: whiskey sour, whiskey sour recipe, how to make a whiskey sour

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    June 7, 2012 at 4:55 am

    Wow, that first shot is stunning! Really stopped me in my tracks (and made me crave a whiskey sour…)

    Love the natural ingredients in this.

    • Reply
      June 7, 2012 at 8:06 am

      Thanks! I figured there had to be some way they made whiskey sours before HFCS was invented…

  • Reply
    Melissa // thefauxmartha
    June 7, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Oh my beautiful! Awesome shot!

  • Reply
    June 7, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Definitely your best photo of all time :) I think Ben might even need a print of that one for his office…

    • Reply
      June 7, 2012 at 8:07 am

      Haha! Thanks. I think winkflash is having a canvas sale this week… :)

  • Reply
    June 7, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Alex, oh Alex.

    How long have you know me? I had hair then, so it’s been a while. I hate to publically correct you, but son, you have NEVER been more wrong.

    Have you seen my glass? THIS WILL ONLY MAKE 1 drink–NOT 2!!

    I can’t wait to taste the Alex/Sonja version of my favorite drink. You better double the recipe if I have to share. Thank you!

    Joe ” regarding Marilyn, once a H%+, always a H%+” the evil stepfather.

    • Reply
      June 7, 2012 at 10:23 am

      Haha! I was worried that if I made the portions Joe-sized, the readers would start acting like you…

      p.s. Tastes best with Preble Twp’s own Rekeweg Honey.

  • Reply
    Kris Mullen @munchin with munchkin
    June 7, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Incredible shot! This recipe reminds me of a cold hot toddy. I love that you used natural ingredients to sweeten it!

    • Reply
      June 23, 2012 at 4:47 pm

      Thank you! And, I love the thought of a cold hot toddy – haha! If that’s not already a drink, someone should bring that back :)

  • Reply
    June 7, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Love that you used honey to sweeten the whiskey sour! Great idea :)

  • Reply
    Cousin Dan
    June 7, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Holy cow…that photo is amazing. Looks like it is right out of a magazine add! Way to go. Drink looks tasty, too. Think I might have to pick up some honey on the way home.

    • Reply
      Aunt Wendy
      June 8, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      What an amazing photo!! You two are simply awesome :) Joe may need some more honey and less whiskey though…….

  • Reply
    Farmer's City Wife
    June 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I’m not much of a whiskey fan (except with Coke) but had to see the recipe just to get a closer look at the picture. It’s awesome!
    I think I’ll be plunking glasses of lemonade on our table to get a similar shot :).

  • Reply
    June 7, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    The shot is stunning! Almost want to try whiskey! Meaah…

  • Reply
    June 7, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    What an amazing picture!!!!! And I love this updated classic recipe!

  • Reply
    Julia {The Roasted Root}
    June 7, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Whisky sour has always been one of my favorite drinks! Love that your version is zesty and naturally sweetened. Great flavor and your pictures are gorgeous!

  • Reply
    June 7, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Um, to repeat: Amazing photo! I agree with Joe even though I’ve never seen his glass!

    Yay for me having everything I need for one of these in my kitchen and at 5:30 I’m going to concoct one! Thanks!

  • Reply
    Chez Us
    June 7, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Great photo! We, too, love a good whiskey sour and nothing compares to making your own sour mix. We started making it last year, after a friend reintroduced us to the drink. Will never go back. Cheers!

  • Reply
    Krissy's Creations
    June 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    What a wonderful photo! You should sell it! I know I definitely would like that up on my wall :)

    • Reply
      June 23, 2012 at 4:45 pm

      Haha, well now you’ve got us thinking! We’ll let you know :)

  • Reply
    June 7, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    I was JUST thinking on my way to work today (don’t ask) that I would like to try a whiskey sour that isn’t made with nasty sour mix from a bottle. Yum. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Jennifer (Delicieux)
    June 7, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    That first image is amazing!!! I also love your update to this classic recipe. My fiance is a huge fan of whiskey sours, so I will have to try your updated version on him.

  • Reply
    Shawn @ I Wash...You Dry
    June 7, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    I’m not a drinker, but that first picture is sure amazing! I saw it on FoodGawker, and had to come check it out! Very nice!

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 8:01 am

    That is a damn good shot!

  • Reply
    Tammy D
    June 10, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    You want to talk pretty drinks with a hint of nature, check this out: http://blondegourmand.com/lavender-vodka-tonic/#

    • Reply
      June 10, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      Looks awesome, and I have some lavender blooming in the garden right now!

  • Reply
    June 10, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Wow! First of, I LOVE the pictures! I also like the idea of using honey to sweeten the cocktail. Another option (all natural and tasty) would be to use Organic Maple Syrup (which I ofter use as a sweetener: it is healthier and gives a delicious taste to recipes). (I not it is hard to find but I get mine online with Rouge Maple)

    • Reply
      June 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm

      Thanks! Sounds like a great idea – I’ve never thought of adding maple syrup. Thanks for the idea!

  • Reply
    June 11, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    I reeeeallly love these photos. Awesome job.

  • Reply
    Miranda @ Biting Life
    June 15, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Wow, that photo is AMAZING! One of the best blog photos I’ve ever seen (probably THE best!).

    • Reply
      June 19, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      Wow, thank you! Makes all those times of dropping the ice cube worth it :)

  • Reply
    June 17, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Just repeating everyone else, but WOW what amazing photos!

    • Reply
      June 17, 2012 at 9:53 pm

      Haha, thank you! And thanks everyone else!

  • Reply
    November 5, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    SO,I doubt you’ve heard this before but, “how ’bout that shot’?? Sweet.!Made the recipe, I prefer shaken to stirred but makes difficult with ice…drinking anyhow!

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