Naturally Sweetened Whiskey Sour

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

whiskey sour recipe

If you follow our blog, you know that we love to update classic recipes using naturally healthy ingredients. While we may not be able to label a favorite cocktail as a new health food, we can certainly make it more natural!The whiskey sour was introduced to our family by my step-father, Joe. If I remember correctly, the introduction may have included a favorite Indianapolis restaurant, a picture of Marilyn Monroe, and a few choice words… but that’s another story. Over the years, the drink has become the standard beverage for family get-togethers, and on a few sad occasions we’ve been short on sour mix when it was needed most!

So today, for Joe’s 50th birthday, I’ve worked out a tasty all-natural alternative to store-bought sour mix using honey and fresh lemon juice (something we always have on hand!). Maybe in time for his 60th I’ll have mastered the all-natural maraschino cherry…

How to make a whiskey sour

The whiskey sour ingredients are few and simple. To make a naturally-sweetened whiskey sour, you’ll need whiskey, lemon juice, honey, and water. (We’ve listed the exact measurements in tablespoons since Alex and I aren’t mixologists!) To make this easy cocktail recipe, you just have to mix or shake all the ingredients together until the honey has dissolved. Serve 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, but, again, we didn’t think the extra ingredient was needed.

easy whiskey sour recipe

Looking for more easy cocktail recipes?

This recipe is…



Naturally Sweetened Whiskey Sour

1 Star (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 1)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 minutes
  • Yield: 2 medium drinks
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Mixed
  • Cuisine: American


This easy whiskey sour recipe is naturally sweetened with honey 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 honey
  • 2 tablespoons water (more or less to taste)
  • Ice


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

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

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is an acclaimed vegetarian cookbook author and cook based in Indianapolis. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website 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 food 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:

    • 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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