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Here’s how to make a whiskey sour with egg white! The frothy foam topping is the cherry on top of this classic cocktail recipe.

Whiskey sour egg white
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When it comes to classic cocktails, there’s nothing quite like the whiskey sour. It’s sweet tart, with just enough pucker from the lemon balanced with simple syrup and a spicy bourbon finish. To take it to over the top status, in our opinion, you’ve gotta have that retro foam topping. Here’s how to make a Whiskey Sour Recipe with Egg White! This classic way to top drinks is perfectly safe and has been a tradition for hundreds of years. Your whiskey sour just got better.

Why add egg white to cocktails?

Egg whites in cocktails is an age old cocktail tradition. Bartenders have been adding egg whites to cocktails since the 1860’s. There are many classic egg white cocktails, from the Gin Fizz to the Pisco Sour. Why? Two things; an egg white adds:

  • Frothy texture to the surface of the drink, making it more fun to drink
  • A creamy rich flavor, making it taste more delicious

Is it safe to drink egg white cocktails?

Before we start: if you’re worried about the safety of raw egg whites in cocktails, don’t worry! The risk of salmonella is very low. In fact: melons, salad, and peanuts, have more of a threat for salmonella than eggs! Here’s how to safely store and use eggs to minimize risk (via Food & Wine).

Whiskey sour with egg white

Ingredients in a whiskey sour with egg white

The whiskey sour is an iconic drink that goes back centuries. The earliest mention of the drink was in the 1870’s! It’s on the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails, meaning it has an official definition. The IBA definition of a whiskey sour actually doesn’t include egg white, but it’s a well known addition to sour cocktails. (For example, the IBA definition of another famous sour, the pisco sour, includes egg white.)

When a whiskey sour recipe uses egg white, it’s also called a Boston Sour. Here’s what you need:

The trick to the egg white foam: dry shake!

How does an egg white turn into foam? It’s a technique called a dry shake. Here’s what to know:

  • Use the Dry Shake technique. Most cocktails are shaken with ice in a cocktail shaker. But in a whiskey sour with egg white, you’ll do what’s called a Dry Shake. That means you’ll shake the ingredients first without ice. Then you’ll add the ice and shake again. This results in a lovely white layer of foam on top.
  • There’s also a Reverse Dry Shake. Another technique gets even more foam: it’s called the Reverse Dry Shake. You shake the ingredients with ice first, then strain out the ice and shake again. This method gets it even more foamy. But we like the texture of the foam in a dry shake, and it’s most common for classic cocktails.
Whiskey sour with egg white

Variation: vegan whiskey sour with egg white

Is there a vegan egg white substitute in cocktails? Yes: aquafaba! Aquafaba is the liquid that’s inside a can of chickpeas. Because it’s so starchy, it works as a binder similar to an egg. Two tablespoons of aquafaba are equal to 1 egg white, so use that in this recipe as an egg white substitute. It makes for the same type of foam!

A few other variations: Whiskey Sour Mix, Whiskey Sour with Lime or Amaretto Whiskey Sour.

Best whiskey for a whiskey sour

What type of whiskey to use for a whiskey sour? You can use any type. Here’s a little breakdown on what we like best:

  • Bourbon: Our top pick! The sweet flavor of bourbon whiskey is ideal
  • Jameson Irish whiskey: Jameson is very mild and makes for an even more balanced drink (try the Jameson whiskey sour)
  • Rye whiskey: Rye whiskey has a spicy burn on the finish

Ready to make it? Scroll down to the recipe below, and let us know how it goes in the comments!

Whiskey sour recipe egg white

More egg white cocktails

So many other sour cocktails use the technique of an egg white foam topping! If you’re a sour fan like we are, here are a few more egg white cocktails to try:

When to serve a whiskey sour with egg white

The whiskey sour with egg white is a classy cocktail that works for anytime: especially to impress guests! It’s great for sipping as a:

  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Summer patio drink
  • Late night drinks drink
  • Guys or girls night drink
  • Cocktail hour drink
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Amaretto whiskey sour

Whiskey Sour with Egg White

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5 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


Here’s how to make a whiskey sour with egg white! The frothy foam topping is the cherry on top of this classic cocktail recipe. 


  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) whiskey (we prefer bourbon)
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce (1 ½ tablespoons) pure maple syrup (or simple syrup)
  • 1 egg white*
  • Garnish: Orange peel and a cocktail cherry
  • Ice, for serving (optional)


  1. Add the whiskey, lemon juice, syrup, and egg white to a cocktail shaker without ice. Shake for 15 seconds.
  2. Add ice to the cocktail shaker. Shake again for 30 seconds.
  3. Strain the drink into a glass; the foam will collect at the top. Serve with ice (optional), an orange peel and a cocktail cherry. 


*Substitute 2 tablespoons aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas) for a vegan variation.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Drinks Well With Others says:

    I am going to begin with I LOVE YOUR SITE! And I do enjoy the stories behind the drinks. I made this lovely whiskey sour last night (used bourbon as you suggested and syrup) and it was AMAZING! The husband was like this is very good. I have been in love with cocktails with an egg white but had no clue how they were made, now I feel like a crafting cocktail genius! THANK YOU BOTH!!! Making your corpse drink tonight…………….don’t judge!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Thank you!

  2. Robert Sullivan says:

    Lovely! Key to me was proper maple syrup. Thank you!

    1. BAW says:

      I have some pure maple syrup that a Canadian friend shipped to me. I was in the mood for a drink after work today and made this. Absolutely delightful and SO good! Certain drinks you see the presentation and think it’ll be hard to make, and the egg foam always made me assume this. This easily took 4 min., and was worth every second. Thank you!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have been feeling nostalgic and craving a whisky sour. Tried this recipe using bourbon and pure maple syrup. It is OMG good! It’s the best I’ve ever had, using fresh lemon blows the sour mix bars use away.

  4. Jennifer H says:

    I went to a restaurant recently and they had whiskey sour with egg foam top. I was curious if I could make it myself. Came across your website. Love the info and history. thank you for the recipe too. Came out delicious.

    Can’t wait to check out more of your posts

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Thank you!

  5. Sean says:

    This recipe is spot on and I love the inclusion of associated drinks including one of my all time favorites, the white lady.

  6. David Williams says:

    I wanted a recipe, not a life story!

    1. lous buthole says:

      facts ^