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This whiskey sour with lime is a tasty spin on the classic cocktail! Ginger and lime add a spicy, zingy finish to this easy drink.

Whiskey sour with lime
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Looking for a spin on everyone’s favorite drink? Try this Whiskey Sour with Lime! This classic cocktail gets a zingy makeover with lime and ginger, which add a spicy finish to each sip. Perhaps you’re looking for a substitute for lemon, or maybe you just want to go for something new. Either way, you’ll love this refreshingly easy drink! We’ve been making our fan favorite whiskey sour for years, and this new take on the old favorite. Here’s how to make it!

Ingredients for a whiskey sour with lime

The whiskey sour is a classic sour cocktail that been around for hundreds of years. In fact, the first mention of the drink was in 1870! The famous combination of lemon, simple syrup and whiskey went on to be one of the most popular cocktails…ever. It’s even on the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails, meaning it has an official definition. In this spin, you’ll swap out the lemon juice in favor of lime:

  • Whiskey: as high quality as possible (we like bourbon, but you can use any type)
  • Lime juice
  • Simple syrup (or maple syrup)
  • Fresh ginger root, optional
  • Cocktail bitters, optional

Is lime as good as lemon?

Is lime as good as lemon in a whiskey sour? OK, we’ll be honest with you: Not quite. In our opinion, the best sour is made with the smoother flavor of lemon versus the zing of lime. The best classic sour drinks are all made with lemon: the Amaretto SourPisco SourTequila Sour,  Gin Sour, or Vodka Sour. We prefer saving our limes to make margaritas!

But that said: a whiskey sour with lime is still delicious! It’s a different experience, but it’s still very delicious. Plus: you can be the judge! Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Whiskey sour with lime

Best whiskey for a sour

You can use any type of whiskey for this drink. As noted above, find the best quality bottle you can! A drink is only as good as the liquor. Usually a mid-priced bottle corresponds to a decent quality whiskey. In terms of whiskey type, here are our top picks:

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

How to make a whiskey sour with lime

It’s easy to make a Boston sour: even the foam topping it easy once you know how to do it! Here’s what to do:

  1. Muddle the ginger: If you’re using fresh ginger root, cut off a slice of the root and muddle it in a cocktail shaker. It’s optional, but it adds a nice spicy note to this drink!
  2. Shake: Add the lime juice, simple syrup, and whiskey to the cocktail shaker. Add a handful of ice and shake until cold.
  3. Strain: Strain it into a glass. If you’d like, add a few dashes of cocktail bitters: they help to make an even more intriguing, nuanced flavor! Garnish with a cherry for the classic look.
whiskey sour with lime

Step it up with clear ice

How to take a whiskey sour with lime over the top? Make it with clear ice! Clear ice is ice that is crystal clear instead of cloudy, like ice made in an ice tray. It makes cocktails look like you got them in a fancy bar! It’s very easy to make clear ice: all you need is 24 hours and a small cooler. Here’s How to Make Clear Ice.

More whiskey sour variations

Try them all! There are lots of whiskey sour variations to try:

When to serve a whiskey sour with lime

A whiskey sour with lime works for anytime: especially when you’re looking for a substitute for lemon in cocktails! While we love our

  • 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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Whiskey Sour with Lime

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

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


This whiskey sour with lime is a tasty spin on the classic cocktail! Ginger and lime add a spicy, zingy finish to this easy drink.


  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) bourbon whiskey
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) simple syrup
  • 1 slice fresh ginger root (optional)
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • Garnish: cocktail cherry, lime wedge or peel
  • Ice, for serving (try clear ice)


  1. Add the fresh ginger slice to the cocktail shaker and muddle to release juices (optional). Add the remaining ingredients to the shaker, add a few handfuls of ice, and shake until very cold.
  2. Strain the drink into a lowball or Old Fashioned glass. Serve with ice, a lime peel and a cocktail cherry. 
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

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. David S says:

    Overall a solid recipe, great balance of sweet, sour, and whisky flavors and a nice hint of orange to round it all out. I found that 1 lime juiced is roughly 1 ounce / 2 tbsp which is perfect for this recipe

  2. Desha Dunnahoe says:

    Loved it! Had some very tasty fresh lime juice i needed to use up so i tried this recipe – it’s a keeper!