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New York Sour Cocktail Recipe

Looking for an elegant, colorful variation on the Whiskey Sour? Try the New York Sour. 

It has the same tart, tangy finish but is lovely and festive. And a little sweeter. 

New York Sour Cocktail Recipe featuring New York Sour Cocktail with Wine on the Rocks- close up
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The New York Sour comes together quickly with only a handful of ingredients. And despite its multi-hued, layered appearance, it’s easy to make. 

You’ll have it ready in no time, as long as you have a cocktail shaker and can pour carefully. 

It’s ideal for relaxing after a long day or whipping up a batch for a party. Whatever you have in mind, the New York Sour is perfect. 

What Is a New York Sour? 

A New York Sour is a colorful, delicious twist on the traditional Whiskey Sour. It includes many of the same ingredients as the original. 

However, unlike the Whiskey Sour, a New York Sour also features red wine on top. Pour the red wine over a spoon so it has a layered appearance.

It’s an elegant cocktail with a sweet and sour flavor and many colors in the glass. 

Icy New York Sour Cocktail in a Glass on a Wooden Table


Some New York Sour recipes require as few as four ingredients. 

For this one, you’ll need six (if you count the ice): 

  • Whiskey- I make my Sour cocktails with bourbon, but rye whiskey is another good choice. Select a high-quality brand whose flavor you know you enjoy. The whiskey isn’t the most potent flavor of the drink. But it shines through nicely. For more info on both choices, check out my article on the differences between rye and bourbon
  • Lemon Juice- Avoid bottled lemon juice unless you have no other option. Fresh lemon always provides the best flavor. If you must use bottled lemon juice, ensure it’s 100% pure. 
  • Simple Syrup- Make your own by boiling equal parts sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. Or buy it at the liquor store. 
  • Egg White- To ensure food safety, opt for pasteurized egg whites. They’re typically available in cartons alongside regular eggs at grocery stores.
  • Red Wine- A dry, full-bodied red wine works best. It complements the rich flavors of the whiskey and the tartness of the lemon.
  • Ice- Remember to dry-shake the cocktail with the egg white before adding your ice cubes to the shaker. 
Two Glasses of New York Sour on Wooden Table

How to Make a New York Sour 

Follow these steps to make a classic New York Sour: 

1. Combine. Pour the whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white into a cocktail shaker. 

2. Dry shake. Shake the cocktail shaker without ice for about 30 seconds to make the egg frothy and foamy. 

3. Add ice and shake again. Toss some ice cubes into your cocktail shaker and shake again. Shake for 15 to 20 seconds or until the shaker is cold. 

4. Strain. Pour the cocktail into a glass without ice. 

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5. Add the wine. This step is the trickiest one, though it still isn’t difficult. 

Make sure you pour gently and over the back of a spoon. Doing so will cause the wine to float on the drink instead of mixing into it. 

Then, serve and enjoy! 

Make the Best Egg White Foam with a Dry Shake! 

Dry shaking means shaking the ingredients in the shaker before adding ice. 

It’s the best (and easiest) way to ensure you get the lovely foam on top. 

It works by giving the egg white time to break down its proteins. (If you add ice to the shaker during this stage, the water from the cubes will dilute the egg white.)

Remember, you’ll still need to shake the cocktail with ice to chill it. 

Just make sure you give it a vigorous dry shake first. It only takes about 30 seconds. 

New York Sour Cocktail with Bourbon Garnished with Lemon Peel on a Wooden Table, Cocktail Shaker in the Background

Tips and Tricks

Keep these tips and tricks in mind when mixing your New York Sour: 

  • Adjust the sweetness. Tweak the simple syrup amount to suit your taste preferences. Some might prefer their New York Sour a touch sweeter or tangier.
  • Chill your glass. Want to ensure your New York Sour stays cold for as long as possible? Chill the glass ahead of time. Pop it in the freezer for several minutes, or fill it with ice water before adding the cocktail. 
  • Don’t rush when pouring the wine. I’ve probably overused the phrase “pour gently” throughout this article, but it is vital. Do it slowly and carefully. Otherwise, the wine will sink into the drink instead of sitting on top. 
  • Choose a wine that suits your tastes. If you don’t like a lot of sweetness, opt for a dry red wine. If you DO want sweetness, select a fruitier one. 
  • Leave out the egg white. If you or your party guests are vegan, leave out the egg white. It won’t have much impact on the drink’s flavor. It’s more of a texture/appearance thing. You can also try substituting aquafaba as a vegan option to give you the same look. 
  • Add a garnish. While garnishes aren’t necessary for this drink, they still look nice. Try a lemon twist or a skewer with a few fresh berries. 

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New York Sour Cocktail Recipe




The New York Sour is a sophisticated cocktail classic. It features red wine, simple syrup, egg white, lemon, & whiskey . Each sip is sweet, fruity, & smoky.


  • 2 ounces rye whiskey or bourbon

  • 1 ounce lemon juice

  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup

  • 1 egg white (optional)

  • Ice

  • 1/2 ounce red wine


  • Combine rye whiskey or bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white in a cocktail shaker. Dry shake (without ice) for 30 seconds to emulsify the egg white.
  • Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously until the cocktail is well-chilled. (About 20 seconds.)
  • Strain the mixture into a rocks or old-fashioned glass filled with fresh ice.
  • Gently pour the red wine over the back of a spoon so it floats atop the drink, creating a distinct layer.
  • Serve and enjoy!
New York Sour

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author avatar
NaTaya Hastings
NaTaya Hastings is a food and recipe writer for Insanely Good Recipes. She’s an educator, boy mom, dog mom, and whatever-stray-enters-the-yard mom. As a result, she's constantly cooking for both humans and animals.

Luckily, she enjoys it!

Though born, raised, and still living in Alabama, her specialty is NOT down-home Southern cooking. Instead, she loves to experiment with Asian, Mexican, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. She has two mottos when it comes to cooking. “The more spice, the better!” and “There’s no such thing as too much garlic!”

She’s also pretty good with desserts. Especially the easy, no-bake ones.

Her favorite things are cuddling with her four giant dogs, traveling, reading, writing, and hanging out in nature. She’s also pretty excellent at Dominoes.

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