Skip to main content

We're sorry won't work in this browser

Try the Edge browser

Sweet and Sour: 5 recipes that will have you thinking cocktails rather than takeaways


ballantines the worlds second best selling whisky

Be it in a cocktail or in a takeaway, we love a good sweet and sour flavour profile here at Ballantine’s. While food isn’t exactly our area of expertise, cocktails on the other hand, are. We’re talking about those sharp, fresh drinks that jump on your palate the second the glass touches the lips, but have a hint of sweetness to mellow it out into a smooth, sightly sophisticated tipple. 

Whisky is often paired alongside this kind of cocktail character, providing those luscious, malty notes to rebalance the weighing scales slightly, and there’s no better than Ballantine’s to bring the depth of flavour and complexity to make the perfect sweet and sour cocktail. Be it in a super classic recipe, or something a little bit more experimental, we’re here to convince you of your next drink choice. Check out these 5 sweet and sour cocktail recipes to get you in the mood:

Whisky Sour

Starting with the ultimate classic sour cocktail – the Whisky Sour

While we love a trendy drink as much as the next person, the whisky sour is a perfect example of a timeless cocktail that will never go out of style – 150 years of steady popularity vouches for that!

This is a sweet and sour cocktail that looks at home at the coolest new bar, on your dining table during a casual get together with friends, or being sipped by a veteran whisky drinker in a local watering hole. The whisky sour doesn’t discriminate, it looks great on everyone.

Our version uses 50ml of Ballantine’s Finest, 25ml lemon juice, 12.5ml of sugar syrup for that sweetness injection, 12.5ml of egg white, 2 dashes of Angostura bitters and ice.

The addition of egg white is commonly seen in vintage cocktails and gives that luxurious fluffy foamy top. We know it may seem weird, but seriously – give it a go.

Make sure the iconic whisky sour is top of your list of sweet and sour cocktail recipes to try.

ballantines finest whisky sour

Whisky Sour

This cocktail is 150 years old, yet you’ll still find it in the trendiest bars. Give it a go with your favourite Ballantine’s!


New York Sour

It’s no surprise that the popularity of the whisky sour has led to countless variations. One of the most well known is the New York sour.

In a nutshell, the New York sour is a whisky sour with the addition of around 20ml of red wine. This provides a beautiful hit of vibrant colour – the red wine will bleed elegantly into the yellow of the whisky sour and add another dimension to your cocktail repertoire, but keep that classic foamy top. 

Your friends will think you’re a sour cocktail making maestro, but in reality – it’s a pretty simple cocktail recipe to learn.

Stick with our classic whisky sour method, then carefully pour the red wine of your choice on top and allow to settle for a minute or so. That’s it!

Ballantine’s & Grapefruit

Next up is a super easy whisky mixer, as we appreciate that sometimes you want a delicious sour cocktail without having to get the shaker out.

Grapefruit is one of the most tart citrus fruits out there. It’s fresh, sour and refreshing, making it a fantastic flavour to accompany the rich honey aromas and subtly sweet flavour profile of Ballantine’s Finest.

Here we are using pink grapefruit soda for our sweet and sour element, which if hard to find, can easily be replaced by your own concoction of grapefruit juice, soda water and sugar syrup (to your taste).

Remember to garnish with a juicy wedge of fresh grapefruit for fruity finesse.


Whisky & Grapefruit

One sip of this, and you’ll be seeing a lot more of Grapefruit in your cocktail rotation, we promise.


Wild Sour

Here we are mixing things up slightly, cherry is a popular flavour in sweet and sour cocktail mixes, and so we had to incorporate this delicious red fruit into our own whisky cocktail.

The Wild Sour breaks the mould by opting for 40ml Ballantine’s Wild as the alcohol of choice. This unique spirit drink is brimming with the fruity flavours of juicy ripe cherries and provides a powerful flavour hit that shines in any cocktail, not least paired with the sour additions in this particular beverage.

In our Wild Sour, we opt for 30ml lime juice, 20ml cherry syrup, 5ml of sugar syrup and fresh cherries for garnish. 

The sharp lime juice cuts through the sweetness of the cherry flavours, and the end result is a complex but balanced flavour profile that fits with the sweet and sour combo we all know and love.

wild sour aspect ratio 16 9

Pisco Sour

The Pisco Sour is another iconic sweet and sour cocktail with a long history. 

This fruity and tart beverage originated in Peru, and the version we are familiar with today is thought to have been developed in Lima during the roaring twenties. Pisco Sours do indeed have the trademark vintage foamy top, as many cocktails from the 1920s do.

25ml Pisco is traditionally the liquor of choice (unsurprisingly) in this sour cocktail. It’s a Chilean brandy made from distilled grape juice. 

The Pisco, along with a generous squeeze of lime juice, sugar syrup and egg white and ice are added to a cocktail shaker and given the ‘Hey ya!’ Outkast treatment. Strain into your favourite glass before adding a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters and a lime wedge garnish.

Like we said, while we love and respect the classics, we like to do something slightly more experimental at Ballantine’s, so why not switch it up and and try it with whisky rather than Pisco? Some may think we’re crazy, but we’re okay with that. There are no rules at the Ballantine’s bar.

ballantines finest people drinking aspect ratio 16 9

That brings us to the end of our five best sweet and sour cocktail recipes, ranging from traditional tipples to contemporary creations, so the next time you’re craving the sweet and sour experience, don’t think takeaway, think Ballantine’s.


If it’s the sweet or the sour that has tickled your tastebuds or if you’re now just craving snacks, take a look at our collection of whisky drinks to see what other cocktails you can create including top whisky mixers and dessert cocktails.

ballantines finest stay berry whisky pitcher drink

12 fruity whisky drinks for the citrus and berry lovers

Whether you’re into tangy citrus, bursting berries or more tropical produce, there’s a cocktail recipe for you. So get juicing and shake up our shortlist of the best fruity whisky drinks.

Wild Whisky and Pink Tonic Recipe

Sweeten up cocktail hour with these cherry whisky drinks

Add a little tartness to your tipple with our favourite cherry whisky drinks. From whisky sours to sweet fizzy serves, we’ve got plenty of recipes to try.

ballantines finest scotch whisky blog news page


You already know we’ve nailed the Finest Whisky to ever grace a glass. But that’s just a little drop of what we’re about. Scroll on for the latest news and features from across the world of Ballantine’s whisky, True Music and much, much more.