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11 variations on a classic whisky sour cocktail

wild sour aspect ratio 16 9

The whisky sour is a timeless classic. For over 150 years, this cocktail staple has populated every decent bar menu and every whisky lovers’ repertoire. Its sweet and sour freshness is just too good.

But sometimes a little twist on something traditional can be a lotta fun. We love staying true to the original recipe, but we also love doing things our own way.

Here we share our favourite whisky sour variations for when you’re in the mood for trying something new.

1. Passion fruit sour

Hosting pals for cocktail hour? We got you. The passion fruit whisky sour is a game-changing drink that tastes as tropical as it looks. And it only takes two minutes to shake together. 

The sharp, sweet tang of passion fruit purée is the star of the show, with extra zest from fresh lime juice. Add in Ballantine’s 12 Year Old whisky and you’ve got yourself a seriously impressive drink.

Passion Fruit Sour

A fruity and exotic twist on a classic puts this cocktail into the fancy-party league. Mix it up if you’re aiming to impress.


2. Maple syrup whisky sour

Maple syrup and whisky are a match made in heaven. The vanilla-caramel flavour of the syrup pairs perfectly with the smooth, spiced finish of scotch whisky. So naturally, a maple whisky sour is a must-try variation on this classic cocktail. 

Simply swap sugar syrup for maple syrup using our go-to whisky sour recipe

3. Lychee sour

If you like your drinks a little more fruity, then the lychee sour is a cocktail you’ll want in your books. Inspired by flavours of the east, it’s fruity, zesty and simple to make. 

All you need to do is pick an impressive origin story… A drink you discovered in downtown Shanghai? A verbal recipe passed on by new friends in Thailand? Or did you make it up yourself? We’ll let you take credit for this one.

Lychee Sour

Fruity, zesty and takes less than 2 minutes to pour out a round. Shake up this eastern delight for some extra host points at your next party.


4. Honey and lemon whisky sour

Otherwise known as a Gold Rush, this sweet and soothing whisky sour is perfect for cosy nights by the fire. It’s also a close relation of the Hot Toddy, a famously comforting cocktail that’s so packed with warmth and goodness it can cure a winter cold… apparently.

Swap sugar for sweet honey, and add a dash more lemon juice to make this whisky sour variation. 


5. Cherry whisky sour

A seriously fruity variation of the classic whisky sour, this recipe calls for all things sweet and juicy. The clue’s in the name. Cherry, sugar and more cherries are the main event of the cherry whisky sour. Plus a generous glug of Ballantine’s Wild, our newest flavoured blend that bursts with sweet, tart flavour of – you guessed it – cherry.

Whip out a round next time you wanna impress your guests, or treat yourself to a big night in. It’s a guaranteed hit.

Cherry Whisky Sour

Class up the cocktails at your next big night in with this fruity twist on a much-loved classic; the cherry whisky sour.


6. Rosemary whisky sour

Herbs have long been a favourite garnish for fancy cocktails – but they also bring a serious freshness when mixed in with the liquid ingredients.

We love this herbaceous twist on a classic whisky sour. The addition of aromatic rosemary syrup goes beautifully with the lemon and scotch – a seriously good drink for adult-only picnics. 

Make your own syrup by infusing bashed rosemary sprigs in sugar and water on the stove. Bonus points if they’re picked from your own backyard – but we won’t tell if they’re not.


7. New True sour

This one’s a festive take on the New York sour; essentially a whisky sour with the addition of vino. A layer of frothy egg white tops a red wine float, making a seriously seasonal cocktail for all your yuletide celebrations.

We add a spiced pear syrup into ours for a bit of something sweet. It takes a few minutes to make, but boy is it delicious (plus you keep it for 4 weeks in the fridge for drizzling over ice cream, pudding or well, more sour cocktails).

New York Sour

This spiced seasonal whisky cocktail is our answer to the New York Sour.


8. Cranberry orange whisky sour

Now this one’s a little seasonal. The cranberry orange whisky sour is the perfect addition to a holiday menu, complete with a topping of ginger beer for an extra fiery fizz.

Top yours with fresh cranberries or orange slices for a festive garnish.



Need some pep in your step? Our sweet honey take on a classic Whisky Sour is guaranteed to invigorate and restore. Simply swap sugar syrup for honey and you’ve got yourself a Honey Whisky Sour. And if you’re feeling the chill, add around 150ml of hot water to create a hot honey cocktail that’s the ideal companion on winter nights.



The iconic Whisky Sour is naturally sweet and sour. So why not add in some spice into the mix. We use RZA Presents: Ballantine’s x Flying Goose Sriracha Sauce to bring the heat. The sweet and sour flavours complement the cocktail’s classic taste. Just a few drops and you’ve got yourself a Spicy Whisky Sour that’ll be a talking point among friends.



An easy way to add something new to your normal Whisky Sour recipe is to try it with pomegranate juice. Pomegranate’s tart and subtly sweet flavour, plus it’s tempting ruby red colour, make it a great addition to the classic cocktail. Our Pomegranate Whisky Sour uses Ballantine’s 7 America Barrel. The soft fruity and caramel flavours in this deep golden scotch are truly divine with tangy pomegranate juice.

Looking for more cocktail inspiration? Discover our favourite sweet and sour cocktail recipes or if spice is more your thing, check out our shortlist of cinnamon whisky drinks.

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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.