Lemon and lime coktail ingredients pink background

New York Sour Recipe 

Sweet, sour, smooth and oh-so-satisfying, a classic New York Sour is definitely worth adding to your repertoire of showstopping cocktails.

Admittedly, it’s a kinda crazy combo of ingredients, but each one brings its own unique note to the overall taste experience. Smooth and smokey whiskey, bright and tangy lemon juice and sweet sugar syrup are blended together and topped with a rich and fruity red wine float.

It’s a visually stunning drink, and the incredible layers of flavour work together to create a truly memorable taste sensation.

3 Glasses of red wine on a grey table

What red wine is best for New York Sour?

A bold, complex, deep-flavoured red wine with a dry finish is the best choice for a New York Sour, as it will complement the whiskey and balance out the sweetness of the simple syrup. Most recipes will call for a Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec.

But we like to do things differently here at Tempus Two, so we’ve recommended our Tempus Two Copper GSM for this recipe. Rich, lush and opulent, our GSM is a blend of Grenache, Shiraz, and Mourvèdre grapes and has heady aromas of ripe berries and plum. It’s mouth-filling and rich with a velvet-like texture and coffee notes that flow to a chocolate-like finish. Excellent flavours for a New York Sour!

New York Sour Ingredients

  • 50ml whiskey or bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon simple sugar syrup
  • 2 tablespoons dry red wine e.g. Tempus Two Copper GSM
  • Ice cubes to fill the cocktail shaker
  • Strip of lemon zest to garnish​

​How to make a New York Sour

  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes and add the whiskey, lemon juice and sugar syrup.
  • Shake for 15 seconds.
  • Strain the mixture into a rocks or old-fashioned glass.
  • Very gently, pour the red wine over the back of a spoon held just above the cocktail’s surface, letting the wine float at the top of the glass.
  • Add lemon peel to the glass as a garnish.
  • Serve immediately.
New York Sour cocktail with a measuring jigger

Recipe variation

A popular twist on a classic New York Sour is to add an egg white to the mix. The egg white gives the cocktail a rich, creamy, frothy texture, balancing out the sour lemon and sweet syrup for a smoother taste. And, as an added bonus, the foam on top makes this killer cocktail look even more enticing.

To make this variation:

  • Add the egg white to your cocktail shaker along with the whiskey, lemon, juice and sugar syrup (without ice) and shake for 20 seconds.
  • Add ice and shake for another 15 seconds to cool down the mix.
  • Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
  • Carefully pour your red wine over a spoon to float over the surface of the cocktail.
  • Garnish with a lemon peel. Serve immediately.



What is the alcohol content of a New York Sour?

As delicious as it is, a New York Sour is definitely not for the faint-hearted. The combination of whiskey and wine makes it equal to two standard drinks per serve. So take the time to appreciate and savour this colourful cocktail.


New York Sour Mocktail (non-alcoholic version)

A non-alcoholic New York Sour can be made by replacing the whiskey and red wine with alcohol-free substitutes.

With more people choosing to moderate their alcohol intake in recent years, many beverage manufacturers have stepped up their alcohol-free offerings. Some truly fantastic spirit alternatives (including whiskey) are now available on the market.

And when it comes to non-alcoholic red wine, we have you covered! Our Tempus Two Zero range has all the flavours of your favourite wines without the booze content.

To make a New York Sour mocktail, we suggest you try Tempus Two Zero Red Blend. With its bold, ripe berry fruit flavours and subtle spicy vanilla oak, it’s the perfect alcohol-free wine replacement.

Looking to try your hand at some more mouth-watering cocktails featuring our wines and gins? Check out these recipes:


Whether it’s wine time or cocktail hour, Tempus Two has you covered.