Give a classic cocktail a seasonal twist with this delightful maple whiskey sour! Featuring a creamy, frothy topping and made with real maple syrup for a rich, decadent touch, this fall whiskey sour is perfect for sipping next to a roaring fire during those chilly months. Don't let autumn pass you by without making a batch of this maple cocktail — you'll love every delicious sip.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
That maple and whiskey pairing: Maple syrup and whiskey were made for each other. The maple syrup doesn’t just add sweetness but also a depth of flavor to make one whiskey sour unlike any other. Simple syrup just doesn’t match the flavor. I haven’t been able to stop making this drink all fall long whenever Friday night arrives, and I have no doubt you’ll feel the same after one sip.
Makes for a beautiful presentation: That lovely frothy topping gives any cocktail an extra special feel to bring an air of elegance to any occasion. How perfect would this drink be as your featured Thanksgiving cocktail? All the adults will love it.
Includes a batching option for easy entertaining: While you can certainly shake up a couple cocktails from scratch at a time, I also included an option for batching the cocktail base to make mixing as quick and simple as possible.
Whiskey: You’re welcome to use your favorite whiskey, but I’m especially partial to bourbon with this drink. Bourbon is a type of whiskey that’s aged in new charred-oak barrels and made from at least 51 percent corn for a sweeter flavor. The barrel aging process also adds lovely vanilla and caramel notes that are perfect with the maple syrup.
Tip: See this post on the best whiskey options for cocktails if you'd like some recommendations. I used Maker's Mark, but there are lots of whiskeys that work well here.
Maple syrup: We're using a natural sweetener for this drink, so make sure you use real maple syrup, not that fake pancake syrup. You’ll see maple syrup comes as grade A and grade B. I recommend getting grade A for just the right balance of richness and sweetness.
Lemon juice: Let’s use freshly squeezed lemon juice, not bottled juice. The flavor of bottled juice lacks the same brightness. We always want to take a few extra seconds to squeeze our citrus juice for any cocktail.
Egg white: If you’re new to egg white cocktails, this may sound funny, but this is the ingredient that gives us that frothy topping to make this drink extra special. It’s completely tasteless, so don’t worry about it adding an eggy flavor — it’s all about that luscious texture.
Orange bitters: The hint of orange is wonderful with the maple, but feel free to use standard angostura bitters if that’s what you have. You can also experiment and use other flavors, such as clove, ginger or walnut bitters.
Step 1: To prepare this maple whiskey sour recipe, we start by adding the whiskey, pure maple syrup, fresh lemon juice, an egg white and a few dashes of bitters to a cocktail shaker (photo 1).
Step 2: Now we put on the cocktail shaker top and shake for 30 seconds without ice. This is our dry shake, and it helps better develop our frothy topping (photo 2).
Step 3: After our dry shake, we now add fresh ice (photo 3) and shake again for at least one minute. As you can guess, this is our wet shake.
Step 4: For our final step, we strain the drink into our cocktail glass (photo 4). I like to add a lemon twist for a pretty garnish, though this is optional (photo 5).
Now let’s toast to one tasty fall cocktail and enjoy a night filled with good drinks and company. This is sure to be a new favorite cocktail recipe.
These are both classic whiskey cocktails, but an old fashioned only uses whiskey, bitters and a sweetener in the form of a sugar cube or simple syrup. The lemon juice gives the whiskey sour a pop of brightness, and the whiskey sour contains more sweetener.
Although you don’t have to use egg whites, you won’t get that nice foam on top if you eliminate this ingredient entirely. The drink is still delicious without the topping since the egg white doesn’t add flavor, but I believe you’ll find the froth makes for a nicer drinking experience.
That said, if you have dietary restrictions or feel uncomfortable using raw eggs, you’re welcome to swap a fresh egg white for aquafaba. This is the liquid in a can of chickpeas. Alternatively, Fee Brothers offers a foaming product that can take the place of an egg white.
To keep your hosting duties simple, you can stir together the whiskey, maple syrup, lemon juice and bitters in a pitcher and refrigerate for up to a day. When you’re ready to shake, you pour 4 ounces per drink of the whiskey mixture into a cocktail shaker and then follow the dry shake and wet shake directions with the egg white and ice.
Use a sour glass: A sour glass features a curved side to help bring that egg white topping right onto your tongue. If you don’t have sour glasses, a coupe glass, martini glass or even an old fashioned glass works.
Make sure your eggs are fresh and pasteurized with no cracks: We want to make sure our eggs are in good shape for safe drinking. It also helps to keep them in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
Chill your glassware before serving: Since a sour cocktail is traditionally served straight up without ice, a chilled glass adds a refreshing touch. To chill your glass, simply place it in the freezer 30 minutes before serving. If you forget, you can fill it with water and ice cubes while you mix the drink. Before straining, stir the water and ice for about 30 seconds, pour out the contents, and you have a chilled glass.
Use a mason jar for the dry shake: If you have a stainless steel cocktail shaker, it relies on ice to create a seal, so you have to be a little careful while shaking to keep the drink from leaking. A mason jar with a solid lid eliminates that problem, and you can then use a cocktail shaker for the wet shake. I find cocktail shakers with a rubber lining don't have the same problem as stainless steel shakers.
Give it a spice kick: For extra warmth, add a pinch of ground cinnamon and garnish with a cinnamon stick. A sprig of rosemary also makes a pretty garnish for the holiday season.
You’ll especially love this maple whiskey sour with my smoked duck served with a spiced pomegranate glaze. Duck is a rich, gamey meat that works nicely with the bold whiskey and maple syrup.
If duck isn’t your favorite, try this drink with my maple-braised turkey legs and thighs. Like duck, dark meat complements the whiskey’s spice notes.
Or maybe you'd like to turn this into a dessert cocktail. I can't think of a better match than my bourbon-maple pumpkin pie.
For the perfect warming fall drink, I hope you try this maple whiskey sour. You’ll love this holiday twist on a classic whiskey sour.
Enjoy More Sour Cocktails
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Maple Whiskey Sour
- Cocktail shaker
- Handheld citrus juicer
- Jigger or small measuring cup
- 2 ounces whiskey
- 1 ounce real maple syrup
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 egg white
- Few dashes orange bitters
- Lemon twist for garnish, optional
- Add whiskey, maple syrup, lemon juice, egg white and orange bitters to a cocktail shaker with no ice.
- Put on the top and shake for 30 seconds. This is our dry shake.
- Remove the top and add a handful of ice. Put the top back on and shake again for at least one minute to develop the frothy topping. This is our wet shake.
- Strain into a chilled glass. If desired, garnish with a lemon twist. Enjoy!
- If you have dietary restrictions or feel uncomfortable using raw eggs, swap a fresh egg white for 2 tablespoons aquafaba. This is the liquid in a can of chickpeas. Alternatively, Fee Brothers offers a frothing product that can take the place of an egg white.
- If you have a stainless steel cocktail shaker, it relies on ice to create a seal, so you have to be a little careful while shaking to keep the drink from leaking. A mason jar with a solid lid eliminates that problem, and you can then use a cocktail shaker for the wet shake. I find cocktail shakers with a rubber lining don't have the same problem and stainless shakers.
- Since a sour cocktail is traditionally served straight up without ice, a chilled glass adds a refreshing touch. To chill your glass, simply place it in the freezer 30 minutes before serving. If you forget, you can fill it with water and ice cubes while you mix the drink. Before straining, stir the water and ice for about 30 seconds, pour out the content, and you have a chilled glass.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.