Maple Whiskey Sour - Chef Abbie Gellman MS, RD, CDN

Maple Whiskey Sour

Chef Abbie Gellman RD

The Maple Whiskey Sour is my twist on a classic and essential cocktail.  The robust flavor of maple syrup cuts the sour lemon and compliments the smoky whiskey or bourbon.  It is fancy enough to feel like you are having a night out from the comfort of your own home!

An Essential Cocktail with a Fall Twist!

Sour cocktails come in many flavors and looks, and can be made with just about every type of alcohol from gin and vodka to tequila and whiskey.  The common ingredient is most certainly the sour, typically a citrus.  Some of the all-star’s in this cocktail category include margaritas, sidecars, cosmopolitans and of course a whiskey sour!  The great thing about my Maple Whiskey Sour is that it is only 3 ingredients, which you probably already have. No need to make a simple syrup or buy any obscure liqueurs.

Just like the food I cook, I want my drinks to go with the season, so I made this Fall inspired Maple Whiskey Sour! The ratio of ingredients is typically 2:1:1­­––2 parts whiskey/bourbon, 1 part sweetener (maple syrup) and 1 part sour (lemon juice).  The maple syrup lends a caramelized and burnt sugar taste that pairs so nicely with the whiskey.  For the lemon I definitely recommend fresh squeezed, but use what you got!

Whiskey vs Bourbon–What is the Difference?!1–3

Both whiskey and bourbon are a dark distilled spirit, and I have always known that there was something different, but the details have always been blurry­­––until now!  Whiskey is made all over the world. It is the most consumed liquor globally and is most notably produced in Ireland, Scotland, USA, Canada and Japan.  It can be made from a variety of grains including corn, barley, wheat and rye.  It is then aged in barrels from a few years to decades.

Bourbon on the other hand, is a specific type of American Whiskey. It can only be made in America and has a strict set of regulations.  Bourbon needs to be aged in new, charred oak barrels.  Contrary to popular belief, bourbon does not need to be made in Kentucky, even though 95% of the world’s bourbon is made in Kentucky! It must be made with at least 51% corn. The proof (alcohol content) must be distilled to no more than 160 proof, and when it is barreled the proof cannot exceed 125 proof.  Bourbon is known for having strong notes of vanilla, oak and caramel.

American Whiskey

By far the most popular whiskey in America, is Jack Daniel’s, which is an American Whiskey.  It is not considered a bourbon because it is “dripped” through a charcoal filter (made from Sugar Maple trees).  The charcoal filtering process lends a smooth taste to the whiskey.  This is a great option for my Maple Whiskey Sour if you are new to whiskey or want a more mellow tasting cocktail.

Rye Whiskey

As the name entails, Rye Whiskey must be made from at least 51% rye.  It has a peppery bite that would make a great addition to my Maple Whiskey Sour.  The remainder is typically made from corn, wheat, and/or malted barley.  Rye is grown in abundance in my home state of New York and there has been an increase in distillers specializing in making this variety of whiskey.  We rarely consider drinking local spirits, but if you are in New York. You can consider it!

Best Whiskey for a Whiskey Sour?

After going over the differences between whiskey and bourbon, how do you decide which to use in my Maple Whiskey Sour? There is an overwhelming amount of options ranging in cost from $15-$500 per bottle.  According to The Manual it is important to pick the right whiskey with the right dimension and balance to work in harmony with sour’s acidity.  Check out this article for their professional recommendation on what to use in your next sour.

Egg White

If you go to a cocktail bar and order a whiskey sour it is likely to come with a foam top which is made from egg whites.  Yes, raw egg white! It gives a creamy taste, reduces the acidity and the foamy top is quite pretty!  I typically do not add this to my Maple Whiskey Sour because it’s just one extra step that I do not feel is necessary.  But feel free to add it!

Let’s Get Shaking!

My Maple Whiskey Sour is a 3 ingredient cocktail that you can master at home.  Add all the ingredients plus ice to a shaker or to a quart size mason jar and shake, shake, shake for about 10 seconds.  If using a mason jar I do recommend to strain the Maple Whiskey Sour through a sieve or fine-mesh colander to keep any lemon pulp or ice chunks out of your drink. Enjoy!

Similar Pages

Looking for other delicious cocktail ideas? Try my Gin Grapefruit Cocktail, Whiskey Cranberry Cocktail, or my Apple Cider Cocktail .


  1. Instant Expert: Bourbon, Rye, and American Whiskey. Whisky Advocate. Published March 23, 2017. Accessed September 24, 2020.
  2. Bourbon Facts. Kentucky Distillers Association. Accessed September 24, 2020.
  3. Explore the Diverse World of Whiskey. The Spruce Eats. Accessed September 24, 2020.
Thumbnail, Side Shot, Maple Whiskey Sour

Maple Whiskey Sour

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: adult beverage, alcohol, cocktail, whiskey
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Author: Chef Abbie Gellman RD


  • 1 ½ ounces bourbon or whiskey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • Cinnamon stick


  • Fill a cocktail shaker ½ to 2/3 with ice. Add bourbon, lemon juice, and maple syrup. Secure the lid and shake well.
  • In a low ball glass, add ice. Strain whiskey mixture into glass and garnish with cinnamon stick.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating