Isabel Caddell

Isabel Caddell

Modified & Updated: 28 Jan 2024


Are you a fan of whiskey sours? If so, get ready to have your taste buds tantalized with a delightful twist – cherry whiskey sours! This classic cocktail takes the perfect combination of whiskey, tart lemon juice, and sweet simple syrup, and adds a burst of cherry flavor that will leave you begging for another sip.

But there’s more to cherry whiskey sours than meets the eye. In this article, we’ll uncover 17 surprising facts about this delicious drink that will take your appreciation to a whole new level. From the history of whiskey sours to variations on the classic recipe, you’ll discover everything you need to know to become a cherry whiskey sour aficionado.

So, grab your shaker and let’s dive into the fascinating world of cherry whiskey sours!

Table of Contents

The Origin of the Cherry Whiskey Sour

The Cherry Whiskey Sour is a classic cocktail that has been enjoyed for decades. It is believed to have originated during the Prohibition era as a way to mask the taste of low-quality whiskey. Bartenders started adding lemon juice and sugar to the whiskey to make it more palatable, and eventually, the addition of cherries became a popular variation.

The Perfect Blend of Sweet and Tart

The Cherry Whiskey Sour is known for its perfectly balanced combination of sweet and tart flavors. The sweetness of the cherry juice is complemented by the tanginess of the lemon juice, creating a refreshing and satisfying drink.

Cherry Whiskey Sour with a Twist

While the traditional Cherry Whiskey Sour recipe calls for bourbon, there are various ways to put a unique spin on this classic cocktail. Some bartenders use rye whiskey instead of bourbon to add a spicier flavor profile, while others experiment with different types of cherries such as maraschino or fresh cherries.

The Importance of Fresh Ingredients

To truly savor the flavors of a Cherry Whiskey Sour, using fresh ingredients is key. Squeezing fresh lemons for the juice and opting for real cherry juice or muddled cherries will enhance the taste and give the cocktail a vibrant color.

A Perfect Summer Drink

With its refreshing taste and fruity twist, the Cherry Whiskey Sour is a perfect cocktail for warm summer days. The combination of cold whiskey, cherry juice, and a hint of citrus creates a drink that is both cooling and invigorating.

The Cherry Whiskey Sour’s Signature Garnish

A Cherry Whiskey Sour is often garnished with a maraschino cherry. This bright red cherry not only adds a pop of color to the cocktail but also provides a delightful burst of sweetness when enjoyed at the end of the drink.

The Versatility of Cherry Whiskey Sour

The Cherry Whiskey Sour is a versatile cocktail that can be enjoyed in various settings. It can be served at formal events, enjoyed at a classy bar, or even mixed up at home for a cozy night in. Its timeless appeal makes it a crowd-pleaser for all occasions.

A Classic Pairing

The flavors of a Cherry Whiskey Sour pair well with a variety of dishes. It is often enjoyed alongside grilled meats, such as steak or barbecue chicken, as the acidity of the cocktail helps cut through the richness of the meat.

The Cherry Whiskey Sour’s Rise in Popularity

In recent years, the Cherry Whiskey Sour has experienced a resurgence in popularity. Craft cocktail bars and mixologists have embraced this classic drink, putting their own creative twists on the traditional recipe and introducing it to a whole new generation of cocktail enthusiasts.

A Cocktail with History

The Cherry Whiskey Sour has stood the test of time and has become a beloved part of cocktail culture. Its status as a classic drink has solidified its place in the history of mixology.

Cherry Whiskey Sour – Shaken or Stirred?

While some prefer their Cherry Whiskey Sour shaken, others argue that stirring is the way to go. Shaking the cocktail with ice gives it a frothy texture, while stirring maintains a smoother consistency. The choice is ultimately a matter of personal preference.

Unique Twists on the Classic Recipe

Experimentation with the Cherry Whiskey Sour has led to a myriad of unique variations. Some mixologists add a splash of soda water for a fizzy twist, while others incorporate different fruit juices like cranberry or orange to enhance the fruity flavors.

The Whiskey Choice Matters

The type of whiskey used in a Cherry Whiskey Sour can greatly impact its taste. Bourbon, with its sweet and smoky flavor, is the classic choice. However, those looking for a bolder flavor can opt for rye whiskey, known for its spicier notes.

The Art of Whiskey Sour Mixing

Mixing the perfect Cherry Whiskey Sour requires precision and skill. Balancing the right amount of whiskey, lemon juice, sugar, and cherry juice is essential to achieving the ideal harmony of flavors.

Cherry Whiskey Sour – A Modern Twist

While the traditional Cherry Whiskey Sour remains popular, mixologists are continually coming up with innovative variations. From infusing the whiskey with different spices to using homemade cherry syrup, these modern twists take the classic cocktail to new heights.

Perfecting the Garnish

Aside from the signature maraschino cherry garnish, some bartenders get creative with additional garnishes. A slice of lemon or lime, a sprig of mint, or even a touch of cinnamon can add an extra layer of aroma and visual appeal to the Cherry Whiskey Sour.

The Ultimate Crowd-Pleaser

The Cherry Whiskey Sour’s versatility and wide appeal make it an ideal choice for entertaining guests. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or a casual get-together, serving this classic cocktail is sure to impress and delight your friends and family.


Cherry whiskey sour is a delightful and refreshing cocktail that combines the sweetness of cherries with the boldness of whiskey. This classic drink has a unique flavor profile that surprises and pleases the palate. Whether you’re enjoying it at a bar or making it at home, the cherry whiskey sour is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.


1. How do I make a cherry whiskey sour?

To make a cherry whiskey sour, you will need whiskey, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and cherry juice. Mix all the ingredients together in a shaker with ice, then strain into a glass over ice. Garnish with a cherry and enjoy.

2. Can I use frozen cherries instead of fresh cherries?

Yes, you can use frozen cherries instead of fresh cherries. Just make sure to thaw the cherries before muddling or using their juice. Frozen cherries can add a delicious twist to your cherry whiskey sour.

3. Can I substitute bourbon for whiskey in a cherry whiskey sour?

Absolutely! Bourbon is a type of whiskey, so it can be easily substituted in a cherry whiskey sour recipe. The choice between whiskey and bourbon is a matter of personal preference.

4. Are there any non-alcoholic alternatives to cherry whiskey sour?

Yes, there are non-alcoholic alternatives to cherry whiskey sour. You can replace whiskey with a non-alcoholic whiskey substitute or use cherry-flavored soda or juice as a base for a virgin cherry whiskey sour.

5. Can I add other fruits to my cherry whiskey sour?

Yes, you can add other fruits to your cherry whiskey sour to create unique and flavorful variations of this cocktail. Some popular additions include muddled strawberries, raspberries, or even orange slices.