Classic Scotch Sour Cocktail Recipe

Scotch Sour Cocktail
The Scotch Sour is a nice way to brighten up a sipping Scotch. Brian Macdonald/Photodisc/Getty Images
  • 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 serving
Ratings (12)

This Scotch sour recipe is a spin on the popular whiskey sour. While you might not be as familiar with this recipe, it is certainly one to know and many  Scotch drinkers have a keen taste for it. 

The interesting part of most Scotch sour recipes is that they skip the sweetener, which is vital in the whiskey version. You can always add a touch of sweetness or a splash of soda and it's likely that the perfect mix will change from one whiskey to another.

Also, take care not to go overboard on the lemon, you only want to accent the whiskey. We are talking about Scotch after all and it is a bit touchier ​than other styles of whiskey.

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 ounces blended Scotch whiskey

How to Make It

  1. Pour the Scotch and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with fresh ice.

Variations on the Scotch Sour

There are a few ways to make a Scotch sour and which you choose is really going to depend on the particular Scotch you pour. If you find that the drink is just a little too sour with one whiskey, experiment with these.

  • Additionally, add a splash of soda water if you like.

5 Bottles of Scotch to Try in the Scotch Sour

Save your really good Scotch for sipping straight and choose a budget-friendly option for your Scotch sour experiments. Here are five bottles you might enjoy.

  • Johnnie Walker Red Label: Always a favorite and the perfect option for any Scotch cocktail, this one is a sure winner.
  • Dewar's White LabelIt won't break the bank and it won't leave you hanging in terms of a great Scotch Sour.
  • The Black GrouseA favorite for mixed drinks, this whiskey's complex enough to take the lemon and create a spectacular drink.
  • Highland Park 12YOYou will pay a bit more for this one, but it is worth every penny. Consider it for your more luxurious Scotch sours.
  • Yamazaki 12YO Japanese WhiskyIt's not Scotch, but it's like Scotch and if you want to play around with Japanese whiskey, this is the bottle for you.

How Strong Is the Scotch Sour?

The Scotch sour is a very short drink and the recipe without sugar or soda makes just less than a 3-ounce drink. Think of it as a simple way to dress up a finger of Scotch rather than a full cocktail. 

This also means that the alcohol content of the Scotch sour is just about half the bottling strength of your Scotch. With an 80-proof whiskey, we can estimate that it weighs in at about 22% ABV (44 proof).