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5 New York Sour Twists to Try Right Now

The wine is essential—everything else is up for grabs.

New York Sour / Tim Nusog

The New York Sour is one of those cocktails that, if you’re unfamiliar with it, may seem an unlikely combination of ingredients, but you’ll quickly see the appeal once it hits your taste buds. The drink’s most distinctive feature is its eye-catching red wine float, topping what’s essentially a classic Whiskey Sour of bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup and (optional) egg white.

Over the last century, the New York Sour’s popularity has ebbed and flowed, and each time it resurfaces, it appears in a new form. These are a few noteworthy variations for any wine-loving cocktail enthusiast looking for a new twist on a beloved classic.

  • Ward III Whiskey Sour

    Ward III Whiskey Sour / Tim Nusog

    As the house recipe at the now-shuttered Ward III in New York City, this iteration doesn’t stray far from the classic version of the drink, as a perfect balance of bourbon, lemon, simple syrup, fresh egg white and a light layer of the Italian red wine Chianti. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Pine Pepper Crush

    Pine Pepper Crush / Tim Nusog

    This New York Sour twist veers quite a bit away from the classic version, starting with the pineapple and cracked black pepper that go into the drink and continuing with the use of tequila rather than whiskey and lime juice instead of lemon. A float of port wine brings this tequila sour back into familiar New York territory. If you love a good Tommy’s Margarita, give this riff a go.

    Get the recipe.

  • West 75th

    West 75th cocktail
    Gage Hospitality Group

    This cocktail merges two classics, the New York Sour and the French 75, into one delicious drink. Calvados, an elegant French apple brandy, is combined with lemon juice, raspberry syrup and orange bitters, plus a generous float of sparkling red wine for spectacular visual effect.

    Get the recipe.

  • Bordeaux Sour

    Bordeaux Sour cocktail

    Blend 111


    If a French wine connoisseur saw their beloved Bordeaux mixed into a Whiskey Sour, they might question whether that’s the best use of this notoriously high-end wine. But this variation on the classic does the wine justice. It’s a balance of Maker’s Mark 46 bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup, orange bitters, a muddled maraschino cherry and an ounce of Bordeaux, with the wine mixed into the cocktail rather than floated. 

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • Port New York Sour

    New York Sour / Tim Nusog

    Some of the best riffs on classic cocktails are the simplest. The Port New York Sour is exactly what it sounds like: a traditional version of the drink, except that tawny port, a sweet fortified wine, is swapped for the usual dry red wine. The port’s nutty, caramel notes pair brilliantly with bourbon, making for a perfect fit. 

    Get the recipe.