Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Bourbon Cocktails

Forbidden Sour

Forbidden Sour cocktail with a cherry and orange slice, served on a silver tray / Tim Nusog

The sour cocktail template includes drinks that contain a spirit, citrus, sweetener and sometimes egg white. In that wide canon you’ll find classics like the Sidecar, Pisco Sour and plenty more, plus modern-classics and contemporary creations that follow suit and join the sour party. To that end, meet the Forbidden Sour, a tasty combination of bourbon, lemon juice and simple syrup that is accented by the unmistakable flavor of pomegranate.

The drink comes from bartending veteran and beverage consultant Eben Freeman, who has worked behind the stick and created menus for restaurants and bars in New York and around the globe. Despite the name, there’s nothing verboten about this cocktail—it’s actually quite accessible. But the bright-red pomegranate, not an apple, is considered by some to be the original forbidden fruit that tempted Adam and Eve. Hence: the Forbidden Sour.

Freeman’s drink builds on the classic Whiskey Sour formula (bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup and optional egg white), but it intensifies that template with Pama, a unique pomegranate liqueur made from pomegranate juice, vodka and a touch of tequila. At only 17% ABV, Pama blends easily with a variety of spirits. In this cocktail, it lends complexity to the drink with its sweet-tart taste and vibrant ruby-red color.

The Forbidden Sour is a great gateway cocktail for those who are beginning to appreciate whiskey. The convergence of pomegranate and lemon yields a fruit-forward drink that’s light and refreshing, standing in contrast to boozy stirred options like the Manhattan. Give this one a whirl by making it yourself. With four ingredients, it’s easy to concoct at home, whether you’re embarking on a solo adventure or need a friendly drink to serve a crowd.


  • 1 ounce bourbon

  • 1 ounce Pama pomegranate liqueur

  • 1 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup

  • Garnish: orange wheel

  • Garnish: cherry


  1. Add the bourbon, pomegranate liqueur, lemon juice and simple syrup into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.

  2. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.

  3. Garnish with an orange wheel and a cherry.