Orange Sour Cocktail Recipe

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Orange Sour Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Orange Sour cocktail is a twist on the classic Whiskey Sour, which dates back to the 19th century. It was originally created for sailors to prevent scurvy and was popularized in the United States during Prohibition. The Orange Sour adds a fresh, citrusy twist to the traditional recipe, making it a favorite among those who enjoy a balance of sweet and sour flavors.

How Orange Sour Tastes?

The Orange Sour is a refreshing, tangy, and slightly sweet cocktail. The combination of fresh orange juice and lemon juice creates a vibrant citrus flavor, while the simple syrup adds a touch of sweetness to balance the sourness. The whiskey provides a smooth, warm undertone that complements the fruity flavors.

Interesting facts about Orange Sour

  • The Orange Sour is a variation of the classic Whiskey Sour, which has been around since the 1800s.
  • The cocktail was originally created to help prevent scurvy among sailors.
  • The addition of orange juice to the traditional Whiskey Sour recipe gives the Orange Sour its unique, refreshing taste.



  • The 2 oz of whiskey provide the cocktail's robust backbone. It adds a complexity that can't be matched. Go less, and you risk a beverage that's too tame; more, and it might overshadow the delicate citrus flavors. No whiskey, no cocktail! Rye or bourbon could swap in for a spicier or sweeter twist, respectively.

Alex Green

Orange Juice

  • At 1 oz, orange juice gives a sweet, fruity layer that makes the 'Orange' in Orange Sour. It plays nicely with the whiskey, like long-lost friends. Skip it, and the drink becomes a plain whiskey sour. Feel free to try blood orange juice for an exotic twist!

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Juice

  • Just 0.5 oz of lemon juice brings the 'Sour' to balance the sweetness. It's that zing that wakes up your tastebuds. Too much, and your face might pucker more than intended; too little, and the drink falls flat. Lime juice could be a stand-in for a more tropical sour note.

Emma Rose

Simple Syrup

  • The 0.5 oz of simple syrup is the peacemaker—it smooths things over between the tart lemon and the bold whiskey. Omitting it may leave your cocktail too sour, but overdo it and you'll be in candyland. Honey syrup could be a substitute for a floral, richer sweetness.

Alex Green

Egg White

  • The 1 egg white is the secret to the frothy, silky top hat. Without it, the Orange Sour loses its magic show of textures. Going vegan? Aquafaba (chickpea water) will do the trick!

Mary Mitkina

Angostura Bitters

  • A couple dashes of Angostura bitters bring complexity and depth, like a spice rack in a dash. Leave them out, and you miss out on layers of flavor. Want something different? Try orange bitters to double down on the citrus!

Emma Rose

Orange Wheel and Maraschino Cherry

  • The garnish is the finishing touch of style. A naked drink is a naked drink. Feel free to get creative—try a lemon twist or a sprig of mint for a different look and subtle flavor tweaks.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Orange Sour Drink

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the whiskey, orange juice, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white.
  2. Shake well without ice to emulsify the egg white and create a frothy texture.
  3. Add ice to the shaker and shake again until well-chilled.
  4. Strain the cocktail into a rocks glass filled with ice.
  5. Add two dashes of Angostura bitters on top of the frothy egg white layer.
  6. Garnish with an orange wheel and a maraschino cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Shake the cocktail well to ensure the egg white is fully emulsified, creating a frothy texture.
  • Use freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice for the best flavor.
  • Chill your glass before pouring the cocktail to keep it cold longer.

Perfect Pairings

Appetizers & Snacks

  • Candied nuts: The sweetness and crunch complement the Orange Sour's citrusy flavor.
  • Spicy chicken wings: The zesty and sour taste of the cocktail cuts through the spice and fat.
  • Cheese board: Featuring a variety of cheeses, especially those with creamy textures like brie or camembert, alongside the Orange Sour's bright acidity creates a harmonious balance.

Main Courses

  • Grilled pork chops: A dish with a natural sweetness pairs nicely with the refreshing citrus elements.
  • Savory crepes: The light and zesty notes of the cocktail blend well with a range of fillings.
  • Stir-fried vegetables: The crispness of the veggies is echoed in the fresh, tangy flavors of the drink.


  • Lemon tart: Enhances the lemon notes in the cocktail.
  • Vanilla ice cream: The creaminess balances the tangy sourness of the drink.

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What you could change in Orange Sour

  • Whiskey: Can be replaced with bourbon or rye.
  • Orange juice: Can be replaced with grapefruit juice for a more tart flavor.
  • Simple syrup: Can be replaced with agave nectar or honey for a natural sweetener.

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And of course - twists🍹

Smokey Orange Sour

  • Ingredients: Substitute whiskey with mezcal, and use a smoked salt rim.
  • Recipe: Follow the original recipe but replace whiskey with 2 oz of mezcal. Rim your glass with smoked salt before pouring the cocktail.
  • Flavor: This twist adds a smoky depth to the cocktail, bridging the gap between the zesty citrus and the earthy undercurrent from mezcal. The smoked salt rim further echos this smokiness, making for a bold and adventurous drink.

Spiced Orange Sour

  • Ingredients: Add a cinnamon stick and star anise to the shaker.
  • Recipe: Include a cinnamon stick and a star anise with the liquids in the shaker. Remove before straining into the glass.
  • Flavor: The spices infuse a warm aroma that compliments the citrus and complements colder weather. It's like winter wrapped in a glass with a citrus bow on top.

Herbal Orange Sour

  • Ingredients: Add a sprig of rosemary or basil to the mixture.
  • Recipe: Muddle the fresh herb in the shaker before adding the other ingredients. Strain into a glass as usual.
  • Flavor: The addition of herbs provides a fragrant, refreshing twist, creating a more complex and garden-fresh cocktail. The herbal notes will dance with the citrus, creating a symphony for your senses.

In case you forgot basics how to make Orange Sour

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Orange Sour

What type of whiskey works best for an Orange Sour?

Although you can use any type of whiskey for an Orange Sour, a traditional choice would be a high-quality Bourbon or Rye.

Is there any significance to the garnish in the cocktail?

Yes, the garnish adds an extra level of flavor and can also alter the visual appeal of the cocktail—it's not only there for decoration.

Is the Orange Sour suitable for vegans?

Since this cocktail contains egg white, it's not vegan. However, there are several alternatives such as aquafaba (chickpea water) that can be used as a substitute.

What does 'shaking until well-chilled' mean?

Shaking until well-chilled means shaking the cocktail with ice until the shaker feels very cold to the touch, typically around 20 seconds.

Are there any non-alcoholic variations of the Orange Sour?

Yes, you can create a non-alcoholic version of this cocktail by substituting the whiskey for a non-alcoholic spirit or leaving it out.

Is an Orange Sour a good cocktail for beginners to make?

While it involves a few more steps than a very basic cocktail, the Orange Sour can certainly be tackled by beginners, especially as it does not require any unusual or hard-to-find ingredients.

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