Stone Sour Cocktail Recipe

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Stone 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 Stone Sour cocktail is a variation of the classic Whiskey Sour, which dates back to the 19th century. The Stone Sour adds a fruity twist to the original recipe by incorporating orange juice. This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy a balance of sweet and sour flavors, and it is often enjoyed during the warmer months.

  • The Whiskey Sour was first mentioned in print in 1862 in Jerry Thomas' Bartender's Guide
  • The Stone Sour is believed to have been created in the early 20th century
  • This cocktail is popular among those who enjoy a fruity twist on classic whiskey cocktails

How Stone Sour Tastes?

The Stone Sour cocktail is a delightful mix of sweet, sour, and fruity flavors. The whiskey provides a strong, bold base, while the lemon juice adds a tangy, zesty kick. The orange juice brings a sweet, refreshing element, and the simple syrup helps to balance out the sourness.

Interesting facts about Stone Sour

  • The Stone Sour is a versatile cocktail, as it can be made with various types of whiskey, such as bourbon or rye
  • This cocktail is often served in a rocks glass over ice, which helps to dilute the drink and enhance its flavors
  • The Stone Sour is sometimes garnished with a cherry and an orange slice, adding a pop of color and extra fruity notes



Offering the robust backbone of the cocktail, whiskey delivers a complexity and depth that is unmistakable. Using a 2oz pour ensures the whiskey isn't overwhelmed by the citrus. Remove it, and you lose that rich, warm character – not to mention, it wouldn't be a Stone Sour anymore! Alternative: Try bourbon for a sweeter twist or Scotch for a smoky note.

Emma Rose

Orange Juice

Zesty and fresh, orange juice adds brightness and a fruity sweetness that plays nicely with the whiskey's heat. It complements the lemon juice in creating the perfect sour mix. Too much OJ, and it could overpower the cocktail; too little, and you miss out on the fruity balance. Alternative: Mandarin juice could provide a similar but slightly different citrus note.

Alex Green

Lemon Juice

Sharper than orange juice, lemon juice is here to provide that 'sour' in the Stone Sour, creating a balance against the sweetness. Scaling back could yield a cloyingly sweet drink; excess could make it puckeringly sour. Alternative: Lime juice for a more tropical tang.

Mary Mitkina

Simple Syrup

This sweetener ties the room together, smoothing out the acidic edges. The half-ounce is just enough to sweeten it without turning it into a liquid candy bar. Forget this, and your cocktail might be too sharp. Alternative: Honey syrup can give an earthy sweetness if you're in a pinch.

Emma Rose

Maraschino Cherry

It's the cherry on top! A garnish that offers a pop of color and a hint of sweet-tart flavor if you choose to pluck it from the glass. Missing out on the garnish might not affect the flavor much, but the presentation takes a hit. No cherry? No problem, try an orange twist.

Alex Green

Orange Slice

Sitting pretty on the rim or floating in the glass, the orange slice garnish gives a hint of what's inside and aromatizes each sip. Skip it, and you'll still have a tasty cocktail, but it's like skipping the ribbon on a gift. It adds that extra touch. Alternative: Lemon or lime for a different citrusy garnish.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Stone Sour Drink

  1. Fill a shaker with ice
  2. Add whiskey, orange juice, lemon juice, and simple syrup
  3. Shake well until chilled
  4. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice
  5. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and an orange slice

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh citrus juice for a brighter, fresher flavor
  • Shake well to ensure all ingredients are well combined
  • Chill your glass before serving for a colder, more refreshing cocktail

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Meats: The citrus flavors will complement the charred taste of grilled steak or chicken.
  • Spicy Foods: The sweetness from the simple syrup and the orange juice will help balance the heat from dishes like spicy Thai or Szechuan cuisine.
  • Seafood: A stone sour is citrus-forward, making it a perfect pairing for lighter seafood dishes, such as grilled shrimp or a ceviche.
  • Desserts: Try it with lemon tart or orange flavored desserts to echo the citrus notes in the drink.

Drink Pairings

  • Coffee: A bold coffee can contrast nicely with the Stone Sour's sweet and sour balance if you're looking for a non-alcoholic pairing.
  • Sparkling Water: For a refreshing side, sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon or orange can complement the drink's flavor profile.

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What you could change in Stone Sour

  • Whiskey: Can be substituted with bourbon or rye
  • Orange Juice: Can be substituted with grapefruit juice for a more tart flavor
  • Simple Syrup: Can be substituted with agave syrup or honey for a natural sweetener

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And of course - twists🍹

Bourbon Stone Sour

  • Ingredients: Replace whiskey with bourbon for a sweeter profile.
  • Recipe: Follow the original recipe, using bourbon.
  • Flavor Difference: You'll get more vanilla and caramel notes over whiskey's deep burn.

Smoky Stone Sour

  • Ingredients: Use Scotch instead of whiskey, possibly a smoky Islay.
  • Recipe: Same as the original, but with Scotch to introduce a peaty twist.
  • Flavor Difference: There's an earthy, smoky layer now, a stark contrast to the sweet citrus.

Stone Sour Fizz

  • Ingredients: After shaking, top the cocktail with a splash of soda water for a fizzy effect.
  • Recipe: Add the splash of soda water into the glass right after straining the cocktail in.
  • Flavor Difference: Light and effervescent, this version lifts the cocktail to a more refreshing dimension.

In case you forgot basics how to make Stone 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 Stone Sour

Does using a different type of whiskey drastically change the taste of the cocktail?

Yes, the type of whiskey you use can influence the taste of the cocktail. For example, rye whiskies tend to be spicier, while bourbon whiskies are usually sweeter.

Is the Stone Sour a dry or sweet cocktail?

The Stone Sour cocktail is generally sweet due to the inclusion of simple syrup and orange juice; however, the level of sweetness can be adjusted based on your preference.

Which other cocktails are similar to the Stone Sour?

Similar cocktails to the Stone Sour include the Whiskey Sour, the New York Sour (which includes a float of red wine), and the Amaretto Sour.

Are there any traditionally non-alcoholic versions of the Stone Sour?

Yes, a ‘Virgin Stone Sour’ can be made by omitting the whiskey and replacing it with more orange and lemon juice or other non-alcoholic substitutes.

Is it acceptable to mix the ingredients in a blender instead of a shaker?

Traditionally, it is best to use a shaker for this cocktail, as a blender can overly dilute the drink. However, personal preference should guide your choice of preparation methods.

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