The Weekly Cocktail Recipe: The Glenlivet Speyside Sour

Using the simplest of ingredients, the Whisky Sour enjoyed much popularity before its recipe was first recorded, published in Jerry Thomas’ 1862 book, The Bartender’s Guide. Historical accounts suggest the drink was originally conceived by professional sailors to combat scurvy. Relying on sugar to be dissolved in water before adding the remaining ingredients, the drink’s original construction resembles that of punch, albeit made in small batches. This crossover therefore renders it difficult to trace the cocktail’s exact origins.

Thomas’ recipe features just three ingredients: the base spirit – traditionally American bourbon or rye whiskey; lemon juice and white sugar dissolved in a dash of Seltzer of Apollinaris water, garnished with berries. Standard 20th and 21st Century sour recipes typically call for an orange slice and a maraschino cherry as garnish, plus the addition of an egg white (although the egg white technically transforms the drink into a Boston Sour).

Established in 1824, The Glenlivet is considered the original Speyside single malt Scotch whisky, with origins as old as the whisky sour – if not older. The distillery’s version of a whisky sour therefore favours Scotch whisky (The Glenlivet 12) over Bourbon or Rye, aided by an equal measure of amaretto. The drink also features classic lemon juice, caster sugar and an egg white, garnished with a brandy cherry.


30 ml The Glenlivet 12

30 ml amaretto

20 ml lemon juice

1 Tbsp caster sugar

Egg white, from one egg

To Garnish

Brandy cherry


Shake all ingredients really hard over ice. Serve over ice.

Garnish with a brandy cherry.

Further information on The Glenlivet can be found here.


Speyside: A Whisky Tour of Strathspey

Spirit of the Week: The Glenlivet Code

The Weekly Cocktail Recipe – R&B Distillers ‘Borders Sour’

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