How To Make An Utterly Delicious Whisky Sour Like An Expert

With the recent value-added tax increase in South Africa, money is pretty tight. All of a sudden happy hour at my local is burning a whole into my pocket and I’m forced to implement some budget cuts. My plan? To find out how to mix one of my favourite cocktails – the whisky sour – in the comfort of my own home.

As luck would have it, I found out that SurfaRosa, situated in the trendy east city of Cape Town, is running an interactive bartending program called The Protégé. Every Tuesday, up-and-coming bartenders, master mixologists, and rookies like me, get together to show off their skills and share their expertise with one another.

Located a stone throw away from my house, I headed over to SurfaRosa last week, where I met up with Caitlin Hill, or as I like to call her, my spiritual advisor. Having worked at the forefront of the craft cocktail movement in Cape Town for many years, Caitlin moved on to become the Niche Brands Ambassador for Rémy Cointreau in South Africa, where she looks after various liquor brands, including Bruichladdich Whisky.

My spiritual advisor Caitlin Hill

Being the kind person that she is, Caitlin agreed to show me the ropes and share some of her Whisky Sour secrets with me. I stepped behind the bar and prepared to be transformed from customer to mixologist!

Useful Tips

According to Caitlin, the trick behind any good cocktail lies in the ingredients. Make sure it’s fresh!

It’s also important to understand the relationships between strong and weak, and sour and sweet. ‘Strong’ refers to the main alcohol component of the drink (in this case Bruichladdich Whisky); ‘weak’ means the lesser alcoholic beverages, such as liqueurs and fortified wines; ‘sour’ mainly means citrus fruits, such as lemon or lime; and ‘sweet’ accounts for sugar and syrups.

Her final and most important advise was to experiment and have fun.

How to make a Whisky Sour like an expert

In its simplest form, the Whisky Sour is delicate and delicious. Even if you’re not a fan of whisky, you might still find yourself swooning over a well-crafted whisky sour. It’s that good!


1 shot (25ml) Bruichladdich Whisky
1/2 shot (12.5ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 shot (12.5ml) simple syrup (1 cup of sugar dissolved in 1 cup of water)
1 egg white

Combine all ingredients in a shaker, adding the egg white last. Shake vigorously without ice for 20 seconds. Add ice and shake again for 15-20 seconds. Strain well into a coupe glass and garnish with a slice of lemon and a cocktail cherry.

It’s such an easy cocktail to make at home and perfect for entertaining guests. There’s nothing better than hearing that ooh! from your friends when you hand them a coupe glass filled with whisky sour goodness.