The pivotal ingredient in a superb whiskey sour is the lemon and, accordingly, we planted a second lemon tree just for this cocktail. Fresh lemons have incredibly flavorful oils in their rind that quickly disappear as the lemons age after being picked. But when you’re able to capture them fresh, the flavors of a seemingly everyday lemon are quite extraordinary. Orange bitters give another layer of flavor to this classic cocktail. Make your own bitters or find a store-bought favorite to keep on hand. The book Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All by Brad Thomas Parsons is a great resource for making your own bitters. We make a homemade tangerine bitters based off of Brad’s orange bitters recipe, and it is perfect for cocktails like this one.

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  • Lemon wedge (optional)
  • Superfine sugar (optional)
  • Ice
  • 1 ½ ounces bourbon
  • ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce Simple Syrup
  • A few dashes orange bitters



  1. If desired, rub the rim of a chilled cocktail glass with a lemon wedge and sugar the rim, or add ice cubes to a glass of your choice.
  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, and orange bitters. Shake vigorously for 15 to 20 seconds.
  3. Strain into the chilled cocktail glass, or pour into the glass with ice, and serve.