Sweet, tart, and boozy, this Strawberry Rhubarb Whiskey Sour is a spin on the classic rye whiskey cocktail. The strawberry rhubarb simple syrup pairs perfectly in this cocktail as well as many others!
What Is a Whiskey Sour?
As the name suggests, a whiskey sour is part of the sour family of cocktails. A sour cocktail refers to any mixed drink that’s made with a base liquor + acid (typically lemon or lime juice) + sweetener.
Some of the most well known sour cocktails include the New York sour, margarita, amaretto sour, and the traditional daiquiri. And, naturally, the Whiskey Sour!
The first recipe for a whiskey sour was recorded in the 1860s, but egg whites weren’t added to the drink until the 1920s.
It’s thought that sour cocktails were popular among sailors as a means of preventing scurvy — there are worse tasting medicines, to be sure!
The elegant simplicity of the whiskey sour made it an instant favorite and has remained a staple cocktail at bars around the world since the late 1800s.
When Should You Serve a Whiskey Sour?
The whiskey sour is a fabulous “anytime” beverage. We often enjoy it on the patio in warmer weather, but it doesn’t matter what time of day you enjoy it!
What Makes This Whiskey Sour Variation Unique?
I made a few tweaks to the classic whiskey sour recipe when creating this summer version.
The cocktail is usually made with bourbon, but I used rye whiskey instead. Rye whiskey is drier and spicier, which balances out the strawberry rhubarb simple syrup better.
The lemon juice adds the “sour” component to this drink, while the strawberry rhubarb simple syrup adds a subtle fruitiness and sweetness.
Although this is a variation of the whiskey sour, this cocktail is definitely still boozy and is best sipped slowly.
Tools Needed for This Summer Whiskey Cocktail
I recommend having the following tools on hand when making this strawberry rhubarb cocktail. Not all are required, but they come in handy when preparing cocktails!
- Small Saucepan — to cook the strawberry rhubarb simple syrup in.
- Measuring Cups — to measure the simple syrup ingredients.
- Fine Mesh Strainer — to strain the strawberry rhubarb simple syrup.
- Mason Jar — to store the simple syrup.
- Cocktail Shaker — a whiskey sour is always shaken to froth up the egg whites!
- Cocktail Strainer — you may double strain the cocktail to remove any pulp from the lemon, if desired.
- Jigger — for measuring out the ingredients.
Ingredients You’ll Need
The only extra ingredient in this rhubarb strawberry whiskey sour recipe is the homemade simple syrup. However, the simple syrup comes together quickly and can be used in a multitude of drink recipes!
To prepare the strawberry rhubarb simple syrup, you’ll need the following:
To prepare the cocktail, you’ll need the following:
- Fresh lemon juice
- Egg white (optional)
- Rhubarb bitters
For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.
What Is Whiskey?
Whiskey is a dark distilled spirit that’s made from fermented grains (most commonly corn, barley, rye, or wheat).
Popular varieties of whiskey include rye, bourbon, and Scotch.
Each type of whiskey is aged for a different length of time, in different types of wood barrels. This barrel aging process mellows out the whiskey and provides its signature dark color.
Generally speaking, whiskey tastes woody, with undertones of vanilla, caramel, and / or spice
What’s the Best Whiskey for a Whiskey Sour?
This summer whiskey cocktail recipe calls for rye whiskey, but some people prefer bourbon. Rye is drier and spicier, whereas bourbon is sweeter.
You may use either so long as you choose a good quality bottle. The rye (or bourbon!) is the star ingredient of this cocktail, so you’ll want to choose a brand you like.
If you need specific recommendations, we’ve enjoyed the following whiskey brands in the past:
How to Make a Rhubarb Strawberry Whiskey Sour
Once you’ve prepared the strawberry rhubarb simple syrup, the rest of the cocktail-making process is quick and easy! I opted to make my whiskey sour with an egg white, but you don’t have to.
However, I’m going to walk you through the steps of making a whiskey sour cocktail with an egg white so you know how to do it properly.
- Make the simple syrup: In a saucepan, combine the sugar, water, strawberries, and rhubarb. Simmer for 5 minutes, then let cool to room temperature. I recommend straining the simple syrup into a jar using a fine mesh strainer and a funnel.
- Make the whiskey sour: Measure the whiskey, lemon juice, strawberry rhubarb syrup, and egg white into an empty cocktail shaker.
- Shake the mixture vigorously, without any ice, for about 30 seconds.
- Remove the lid and add ice to the cocktail shaker. Replace the lid and shake the cocktail for 30 more seconds.
- Strain the cocktail, dividing it between two glasses. Then, add 2 – 3 drops of rhubarb bitters on top of the foam of each cocktail.
The above is simply a quick summary of this recipe. Check out the full recipe in the free printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.
Whiskey Sour Garnish Ideas
Since this is a fun variation of the whiskey sour, you can get creative with the garnishes!
Try garnishing your summer whiskey cocktail with a fresh strawberry on a cocktail pick, lemon twist, or rhubarb ribbons. The garnish is optional, though!
Tips for Making a Whiskey Sour
- Use a good quality rye – It’s the star ingredient, after all! A bottle of rye whiskey will last you a while, so be sure to buy a good quality whiskey for the best tasting cocktails.
- Don’t serve over ice — That would dilute the drink. Instead, pre-chill your glass!
- Chill your glasses in the fridge — Or, pre-chill them by filling them with ice. Either way, the chilled cocktail glass will keep your cocktail colder for longer.
- Use fresh or frozen fruit — If strawberries and rhubarb are both in season, I recommend buying them fresh to make the simple syrup. However, you may also make the cocktail with frozen fruit if needed.
- Make the simple syrup in advance — For quick cocktail making, prepare the simple syrup up to 1 week in advance. Store it in the fridge until you’re ready to make cocktails. You can also freeze the simple syrup in ice cube trays; this makes it easy to thaw just enough for one or two cocktails.
Strawberry Rhubarb Whiskey Cocktail FAQs
Have questions about how to make this cocktail? Here are the answers to a few commonly asked questions. Feel free to leave any other questions in the comments on this post and I’ll respond with answers.
Is a whiskey sour shaken or stirred?
A whiskey sour should be shaken. Shaking the cocktail froths up the egg white and makes for a better taste and texture.
How to shake a whiskey sour
You have two options for shaking your rhubarb and strawberry whiskey sour:
- Dry shake — Add the ingredients to your cocktail shaker, shake once WITHOUT ice, then add the ice and shake for a second time. This create a layer of egg white foam on the top of your drink.
- Reverse dry shake — Add the ingredients to your cocktail shaker, shake once WITH ice, then strain out the ice and shake for a second time. This results in an even foamier cocktail.
What type of glass is a whiskey sour served in?
Serve your whiskey sour in either a cobbler or old fashioned glass. Both are the traditional choice!
However, I serve my cocktails in whatever glasses I have on hand. So, use what you like!
Is a whiskey sour served over ice?
No, do not serve this cocktail over ice because that would dilute the drink. However, it should be served chilled. I recommend chilling all of the ingredients as well as the glass itself!
Why does a whiskey sour contain egg whites?
The egg white in a whiskey sour creates a pretty layer of foam on top of the cocktail once shaken, and it also makes the drink taste richer and creamier.
Do I have to add egg whites to my whiskey sour?
No, you do not have to make a whiskey sour with an egg white.
Is it safe to drink a whiskey sour containing egg whites?
Yes, it’s safe to drink cocktails containing egg whites as the alcohol kills any lingering bacteria.
However, if you’re concerned about drinking raw egg whites, you can always buy pasteurized eggs at the store (which are safe to consume raw) or you can pasteurize eggs at home for cocktail making.
Can the simple syrup be made with frozen fruit?
Yes! You’re welcome to use frozen strawberries and / or rhubarb to make the simple syrup.
Can I use different fruits in the simple syrup?
Do I have to use the strawberry rhubarb syrup?
No. You can use plain simple syrup for a classic rye whiskey sour cocktail.
Can I make a non-alcoholic whiskey sour?
If you’re sober curious or don’t drink alcohol, you can use non-alcoholic alternatives to make this rhubarb strawberry whiskey sour.
I have not tried making non-alcoholic whiskey sours, but there are many alcohol-free whiskeys on the market that you could use. A few options are: Spiritless, Ritual Zero Proof, Free Spirits, and Monday.
Safety tip: Note that depending on brand you use, some alcohol-removed spirits may still contain trace amounts of alcohol. Check before using, serving to kids, or drinking during pregnancy, etc.
Try This Summer Whiskey Cocktail at Home!
Next time you’re looking for a summery whiskey cocktail, give this rhubarb and strawberry whiskey sour recipe a try!
Did you think it was a delicious drink? Leave a comment below and give this strawberry rhubarb cocktail a review for others to see what you thought of this recipe.
On Instagram? Share your photo and tag me with @goodlifeeats and #goodlifeeatsrecipes. I’d love to see your photo of this whiskey sour cocktail.
More Fruity Summer Cocktails You’ll Love:
Slightly sweet, fruity, and smooth, a Blackberry Mint Julep is a refreshing spin on the classic cocktail. Sip this drink while watching the Kentucky Derby, or serve at your next bbq or happy hour!
The Limoncello Spritz is a bright, refreshing cocktail bursting with lemon flavor! It’s the perfect drink to sip poolside on warm summer days.
Made with just three ingredients, this Strawberry Mimosa recipe is perfect for special occasion brunches, Valentine’s Day, or breakfast in bed!
Blush pink in color and deliciously sweet-tart in flavor, the Floradora is the perfect gin cocktail for spring or summer. It’s a simple drink that uses just 4 ingredients, but the taste is showstopping!
This Raspberry Cosmopolitan uses raspberry three ways to infuse the classic cocktail with fruit flavor. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and tart — so much better than the classic Cosmo, in my opinion!
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Strawberry Rhubarb Simple Syrup
- ½ cup Granulated Sugar
- ½ cup Water
- ½ cup Chopped Strawberries
- ½ cup Chopped Rhubarb
- 4.5 ounces whiskey
- 2.5 ounces fresh lemon juice
- 2 ounces strawberry rhubarb syrup
- 2 ounces egg white, optional
- Rhubarb bitters
Strawberry Rhubarb Simple Syrup
- In a small saucepan, combine sugar, water, strawberries, and rhubarb. Set the pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
- Once simmering, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Turn heat off and let cool to room temperature. Strain into a jar using a fine mesh strainer and a funnel.
- Store refrigerated for up to 1 week. For longer storage, freeze in 2 ounce portions in the freezer using ice cube trays.
Making the Whiskey Sour
- Measure the whiskey, lemon juice, strawberry rhubarb syrup, and egg white into an empty cocktail shaker; don’t add any ice yet.
- Shake the mixture vigorously, without any ice, for about 30 seconds.
- Then, remove the lid and add ice to the cocktail shaker. Replace the lid and shake the cocktail for 30 more seconds.
- Strain the cocktail, dividing it between two glasses. Then, add 2 - 3 drops of rhubarb bitters on top of the foam of each cocktail.
- Garnish as desired.
Optional - double strain the cocktail by pouring it from the cocktail shaker’s strainer through a fine mesh strainer to remove any pulp from the lemon if desired.
One large egg white = 2 ounces
If you prefer more foam, try a reverse shake (the above method is called a dry shake): Shake first with ice, then strain the cocktail into another shaker without any ice (or just remove the ice) and shake again.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 620Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 118mgCarbohydrates: 100gFiber: 2gSugar: 78gProtein: 5g
GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy. This provided information is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.