Instantly Elevate Your Next Whiskey Sour With An Herb Infusion

The whiskey sour is a timeless classic of a cocktail thanks to its reputation for simple ingredients done well. All you need to throw one together is some whiskey, simple syrup, lemon juice, and an egg to give it its signature frothy texture. When mastered, this recipe doesn't need anything extra to make it shine — but sometimes it is fun to add ingredients anyway, whether to excite your palate with some novelty or to wow your guests with your originality. If you are looking to shake up your next whiskey sour, one easy way to do so is by infusing the whiskey with herbs.

One of the best parts of whiskey is its complexity. Depending on the variety, age, and brand of the spirit you purchase, your whiskey's tasting notes can be anything from smoky and woody to sweet and dessert-like. Some of the notes that can be most difficult to appreciate in whiskey, though, are the subtle grassy and vegetal flavors that are hidden underneath the more familiar and assertive ones. Adding herbs to your whiskey can help to amplify those flavors with similar ones, bringing more attention to them and opening up a whole new drinking experience. This works particularly well in a whiskey sour, as the simple flavors will give room for the infused whiskey to stand out. Additionally, the newfound earthy, green flavors will bring contrast to a usually acidic cocktail.

How to make an herb infusion

When it comes to preparing an herb-infused whiskey, start by choosing the right spirit. It is best to steer away from particularly expensive or unique bottles, as the special characteristics found in these will compete with the flavor of the herbs, making one or the other suffer as a result. For help picking out a bottle of everyday whiskey, see our guide to the best whiskey brands. Next, take a bundle or sachet of your favorite herbs and place them in a bottle along with your whiskey. Let sit for a few days at least, tasting on occasion until your preferred flavor is reached. Then remove the herbs, strain out any debris, and enjoy. Our other tips for making whiskey infusions include using just a few herbs at a time to prevent an overcomplicated flavor and to shake the bottle to ensure the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Both fresh and dried herbs are viable options for infusion-making. However, if using fresh, be sure to wash them thoroughly before adding them in. There are many herbs and herb blends worth trying with this method. Options that work well with a whiskey sour in particular include mint, which will add a fresh bite to the relatively sweet drink, or lemon balm to complement the citrusy flavor of the lemon juice. We also recommend experimenting with rosemary for a floral and fragrant result, which can also be paired with basil for a delicate, peppery undertone.