Why You Should Always Double Strain Your Whiskey Sour Cocktail

If you've been playing around behind your at-home bar, a classic frothy whiskey sour should be added to your repertoire. Dating back to at least 1862, this cocktail recipe is one of the oldest. While this smooth sipper has several variations, the classic recipe is a great starting point if you're looking to develop bartending skills — or at least flex for your friends during the next cocktail hour you host. 

Whiskey sours can be made by dry shaking the necessary ingredients in a shaker without ice, then adding ice and giving the mixture a second shake before straining and serving. All of the shaking builds texture and foam in the cocktail. Not only does the shaking help combine ingredients, but the process creates the extra-smooth texture a whiskey sour is known for. During this vigorous agitation, it's understandable that pieces of ice will break off and end up in the drink. That's fine, but you don't want too many of these diluting offenders dropping into your glass. Drinks like a whiskey sour are typically strained twice so that any pieces of fruit or ice are strained out of the equation. Without this double-straining approach, the smoothness of the drink you've worked hard to build can be lost. 

Refine your at-home bartending skills

You'd have to make a strong effort to botch a whiskey sour, but knowing how to combine whiskey, lemon juice, and simple syrup will serve you and your friends well. Master the basic whiskey sour recipe before getting creative with a fancy sour with orange liqueur or the New York sour that includes a float of red wine. Whiskey sours can also include egg whites to deliver a more velvety consistency. Regardless of the recipe you've chosen to make, remember to double-strain. Any extra ice in a cocktail will impact the drink's taste the longer a glass is left on a table. Ideally, you want the cocktail to taste the same from the very first sip until the last drop is swallowed.

Keep in mind that the double-straining technique doesn't apply only to whiskey sour recipes. Pieces of muddled fruit and freshly squeezed citrus are excellent flavor enhancers for many drinks made at home, but added ingredients can result in unwanted floaters that end up in your cocktail glass, a less-than-ideal aesthetic for the smoothest cocktails. Take the extra effort and double-strain your concoctions, and your drink-mixing game will be instantly up-leveled.