Stone Sour

Difford's Guide
Discerning Drinkers (65 ratings)

Serve in an

Old-fashioned glass

Photographed in a

Libbey Old Fashioned 11oz

Garnish:

Skewered orange slice wheel and Luxardo Maraschino Cherry (sail), &/or apricot wedge.

How to make:

SHAKE all ingredients with ice and strain into ice-filled glass (preferably over a chunk of block ice).

1 1/2 fl oz Bourbon whiskey
1/6 fl oz Luxardo Apricot Albicocca Liqueur
3/4 fl oz Lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
3/4 fl oz Orange juice (freshly squeezed)
1/2 fl oz Sugar syrup 'rich' (2 sugar to 1 water, 65.0°Brix)
3 drop Saline solution 4:1 (20g sea salt to 80g water)
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AKA:

Stone Fruit Whiskey Sour

Review:

Other than the spiritless, apricot liqueur-based Apricot Stone Sour, I've not seen another recipe that puts stone fruit into a Stone Sour with apricot liqueur, and regrettably, I didn't note where I found this version. However, its addition benefits this orange-influenced bourbon sour.

And for a more stone fruit-led Stone Sour, try my previous recipe:
45ml (1½oz) Bourbon
15ml (½oz) Apricot brandy liqueur
22.5ml (¾oz) Lemon juice
15ml (½oz) Orange juice
10ml (⅓oz) Sugar syrup
3 drop Saline solution

Variant:

The Stone Sour started as a gin-based cocktail before bourbon took over and became the spirit most identified with a Stone Sour. However, liqueur-based Stone Sours, particularly the Amaretto Stone Sour, have also enjoyed periods of popularity.
Amaretto Stone Sour
Apricot Stone Sour
Gin Stone Sour
Hawaiian Stone Sour
Mezcal Stone Sour
New York Stone Sour
Rum Stone Sour
Scotch Stone Sour
Tequila Stone Sour
Vodka Stone Sour

History:

The first known recipe for a "Stone Sour" appears in Jacques Straub's 1914 book Drinks, but this first iteration is a gin-based Stone Sour without the orange juice that in later decades became part of this cocktail's DNA. Straub's Stone Sour is also differentiated from later renditions by its being frappé.

Stone Sour
1 jigger Plymouth gin.
Juice of 1 lemon.
Sweeten with plain syrup.
Frappé well; strain into goblet filled with fine cracked ice. Serve.

acques Straub, Drinks, 1914

The earliest Stone Sour recipe with orange juice is in Tom Bullock's 1917 book The Ideal Bartender, and this is credited with being this cocktail's turning point.

Stone Sour
Use a tall, thin glass; fill with fine Ice.
½ pony Lemon Juice.
1/2 pony Orange Juice.
2 dashes Rock Candy Syrup.
1 jigger Old Tom Gin.
Leave in Ice; stir well and serve.

Tom Bullock, The Ideal Bartender, 1917

Thanks to Prohibition, the Stone Sour faded into obscurity until its resurrection in the 1980s, making a notable appearance in Vincent Sardi's 1988 Sardi's Bar Guide, which says, "A stone sour is, of course, a sour with the addition of orange juice."

Sardi's Bar Guide lists a "Bourbon Stone Sour" and six further Stone Stones, each distinguished by a different base spirit or liqueur.

BOURBON STONE SOUR
A stone sour is, of course, a sour with the addition of orange juice.
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
1 ounce lemon juice, preferably freshly squeezed
2 ounces bourbon
2 ounces orange juice, preferably freshly squeezed
½ slice orange or lemon for garnish
1 maraschino cherry for garnish
Combine ingredients with ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Shake. Strain into cocktail glass, or empty contents, ice cubes and all, into an Old-Fashioned glass and serve on the rocks. Garnish with ½ slice orange or lemon and a maraschino cherry.

Vincent Sardi & George Shea, Sardi's Bar Guide, 1988

In his 2002 The Craft of the Cocktail, Dale DeGroff includes a bourbon-based "Bourbon Stone Sour" and a rye whiskey-based "Stone Sour", above which he says, "I don't know who coined the name first, but it came from California. As a matter of fact, Stone Sours were also called California Sours. Stone Sour just indicates the addition of a little fresh orange juice." In his 2020 Revised Edition, Dale's "Stone Sour" is bourbon-based.

Stone Sour
I don't know who coined the name first, but I suspect it came from California. As a matter of fact, Stone Sours were also called California Sours. Stone Sour just indicates the addition of a little fresh orange juice.
1½ ounces Bulleit bourbon
¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
¾ ounce Simple Syrup (page 225)
1 ounce fresh orange juice
Orange slice, for garnish
Bordeaux cherry, for garnish
Shake all the ingredients (except garnishes with ice and serve in rocks glass over ice. Garnish with the orange slice and cherry.

Dale DeGroff, The Craft of the Cocktail, 2020

Alcohol content:

  • 1 standard drinks
  • 13.03% alc./vol. (26.06° proof)
  • 14.3 grams of pure alcohol
Difford's Guide remains free-to-use thanks to the support of the brands in green above. Values stated for alcohol and calorie content, and number of drinks an ingredient makes should be considered approximate.

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Buy direct from
the_whisky_exchange store logo
£ -.--

Makes a minimum of ... cocktails
Just £ -.-- per cocktail*

* This list may not include all required ingredients.
Price per cocktail is an estimate based on the cost of making one cocktail with the available ingredients shown above and does not include any postage charges.
Buy direct from Difford’s Guide
Difford's Easy Jigger
£8.72 £8.72 exc VAT
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