The Tastiest Whiskey Sour Is One Extra Step Away

Whether you're ordering from your favorite bar, or preparing a cocktail menu for an upcoming dinner party, a whiskey sour is sure to please. The cocktail is a simple classic, consisting only of whiskey, lemon juice (slightly aged is better), sugar, and sometimes whipped egg whites. And it's incredibly tasty, featuring the tart tang of lemon with the warm flavors of whiskey that meld perfectly together with a velvety meringue. You may think it's impossible to improve upon such a staple drink — but you can try thinking outside of the sugar cube next time you prepare a whiskey sour by toasting your sugar prior to incorporating into your drink. 


That's right, toasted sugar might just be the key to bringing your sour game up to a new level. For this trick, you'll want to prepare a batch of toasted sugar yourself, and then incorporate it, as you would regular table sugar, into your sour recipe. If you're wondering what exactly toasted sugar is, well, it's precisely what it sounds like: White sugar that's been toasted until it turns a warm shade of brown or tan. This sugar is less sweet than regular white sugar, and has a much more layered, caramelized taste that pairs perfectly with the warm taste of whiskey, bringing depth to a bright cocktail. Toasted sugar will really let the flavors of your whiskey shine through.

Getting toasty

What's so special about toasted sugar anyway? After all, the caramel flavor of toasted sugar can also be found in brown sugar as well, and brown sugar is much more widely available in grocery stores. Still, you might want to hold off on pulling out that bag of brown sugar for your next batch of sours. Though brown sugar and toasted sugar share a warm taste, there are some key differences. For one, brown sugar includes molasses and has a higher moisture content, whereas toasted sugar is simply white sugar, maintaining a drier consistency. Toasted sugar is also less sweet than brown sugar, thanks to the toasting process which breaks down sugar's sucrose into fructose and glucose, giving toasted sugar its signature warm taste while not altering its consistency.


If you want to go about toasting your own sugar, there are a two main options. You can either toast your sugar in a pan on the stovetop, or bake it in the oven. For either method, you should use a cooking surface that doesn't conduct a lot of heat, such as ceramic,  to prevent your sugar from melting or burning. You should also keep your oven or stove at a relatively low temperature, and stir in intervals, making sure your sugar toasts rather than burning or melting. Once your sugar is toasted, however, it will ready for use in your whiskey sour as the perfect finishing touch to the staple cocktail.