When World Whisky Day was started by author Blair Bowman in 2012, it was principally a celebration of Scotch whisky for its fans around the world.

Since then, the “world” part has come to embrace both the whiskey and the fans, as participants have brought in both fans and whiskeys from across the globe.

Although whiskey is now made in over two dozen countries, the Big Five regions have remained the same for decades: Canada, Japan, Ireland, Scotland and the United States. For World Whisky Day 2020, you can tour any or all of these five styles of whiskey-making from home by hoisting a Whiskey Sour drawn from each.

Bourbon Whiskey Sour

Going with bourbon is straightforward and familiar, since it’s the spirit of choice for the Whiskey Sour. The use of Evan Williams White Label keeps things affordable while taking things up a notch, this being the 100 proof version of the standard Evan Williams.

Bourbon Whiskey Sour

Bourbon Whiskey Sour

Bourbon Whiskey Sour

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Evan Williams White Label Bourbon
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • Orange wheel and cocktail cherry (for garnish)

Preparation: Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with sufficient ice, give it a vigorous 15 second shaking and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with the fruit.


Scotch Sour

Plenty of folks bemoan the dominance of bourbon for making whiskey sours, preferring to make it a whisky sour, sans the “e.” In going this route, Dewar’s offers a sound foundation, as its not smoky or as woody in the way that most blended Scotch whiskies are, but doesn’t punch the wallet the way a pricey single malt would. However, while some think the egg white is optional for a whiskey sour, you shouldn’t leave it out of one made with Scotch.

Scotch Sour

Scotch Sour

Scotch Sour

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Dewar’s Scotch Whisky
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz. simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz. pasteurized egg white

Preparation: Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker, shake vigorously, strain into a rocks glass. Lemon or orange zest twist garnish.


Irish Sour

If Americans are familiar with any twist on the Whiskey Sour, it’s probably one using Irish whiskey instead of bourbon. There are many, many riffs on this, with the common element that they pull more fruit, often berry flavors, into the mix. Teeling Small Batch turns the sour into both a premium cocktail and complements that added fruitiness nicely, as the whiskey is finished in rum barrels.

Irish Sour

Irish Sour

Irish Sour

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz. of Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey
  • 3/4 oz. of lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz. of apple juice
  • 2 dashes of berry bitters
  • 1/2 oz. of simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz. of pasteurized egg white
  • lemon zest twist (for garnish)

Preparation: Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker; shake vigorously, strain into a rocks glass. Lemon zest twist for garnish.


Maple Sour

It scarcely requires mention that when one takes a classic cocktail in a specifically Canadian direction and needs sweets, reach for the maple syrup instead of the simple syrup.

Maple Sour

Maple Sour

Maple Sour

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. of Forty Creek Canadian Whisky
  • 1 oz. of maple syrup
  • 1 oz. of lemon juice
  • Orange wheel and cocktail cherry for garnish

Preparation: Combine ingredients in a tin with ice; shake; strain into a rocks glass.


Japanese Sour

The trick with taking your Sour to the Far East is that Japanese whisky is expensive nowadays, but in that rarefied world a bottle of Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky isn’t too painful. It also has a lighter character than the heavy, rich Nikka malts, making it a better spirit choice for use in a sour anyway. Another particularly Japanese touch is to use yuzu, an East Asian citrus fruit that resembles a round (instead of ovoid) lemon. Compared to a lemon, it is extra sour and more fragrant.

Japanese Sour

Japanese Sour

Japanese Sour

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. of Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky
  • 3/4 oz. yuzu juice
  • 3/4 oz. simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz. pasteurized egg white
  • Yuzu zest twist (for garnish)

Preparation: Combine ingredients in a shaker tin; shake; strain into a rocks glass, garnish with yuzu zest.