Cocktail Society

Continental sour with recipe

Continental sour

Here’s a true classic that dates back to the days when rye whiskey was the liquor of choice. It’s a very special combination of  ingredients that are rarely used nowadays. A Continental Sour is actually a Whiskey Sour with port. More exactly it’s a Boston Sour – a sour cocktail with egg white and floated port.

We know that some people are afraid to use raw eggs as a cocktail ingredient. But if you skip the egg white you’ll miss this beautiful creamy texture on top of this fantastic cocktail. But if you really can’t stand the idea of eggs in your drink don’t worry, the taste  stays the same.


  • 4 cl Bourbon
  • 2 cl lemon juice
  • 1 cl simple syrup
  • 1 half egg white  (optional, but we recommend adding the egg white)
  • 1 cl Port wine


Pour all ingredients except the port in a shaker without ice, so the egg white can create this creamy foam. Then add some ice to the shaker and give your drink another strong shake. Double strain into a chilled glass and float with port. Enjoy your drink!

Rye or bourbon in a Continental Sour?

Originally Rye whiskey was the liquor of choice when it comes to a continental sour. After the prohibition bourbon became the synonym for an American whiskey. You can decide based on your tastebuds if you prefer a rather sweet and vanilla based bourbon or a stronger, more masculine rye whiskey as the base of your continental sour. The reason why you mainly see a bourbon in this cocktail is the combination with port. The flavor combination just works better with a bourbon – but that’s up to you!

If your drink gets too sweet because of the added port you can adjust the sweetness by adding a bit more acidity. Another tip: the strong port and heavy port can hide the nuances of the whiskey, so don’t waste your most expensive bourbon in this cocktail. A good mix bourbon like bulleit for example does the trick.

Port or red wine

As we mentioned already the continental sour is made with port. On the other side a New York Sour is usually made with red wine. So if you want to mix a true Continental Sour, better stick with a port. When it comes to choosing the right port it’s usually a choice between ruby and tawny. We recommend a tawny port –  in more detail we would pick a Sandeman Tawny Port. It’s not too expensive and you can sip it – pure and chilled – as well.

Egg white – yes or no?

Including egg white or nor is not a flavor question. You can create your Continental Sour (and also New York Sour) with egg white and without. But if you do the research you will realize that a New York Sour is mainly done without egg white and a classic Continental Sour includes the beautiful foam of egg white on top. If you want to stick with the recipes it’s a clear yes for egg white in the drink.

If you worry about the raw eggs we can tell you that with the way eggs are pasteurized today you shouldn’t worry too much about it.

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