Los Angeles Sour - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Los Angeles Sour

Los Angeles Sour

A modern sipper dedicated to LA.

Aiming to create a spirited homage to Los Angeles, LA bartender Adam Fournier looked to the Los Angeles Cocktail from The Savoy Cocktail Book, but with lemon, whisky, sugar, egg, and a dash of Italian vermouth, “nothing about it reads as LA,” says Fournier. “I ditched the light blended whiskey for a house blend of whiskies that amplified those flavors. Next, I changed the sweetener to piloncillo (aka panela) sugar, an unrefined cane sugar typical in Latin America that speaks to the heritage of Los Angeles while adding an earthy, robust flavor to complement the whiskey blend. After that, the whole egg was swapped for an egg white for a frothy, whiskey sour texture. Finally, the original splash of vermouth became a vermouth reduction that’s layered at the bottom of the glass. This creates more of a complex mulled wine flavor, and because the rest of the drink is layered over this reduction, it looks like a beautiful Los Angeles sunset.” 


  • 2 oz. whiskey blend
  • 3/4 oz. piloncillo syrup
  • 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz. vermouth reduction
  • 1 egg white (pasteurized, if you like)
  • Tools:shaker, strainer
  • Glass:rocks


Add the vermouth and a large ice cube to the glass, then set aside. In a shaker, combine the whiskey, syrup, lemon, and egg white and shake without ice. Add ice and shake hard again. Double strain into the prepared glass.

Whiskey Blend: For every drink, combine 1 oz. of single-malt whisky with 1/2 oz. bottled-in-bond rye whiskey and 1/2 oz. of single-grain whiskey. Choose whichever brands you like. (Alternatively, Fournier says a quality high-rye straight bourbon or a blended malt whisky will do the trick if you don’t want to create a blend).

Piloncillo Syrup: Combine equal parts of piloncillo sugar (found in most Mexican markets or online) and filtered hot water. Allow to steep for 10-15 minutes to soften the sugar. Add to a blender and blend on high for 1 minute or until the sugar is fully dissolved. Transfer into a clean bottle or jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Vermouth Reduction: In a medium-sized pot, combine one 750-ml. bottle of sweet vermouth with 250 grams of sugar. Bring to a gentle rolling boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer until the total volume is reduced by 25%, approximately 15-20 minutes.

Enjoy This Article?

Sign up for our newsletter and get biweekly recipes and articles delivered to your inbox.

Send this to a friend