While we no longer mix a Whiskey Sour to prevent scurvy, as was its original purpose, we still feel a bit better with one in our hand. Sailors originally consumed the now-classic drink in order to battle malnutrition and food-borne illnesses while at sea for long periods of time. Refrigeration was not an option so they often turned to watered-down liquors to help quench their thirst. By adding a bit of lemon juice to the mixture, they further benefited themselves by preventing the onset of scurvy! The sailors eventually landed and brought the recipe back to shore where it was refined and reimagined to become the cocktail we know and love today.

Originally made with rum due to its accessibility, the Whiskey Sour traveled to the UK and tried out pairings with both gin and brandy. However, upon its arrival to America, it was paired with the famously patriotic (and easily accessible) whiskey and then made its match and claimed its name.

Love This Dink? See our 66 Awesome Cocktail Recipes to learn more about Rye Whiskey drink favorites.

There are three core ingredients that have remained the same for nearly 150 years despite innumerable changes and modifications to that first iteration of the cocktail: lemon juice, some form of sugar, and fruit for a garnish. The simplicity and flexibility of the recipe have paved the way for the seemingly eternal popularity of Whiskey Sours in America.

Rum, gin, brandy, and even whiskey have all had their shot at perfecting this cocktail. But here at Iowa Legendary Rye, we think this delicious beverage could be even better. So, the next time you are strolling down a shopping aisle and you toss lemons and a bag of sugar in your shopping cart you should also grab a bottle of Iowa Legendary Rye’s Aged Black Label Rye.

While we no longer decide what liquor to use in a drink based on what is most immediately available, we do decide based on taste and quality.
The aroma of sweet citrus that the Rye already develops as it ages in the white oak barrels are even further drawn out by the lemon juice. The flavors of cinnamon and brown sugar are accentuated by the sugar. The strong, tingling finish of the Aged Black Label Rye ensures that this will not be a drink you will soon quickly forget.