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Eastern Sour


Eastern Sour

This tiki-inspired twist on a Whiskey Sour, adds orange juice and orgeat—an almond flavoured syrup—to the usual whiskey and lemon juice, and forgoes the egg-white traditionally included in a Whiskey Sour. This makes for a wholly different drinking experience, adding a citrusy sweetness and a rich nutty flavour to this already fantastic cocktail.

Bourbon, Lemon Juice, Orange Juice, Orgeat.

*premium glassware pictured, event glassware may differ.

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The Eastern Sour is a great all-round cocktail, combining the fruity accessibility of tiki cocktails with the grown-up complexity of whiskey, this combination is a match made in heaven.

For those planning a tiki-style menu for their mobile bar hire, and wanting to offer an alternative to rum this would make a great addition to your selection.

The Eastern Sour balances the depth of whiskey with the light tropical sweetness of orange and almonds and is a great fruity option for those planning a whiskey-based menu. Whiskey is a delicious spirit but it doesn’t always appeal to everyone, the Eastern Sour is a great way to showcase this liquor’s versatility and does a good job of converting those less enthused by the spirit.

For those planning to serve the Eastern Sour you may want to consider including its famous cousin, the original Whiskey Sour, this drink forgoes the orange juice and orgeat and classically includes egg white to give the drink a creamy and silky texture. For those wanting to provide an egg-free version of this cocktail, aquafaba (the starchy water from a can of chickpeas) is a fantastic vegan alternative for thickening cocktails, or if you wish to forgo the foam entirely the drink is just as delicious without it.

If you’re planning a tiki based menu for your bar hire, the Eastern Sour would go brilliantly alongside some more classically flavoured, rum-based tiki drinks and is a good lower ABV alternative to the often potent tiki cocktails. Some other popular tiki options include the Mai Tai and the Hurricane; a long, fruity mixture of 3 different rums, citrus and passionfruit.

If you’re interested in serving the Eastern Sour as part of your cocktail menu and would like to know more about what drinks would accompany it well, make sure to speak to your event organiser about your options, or check out some other whiskey-based, tiki-style and sour style cocktails from our list.


This tiki spin on a whisky sour was created by tiki-titan and chief instigator of island vibes, Trader Vic himself.

Legend has it, the drink was created to celebrate a new branch of Trader Vic’s which opened in 1975 in Toronto, on the east coast of Canada—hence the name.

The idea to create a special sour for the opening of each new Trader Vic’s location was common practice, with Trader Vic also creating the London Sour (exchanging bourbon for Scotch) for the opening of his London location in 1965, and the Munich Sour (using cognac) for the bar’s Munich launch in 1972.

Myths & Legends

Whilst its generally agreed that the Eastern Sour was created by Trader Vic for the opening of his Toronto location sometime in the 1950’s, a bar and restaurant located in San Bruno California, called Uncle Tom’s Cabin featured a drink on their menu called the Eastern Sour. Uncle Tom’s Cabin closed in 1949, so if they’re recipe was the same as Trader Vic’s they may have a claim to this drink’s invention.


The early recipes for a sour came about to help keep sailors healthy, this from Alcohol Professor explains more:

“Professional sailors suffered from scurvy and other malnutrition and sea-sicknesses, up until a bartender’s hero named Vice Admiral Edward Vernon of England began mixing a few ingredients together to serve to his crew. Sailors had a ration of various things, like limes and lemons to prevent scurvy, and liquor for something safe to drink. To prevent a ship full of intoxicated shipmates, the liquor, usually rum once it was discovered, was watered down and lemon or lime juice was added to mask the flavor of the rum. Hence, we have a very early version of the Sour.”

Ingredients & Equipment

A not so typical tiki, the Eastern sour features no rum or tropical fruits, not even any coconut cream.

To give this drink the fresh island taste it needs it should be made with fresh juice where possible, it has the added benefits of some of the spicy, oakiness from the bourbon.

We recommend using a good bourbon like Makers Mark or Buffalo Trace.


  • 50ml Bourbon
  • 35ml Orange Juice
  • 25ml Lemon Juice
  • 12.5ml Orgeat
  • 2-3 Dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Lemon Wheel and Cocktail Cherry to Garnish


  • Shaker
  • Jigger/Measure
  • Hawthorne Strainer
  • Mexican Elbow
  • Rocks Glass
  • Cubed Ice
  • Take your Boston glass or small tin
  • Using your jigger to measure, add the bourbon, orange juice and orgeat to the shaker
  • Using your Mexican elbow and your jigger to measure, squeeze 25ml of lemon juice and add it to the shaker
  • Add 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters to the shaker
  • Fill your shaker with cubed ice and seal with the Boston tin or lid
  • Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds, or until your tin is very cold
  • Fill your rocks glass with cubed ice
  • Use your Hawthorne strainer to strain your cocktail into the glass
  • Garnish with a lemon wheel and a cocktail cherry
  • Serve and enjoy!

For larger groups of six or more students, we offer the option to take things private. Our classes are fully portable, and we are able to set ourselves up efficiently and professionally in a wide variety of locations and settings across the capital, the UK, and beyond. You name the location, and we’ll endeavour to make it happen.

Give one of our dedicated event organisers a call on 020 8003 7982. They’ll happily talk you through your options, and answer any questions you may have about both our mobile and in-house cocktail making classes.