For my first year after college, I worked at a cozy college bar in Norman, Oklahoma. The inside featured wood paneling, brass accents on the bar and over 32 beers on tap. We were open 365 days a year.
Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas night were our busiest evenings every year. The place filled up with people who needed a break from family time, and wanted to catch up with old friends. Smiles, laughter, good food and drink—a few of my favorite things.
Since my cinnamon maple whiskey sour was so popular this time last year, I wanted to share my latest iteration with you. It’s a classic cocktail called a New York sour, which is essentially a whiskey sour with a beautiful wine float on top. It looks fancy, but it’s actually easy to make at home.
If you like whiskey and wine separately, you’re going to love them together in one glass. If you need a stiff drink after the holiday crazies, this is it. Please let me know how you like the recipe in the comments section!
More Cozy Whiskey Drinks to Enjoy
Maple New York Sour
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 cocktail 1x
- Category: Cocktail
- Method: Shaken
- Cuisine: American
Learn how to make a New York sour cocktail. I sweeten mine with maple syrup instead of simple syrup, which tastes amazing! They’re easy to make, too. Recipe as written below yields one cocktail. You can make two or three cocktails at once in your cocktail shaker; just pour them over ice and top each one with a wine float as explained below.
- 2 ounces (¼ cup) rye whiskey or bourbon (I like Rieger’s brand—a local Kansas City distillery—and Bulleit)
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) fresh lemon juice
- 2 to 4 teaspoons maple syrup, to taste (I like 3 teaspoons, which is the equivalent of ½ ounce or 1 tablespoon)
- ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) fruity red wine*
- Fill a cocktail shaker or mason jar about two-thirds full with ice. Pour in the whiskey, lemon juice and maple syrup. Securely fasten the lid and shake for about 30 seconds.
- Pour fresh ice into your cocktail glass. Strain the cold whiskey sour mixture into the glass. Slowly pour the wine over the back of a spoon held just above the drink’s surface, so it has a nice layered effect. Sip up!
Recipe adapted from my cinnamon maple whiskey sour and Bon Appetit.
Recommended equipment: Measuring small quantities of liquids for cocktails (and salad dressing, etc.) is WAY easier with this stainless steel measuring jigger.
*Wine notes: Look for wine descriptions that suggest notes of cherry/plum/berries, etc. and you should find a winner. I just wouldn’t use a particularly spicy or dry red wine here. I used an organic 2014 cabernet sauvignon from Trader Joe’s labeled “Rare Earth.”
▸ Nutrition Information
I love NY Sours! One of my favorite bars in Boston, Marliave, makes a version that’s Maker’s Mark, Cotes du Rhone, lemon, and a bourbon soaked cherry. Am intrigued to try a maple version!
That sounds delicious! Hope you love this one! Happy holidays, Kate.
I don’t love whiskey, although I keep trying, but this is SO gorgeous that I think I’ll have to make it anyways!
Well, I hope this one is the drink that turns you in a whiskey lover! Cheers. :)
Abby @ Heart of a Baker
Ohh this looks right up my alley! I believe I have all of the ingredients at home for these, so I know what I’ll be prepping for the holiday season with :)
Thanks, Abby! They’re a doozy in a good way. :)
We are kindred cocktail spirits! I just ordered my first NY Sour at dinner last night, and it was lovely. The maple sounds extra festive. Hope you are well! E
Hey Erin! I’ve been seeing them on a lot more menus lately. Happy holidays!
Sara @ Last Night's Feast
That looks delish and super festive =)
Thank you, Sara!
Just wondering what kind of red wine you used? Thanks! I can’t wait to make this for my family this weekend!
Hi! I used an organic cabernet sauvignon from Trader Joe’s called “Rare Earth.” Probably any wine that’s not particularly dry and includes words like fruity, notes of cherry, plum, berries, etc. would work well.
I made 7 of these on Christmas Eve. Everyone loved them and are still talking about how good they were! Definitely keeping the recipe and making them again! Thanks for posting the recipe!
That’s fantastic to hear! Thank you, Lesleay!
This is one drink that would be a huge hit at my holiday party. So trying this!
Hope you all love it!
Allyson (Considering The Radish)
New York sours are the best. I love your suggestion of using maple syrup instead of simple.
I stumbled across your insta a couple weeks ago (making your healthy pumpkin bread this weekend!), and now I see Norman, OK! Did you work at The Library? Or Coach’s? Trying to get through all my Norman bars in my head lol! I went there for school and lived there a couple years after :) such a small world! And this drink sounds delish even though I’m not a big whiskey drinker!
Ding ding ding! The Library! :D I lived there for a few years afterward, too.
Yum! Looks delicious!
Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps
This looks and sounds FANTASTIC.
I’m not a huge fan of whiskey Kate, but I love maple syrup, so I will definitely give this a go.
Thanks, Angela! I think you might enjoy this one!
Made this for Valentine’s and again when my adult kiddo and his significant other visited. Big hit both times. It’s delicious but I think what puts it over the top is it’s beauty with the wine float. Felt pretty fancy
Love to hear that! Thank you for your review, Diane.
I’m a huge fan of bourbon cocktails. When I saw this post I had to try it. This is delicious!! I love the maple syrup instead of simple syrup. It adds depth to the drink. Three teaspoons is the perfect amount. The fruity float of red wine worked perfectly. I was so eager to try it I forgot to take a pic. I now have a new favorite cocktail and look forward to sharing it with friends. Thank you so much for sharing!
Thank you, Tina! Delighted to hear you’re enjoying this one so much. Happy New Year!
Your maple NY sour is my new holiday drink, made with Jack Daniels. Here in Switzerland cocktails aren’t as popular so my friends are loving it!!! THANKS
Cheers! So fun to know you are making these on the other side of the world.
Barbara McDowell Whitt
Kate, this looks fantastic. You are right here in Kansas City. I found you thanks to UK-based Michael Luft’s link via @LuftMichiko on Twitter. [I’m @BarbaraMcDWhitt.] My husband and I have a small glass of red wine with our at-home evening meal which, for us, is most of our evening meals. My new favorite wine is Menage a Trois Silk Soft Red Blend. Now if I only can convince my guy that a shot (or 2 ozs.) of Elijah Craig Small Batch bourbon actually would be healthful as a bedtime cocktail.
Barbara McDowell Whitt
My Twitter link for your recipe was wrong. It was posted by @LuffMichiko.
Thank you- we loved this! AND… our friend gifted us some fancy smoked maple syrup- perfect for cocktails! The smoked stuff is called Sugar Bob’s, and it’s very potent, so we just added a few drops to regular syrup. That little hint of smokiness goes a long ways. Thumbs up all around :)
Oooh, I’m intrigued! Thanks, Jess!
These were the hit of our Christmas Eve and Day! Thank you so much!
That’s so great! Thanks, Kate!
I made one for me on Christmas and passed it around for a taste. I ended up making these for the family. Very tasty sipper. I had a little problem with getting the wine to float on the top but even when it sank to the bottom of the glass it looked great
Thanks, Barb! I’m so glad it went over well.
Hi. I made this maple sour cocktail during our recent winter vacation and we really enjoyed it! Thanks for a creative seasonal cocktail that is super easy and looks pretty in the glass. We didn’t have a fruity red wine so I just added a tad more syrup.
Thanks for letting me know, Iris! I’m so glad you enjoyed these.
Thank you for this recipe! Folks were suspicious of the wine float when I made them on new years eve, but they were easily won over.
Thanks, Marilyn! I’m glad they came around. :)
I made these for friends on New Year’s and they were excellent!!
Oh, awesome! What a great way to ring in the New Year :) I’m so happy you & your friends enjoyed it.
rieger whiskey is my favorite too. you should try their gin, its fantastic!
Yes! I’ll definitely add that to my to-do list ;)
You SAVED me! We hosted our dinner group a couple of weeks ago, and at the LAST MINUTE my hubs said, “hey, aren’t we supposed to have a cocktail?” at which point I remembered this post. We just so happened to have everything we needed, so I made them for our friends. It was my first time ever making a cocktail, and it was a ENORMOUS hit! It is super delicious. And my bourbon-loving friend gave it high regards as well! Thank you, thank you!!! We will definitely be making this again! Another hit from Cookie and Kate!
YES Cookie & Kate saves the day!! This made me really happy to read. Thanks, Sharron!
I have made these many, many times. A new favorite of ours because of the fresh ingredients and refreshing taste. It is a sipper though and a two drink limit as they are potent! The drink is beautiful in presentation as well. The brand of alcohol used makes a difference on the taste. I like Makers Mark.
YES this one is a sipper, for sure! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed them.
These cocktails were perfect for game night. The flavors were well balanced and the wine float presentation just adds that extra something.l Our friends mistakenly thought we knew something about cocktails! Thanks, Kate!
You are welcome, Leigh!
This was so fun! I’ve become responsible for a Thanksgiving cocktail, and this is one of two winners this year. …..Also, since we’re one week off of Beaujolais Nouveau release, it seems like the perfect tie-in for the holiday. My test run was fantastic!
That’s fun! Happy it worked out so well. A few test runs for a cocktail is always a great idea :)
Oh my god, this is DELICIOUS! Drinking this tonight with your sweet potato black bean burgers, and it’s perfect!
I’m happy to hear that, Monica!
I have made these several times exactly as posted, using Bulliett Absolutely delicious. Thank you for the recipe. I bought mini bottles of wine so I don’t have to open a big one. Tastes like a craft cocktail I would order at an upscale bar
You’re welcome, Tara!
I love this recipe. I love a cocktail and I love a cocktail even more when I don’t have to buy a $15 bottle of something that I will literally only use for this cocktail. This is so great that all the ingredients are usually on hand and it’s so delicious. I’m too lazy to even make simple but with two kids, I always have maple!
I love your recipes, but thank you for giving me a cocktail too!
These are SO delicious, everything I love in a glass. They look so sophisticated, yet so simple to make… Thank you!
It says “wine float“ as explained below, but I didn’t see it mentioned, just the choice of wine. How do you make your “wine floats“?
Hi! If you follow the instructions and description below the ingredients, it will work out. I hope you love it!
I want to try to make these on nye! Do you think if i altered this and used rosé instead of wine it would still float? Like would the carbonation effect that?
Hi! Sorry for my delay. Did you try it? Not sure I would recommend that substitution.
I like to make this with apple whiskey (I’m partial to Edgefield Aval Pota) and Monin maple spice syrup. Great for Fall!!
Love the twist on this classic. A lovely Syrah blend from Spain was our topper— perfect
Thank you for your review, CD!