Trader Vic’s Sour

Jelani Johnson | New York

Trader Vic created a number of variations on the sour, which call on various base spirits and a variety of different types of citrus. Here, Jelani Johnson offers a template that works equally well with bourbon, Sctoch, or brandy as the base.

Reprinted with permission from Easy Tiki: A Modern Revival with 60 Recipes, by Chloe Frechette, copyright © 2020. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Photographs copyright © 2020 by Lizzie Munro.


Serving: 1

  • 2 ounces Scotch, bourbon, or brandy
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce orgeat
  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup

Garnish: orchid, flag

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add ice and shake until chilled, about 10 seconds.
  3. Strain into a double rocks glass filled with ice.
  4. Garnish with an orchid and a flag.