Fall Herbal Whiskey Sour Cocktail

A balanced fall cocktail that’s a lighter whiskey drink with body (egg white foam) and a hint of something floral and new (Italicus).

Chris, the kitten and I recent went to do a weekend staycation in DC at The Line hotel. Please notice I included the kitten. More on that here. Because we live in the suburbs, we always find excuses to avoid going into the city. And DC has gotten some great restaurants in the past year so truly that’s a shame. For us, we’d rather make it really efficient and go in and stay and eat for several days. As many of you noted, yes, all we did was eat constantly that weekend.

While we were there, we stopped in a random liquor and wine shop and walked out with a lot of things we can’t get in Virginia. The one I was most excited about finding was Italicus, which I have been looking to get my hands on for at least six months. A small blurb I read somewhere talked about this Italian liqueur made from bergamot with hints of citrus, rose and lavender. I felt like it would be the next version of St Germain (elderflower liqueur) on everyone’s bar cart and I needed to try it ASAP. If nothing else, the striking bottle would definitely show up in someone’s bar cart styling. I think what I mean here is, I like to know things before other people.

This is a nice cocktail for fall and for those who maybe are overwhelmed by a typical whiskey or rye drink. The smoked cinnamon as well as the bay leaf adds recognizable depth of flavor and aroma to the whiskey but the Italicus does the lightening with the floral and citrus notes. Is this recipe easy to whip up? No. We smoked cinnamon sticks for goodness sake. This is definitely more of a 300 level cocktail vs 101. But could you get away with not smoking the cinnamon sticks and having a nice drink? Yah. You could. But don’t skip the citric acid solution since it’s crucial for balance.

Fall Herbal Whiskey Sour Cocktail
Fall Herbal Whiskey Sour Cocktail
Fall Herbal Whiskey Sour Cocktail
Fall Herbal Whiskey Sour Cocktail
Fall Herbal Whiskey Sour Cocktail

Fall Herbal Whiskey Sour Cocktail


.5 oz Cinnamon simple syrup (3 cinnamon sticks smoked with hickory and apple wood, simmered in sugar and water to create simple syrup)

1 large egg white (or a little less if you want it to be a touch less drying)

.75 oz Citric Acid Solution (read more about why we use this here but to make it the ratio is 3 1/2 teaspoons citric acid dissolved into 1 cup water)

2 oz Whiskey

.75 oz Italicus

dash of Angostura Bitters

small pinch of salt

1 Bay Leaf


  1. Prepare citric acid solution if not on hand and set aside.

  2. To smoke cinnamon sticks, place 3 cinnamon sticks in a bowl and smoke with hickory and apple wood using a smoke gun. Leave covered to trap smoke for at least 1-2 minutes. Remove and place in a small pan. *Note, if you are not smoking the cinnamon sticks, add cinnamon sticks to a pan and continue directions here.

  3. To create a batch of simple syrup, add the cinnamon sticks, 1 cup of water and 1 cup of granulated sugar to a small pan and bring to a boil on stove. Stir to ensure all sugar is dissolved. Turn off burner and cool. Store in fridge.

  4. To prepare cocktail, separate an egg white and yolk. Save the yolk for another recipe and place the egg white in a shaker. Remember, if you want this drink to be a little less drying in the mouth, discard a little bit of the large egg white. Shake vigorously to create foam.

  5. Add a handful of ice cubes to the shaker with the foam. Add citric acid solution, whiskey, Italicus, bitters and salt to the shaker. Shake to combine.

  6. Pour into glass slowly to preserve egg foam, and garnish with a bay leaf.

Fall Herbal Whiskey Sour Cocktail
Fall Herbal Whiskey Sour Cocktail

Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.