New York Sour

Wine meets bourbon in the best way.

I finally figured out what to do with leftover wine! Now if you’re like a couple of my colleagues here, the only problem with leftover wine is that you didn’t drink it all. But Christina and I often find we open a bottle, have a couple glasses each, and have that awkward half-inch left over at the bottom. We could fight over it, or occasionally one of us is gung-ho for a third glass…but more often than not it just ends up sitting there. But I now have a solution, and it’s perfect for summer, especially if you (like me) go through a lot of Malbecs: the New York Sour. It’s like Harlem and Queens set aside their differences and found to their disgruntlement that they liked each other after all.

I’ve found references to it as far back as the 19th century (not always by the same name), but most of your friends won’t have tried it…so like classic Anglo-American baby names, tailored suits, and walkable neighborhoods, this thing is so old-fashioned it’s cool again.


  1. 2 ounces rye or bourbon whiskey
  2. 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  3. 1 ounce simple syrup
  4. 1/2 ounce fruity red wine (such as Shiraz or Malbec)


Combine 2 ounces rye or bourbon whiskey (I like Bulleit for this), 1 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice*, and 1 ounce simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, cover, and shake a really long time–about 30 seconds. Strain into a rocks/old-fashioned glass filled with fresh ice. Gently pour 1/2 ounce fruity red wine (such as Shiraz or Malbec) over the back of a spoon held just above the drink’s surface so the wine floats on top. (I did it with some leftover La Finca Malbec from last night and it worked great.)

Bartender tip: you can make simple syrup in any quantity as long as the proportions of 1-1 remain the same. It just takes a few minutes and it keeps for a couple weeks in the fridge.

*If you use something out of a bottle I will disown you.

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