Stone Sour Cocktail

Stone Sour – Tom Bullock’s almost forgotten creation

The Stone Sour Cocktail is a very refreshing drink that you can easily make at home. If you’re wondering what precisely it is, in short, I would say it as a sour cocktail with the addition of orange juice. That’s not a complete full description covering all aspects of the drink, but it provides a good impression of its taste.

The Whiskey Stone Sour, probably the most famous version, is a close relative of the Whiskey Sour. Besides the whiskey version, Amaretto, Rum, and even Tequila Stone Sours can be found in cocktail menus across the world.

History of the Stone Sour

Tom Bullock is seen as the inventor of the cocktail as we know it today. His cocktail book “The Ideal Bartender” featured the first recipe containing orange juice. His version of a Gin Stone Sour thereby marks the starting point of Stone sour history. The book was published in 1917, shortly before prohibition began. So it’s no wonder that the cocktail somehow vanished for quite some time.

In the early 1970s, the Stone Sour with orange juice resurfaced in different country clubs. It’s hard to find out how and why the recipe spread, but it did. A little later, in the 80s, the recipe was quite common and well-known. It got even mentioned in “Sardi’s Bar Guide”, published in 1988, that described the cocktail as a sour “with the addition of orange juice.”

In the decade after that, the drink had its most triumphant time. In the 90s, in some parts of the US, the drink was so popular you were hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t know it. With the new Millennium, the decline of the Sour started, and it became kind of forgotten again. But as with most things, it certainly will have another revival. However, at this point, while you can still find recipes online in all kinds of variations, the hype is not there anymore.

The story of Tom Bullock

As Tom Bullock is the inventor of the Stone Sour, I want to dedicate a few lines to him. He was not only the inventor of this exceptional drink, but he was the first African American to publish a cocktail book. His book “The Ideal Bartender” gives an excellent impression of how pre-prohibition drinks looked and tasted. What makes the book even more interesting is that Tom did not use modified versions of existing cocktails. He did his very own and unique creations.

If you want to read more about Tom Bullock and his legacy, I found a great article online about his entire life as a bartender. You can find it here.

How to make a Stone Sour

Freshly squeezed orange juice is a must. Other than that, it’s quite a simple and easy drink to make.

Stone Sour Cocktail

Stone Sour

Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: whiskey
Servings: 1
Calories: 180kcal


  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Strainer
  • Old fashioned glass


  • 1.5 oz Bourbon Whiskey
  • 0.5 oz Apricot Brandy Liqueur
  • 0.75 oz Lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz Orange juice
  • 0.5 oz Simple syrup


  • Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake.
  • Strain the cocktail into a chilled glass, preferably over a large ice cube.


Calories: 180kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Different versions of Stone Sour Cocktails

As mentioned, other versions are also pretty famous. The Amaretto Stone Sour, for example, can be found on many bar menus. The Apricot Brandy part is usually missing there, making the drink even more similar to a classic sour version.
Another example would be the Tequila Stone Sour. If you’re looking for a recipe online, you’ll most likely find recipes including orange juice as well as triple sec. The triple sec works great with Tequila – we also know that from Margarita cocktails- and therefore is a fantastic addition for this stone sour.

You can already see, every version has a different approach on how to change the original sour version can into a Stone Sour. I can’t cover all of them, but you know now that there’s a large variety and many options. If you feel like experimenting, and search for some new versions, tell me how they went. I’m always curious.

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