Ask us what our go-to cocktail is when entertaining, and many of our team of cocktail enthusiasts would choose the gin sour recipe.
Endlessly adaptable, below we’ll explore the origins of the drink, give you our recipe for the perfect gin sour, as well as three variations on the classic gin cocktail.
What is a Gin Sour?
Sour cocktails have been around for a long time, first listed in Jerry Thomas’ 1862 “The Bartenders Guide” – a must-read for cocktail fans.
Why do we love them so much?
Well, as we’ll explore below, they are endlessly adaptable. The gin sour was one of the two sour cocktails mentioned in “The Bartenders Guide”, but you can make them with whisky, vodka, or any base spirit.
Sours generally follow the same mix:
- A base spirit like gin
- Lemon juice – always freshly squeezed if this is possible
- A sweetener such as sugar or a syrup
- An ingredient to create the classic foamed topping
This foam is usually achieved by vigorous shaking (who needs the gym, anyway?) and using egg whites in the mix.
When the whites are shaken up they emulsify with the other ingredients. That is to say, they combine into a deliciously creamy mix.
Egg whites are not for everyone, and indeed we’ve seen a few raised eyebrows when cracking them onto our bar top at parties.
What we will say is that if your eggs are sourced from reputable companies and quality stamped, they generally should be safe in cocktails.
Many pro bartenders will explain that the acidity in the lemon should kill any nasties in the egg.
However, if you’re not convinced there are a ton of alternatives available – see our expert tip below.
HOW TO MAKE A GIN SOUR COCKTAIL
Gin Sour Ingredients
7.5ml Simple Syrup – for an easy recipe check out our guide to make simple syrup
25ml Lemon Juice, Freshly Squeezed
1 Egg White (Don’t want to use an egg? See below for alternatives)
Add the gin, syrup, lemon juice, and egg white to a cocktail shaker.
Add ice and seal the tin.
Shake well for 10-20 seconds. You’ll want to achieve a nice frosting on the outside of the shaker tin.
Strain into a rocks glass with cubed ice. Alternatively you can use a chilled coupe glass.
Garnish with a lemon wheel.
Egg White Alternatives
As we covered above, egg whites are not for all.
If you want to avoid this, swap it out for aquafaba, the liquid from chickpea cans.
This sticky substance is the perfect mimic for egg white. It’s vegan, and naturally occurring.
We’re big fans of a vegan foamer like Ms. Betters Bitters.
The foam achieved is, dare we say it, sometimes better than using an egg white. It’s also gluten free.
Which gin should be used in a Gin Sour?
We always recommend using a good quality gin in our cocktails, and never was this more important than with the gin sour recipe.
Our top picks are a London Dry, such as Tanqueray. A good quality gin doesn’t need to break the bank – Beefeater is a great option.
We’re also particular fans of Hendricks. The amazing cucumber and floral notes in this gin combine really well with the citrus elements of the gin sour recipe.
What types of Sour Cocktail Are There?
You can make a sour with any base spirit.
Prefer sweeter fruity flavours? The Pear Sour, which uses apple brandy, is the cocktail you’re looking for.
Lovers of agave which is found in the Margarita will enjoy the Smoky Mezcal Sour.
Gin Sour Variations
Maple Gin Sour
Switch the sugar syrup for Maple for a pancake inspired serve, which you can also enjoy at any time of year.
20ml maple syrup
25ml lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 egg white or vegan foamer
Handful of fruit such as strawberries or blueberries, muddled
Muddle your fruit, then add to a shaker with the other ingredients. Shake as you would a normal sour (see above) and pour into a chilled rocks glass with ice.
Raspberry Gin Sour
50ml Raspberry Gin – we used Whitley Neill, but there are a ton of great options like Edinburgh Gin or the Botanist.
10ml sugar syrup
25ml lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 Egg White or vegan foamer
If you like this, definitely try the famous Bramble recipe which mixes gin and blackberries.
Pink Gin Sour
Usually a little sweeter than a regular gin, this is a great way to sweeten your gin sour cocktail.
7.5ml Sugar Syrup
25ml Lemon Juice
1 Egg White
WHAT TO TRY AFTER THE GIN SOUR RECIPE?
Once you’ve mastered the gin sour recipe then try these easy gin cocktail recipes.
We’ve reviewed the best gin cocktail recipes including the Gin Fizz, a delightful mix of gin, lemon, sugar, and soda. Or there’s the Tom Collins, a refreshing serve perfect for sipping on the Summer’s evening.