Like most members of the Sour Cocktail family, the Gin Sour is a true crowd-pleaser. It's been around for centuries and dates back to when mixing drinks wasn't necessarily a craft but more often an accident.
Ingredients of a Gin Sour
The ingredients list for a classic Gin Sour is nice and short: Gin, lemon juice, simple syrup. However, what at first sounds pretty straightforward, is not at all that easy when you look a little closer.
There's a whole variety of different types of Gin out there to choose from. And then, there's always the question: do you want your Gin Sour with or without egg white?
The best Gin for a Gin Sour
Gin is the base of this drink, and therefore you should always use a quality Gin.
Saying this, it doesn't have to be an expensive Gin. You can start with a Beefeater Gin, for instance. It is a classic London Dry, pretty affordable, and works great in cocktails.
Or you can use a Tanqueray instead, which is also a London Dry. If you are interested in the differences between the two, here's a detailed comparison of Beefeater and Tanqueray Gin.
To tweak the recipe a little, you have two possibilities: Use a flavored syrup or use another Gin. And with both, there are plenty of options for you.
Basically, you can try any type, from London Dry to New Western. But I like to experiment with more modern Gins.
One of my favorites for a Gin Sour is Gvine Gin, a grape forward variation. But Hendricks (cucumber forward), Iron Balls Gin (Pineapple forward), and Bobby's Gin are great ways to jazz up your Gin Sour recipe.
Lemon juice and sweetener
Lemon juice in cocktails should be a no-brainer. Always use freshly squeezed juice instead of store-bought versions.
Regarding the simple syrup, you can buy that at your local supermarket. But it's also easy to make simple syrup at home. The same goes for flavored syrup, like fig syrup or homemade elderflower syrup.
If you want some color-changing effects in your Gin Sour, you can add a bit of homemade butterfly pea syrup.
Egg white or no egg white in a Gin Sour
For me, every sour should have a foamy top. In my opinion, it just belongs to the drink. Egg white adds a layer of texture, making your cocktail extra smooth.
If you use fresh, organic eggs, you don't have issues regarding health or taste. I highly recommend enjoying your sour cocktails with egg white. - Or with Aquafaba, the vegan alternative.
-And don't forget to perform a dry shake (no ice) when making your Gin Sour with a foamy top.
However, in the basic sour recipe, there's no egg white. That means the base ingredients of spirit, lemon juice, and syrup are enough to create a Sour of any kind.
Origin of the Gin Sour
The origin of the Gin Sour is not documented. As with many other classic cocktails, there are various stories and claims regarding who made it first. But nothing that sticks out as being particularly convincing.
But the idea of Sour cocktails, in general, can be traced back to the Navy Grog. Over time, this evolved into many different drinks and drink families. Besides the Sour cocktails, there are the Collins Family, Fizz cocktails, and many more.
All sour cocktails follow the same recipe. It is base spirit, lemon juice, and simple syrup. This simple mix of ingredients creates a refreshing, sweet, and sour drink.
Often, sour cocktails also have a thick foam on top, usually made from raw egg whites.
Other Sour Cocktails
I love a good Gin Sour. But there are even more famous representatives of the Sour cocktail family, like Whiskey Sour, the Amaretto Sour, or Pisco Sour. - Also, check out the Stone Sour, a version of the classic Whiskey Sour with some apricot notes.
The first adds Port Wine, the second is regular red wine, and the Midori is based on the famous Japanese liqueur, Midori Melon.
- 2 oz Gin
- 0.75 oz Fresh lemon juice
- 0.5 oz Simple syrup
- 1 Egg white (optional)
- Add all ingredients into a shaker without ice and shake it for 20 seconds. That will help the egg white build the beautiful foam. (If you don't like egg white, you can start with the next step)
- Put ice in the shaker and shake again. To properly cool the drink and keep the foam, shake it for around 10 seconds.
- Strain into a whiskey tumbler with fresh ice.
- Garnish your drink with a lemon wedge if you want. Voila, here's your perfect Gin Sour.