Classic Gin Sour

By Timo Torner / Last updated on March 24, 2023

The Gin Sour is the perfect balance of sour and sweet with a herbal, smooth spirit base.
Gin Sour cocktail in Sour Glass with Bitters and egg white

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. 

You can jazz up the classic combination of Gin, lemon, and syrup by adding egg white or aquafaba. Alternatively, you can give it your own twist with homemade flavored or color-changing syrups

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.

Gin Sour

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.

Gin Sour with egg white

-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.

Of course, the variations with other base spirits like the Rum SourTequila Sour, and the Mezcal Sour are a real treat, too. 

And then, there are some more fancy variations that joined the Sour family more recently: Three of my favorites are the Continental SourNew York Sour, and Midori Sour

The first adds Port Wine, the second is regular red wine, and the Midori is based on the famous Japanese liqueur, Midori Melon.

Gin Sour cocktail in Sour Glass with Bitters and egg white

Gin Sour

A classic gin cocktail recipe made with Gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup, and egg white / aquafaba.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: angostura bitters, egg white, Gin, lemon juice, simple syrup
Servings: 1
Calories: 246kcal
Cost: $3


  • 1 Cocktail Shaker
  • 1 Hawthorne Strainer
  • 1 Jigger


  • 2 oz Gin
  • 0.75 oz Fresh lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz Simple syrup
  • 1 Egg white - (optional)
  • 3-4 drops Angostura bitters


  • Add all ingredients into a cocktail 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 chilled sour or coupe glass.
  • Garnish your drink a few drops of Angostura bitters or with a lemon peel if you want. Voila, here's your perfect Gin Sour.


Serving: 4.5ozCalories: 246kcalCarbohydrates: 13.95gProtein: 3.3gSodium: 58.75mgPotassium: 115.25mgSugar: 13.08gVitamin C: 10.25mgCalcium: 22.5mgIron: 0.13mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Subscribe to Cocktail Society!

Receive our latest recipes, reviews, and insights - straight to your inbox.
Subscription Form

4 comments on “Classic Gin Sour”

  1. 5 stars
    Tasty! Liked this tipple more than a whiskey sour I have to admit. I used Nordés grape-based Gin for this.

  2. 5 stars
    Excellent explanation! I also saw your explainer video on YouTube, it helped make to nail this Gin Sour recipe on the first try. Cheers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

ContactAbout usPrivacy PolicyTermsSitemap
Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from

© 2023