During the 1970s, Midori launched its iconic melon liqueur in the US. And the bright and eye-catching liqueur with the unusual sweet melon taste was a tremendous hit in the late 70s and early 80s. Midori melon liqueur was the perfect fit for that time. However, like many other liqueurs, it is rather sweet, mostly too sweet for today's taste. But in a Midori Sour, it still works exceptionally well. Combined with fresh citrus juice from lemons and limes, this drink doesn't even need additional sweetening from syrups.
Our approach to the classic cocktail is based on a healthy amount of Midori combined with fresh ingredients. The result is a delicious sweet and sour cocktail with a delicious melon flavor. Learn how to make the best Midori Sour cocktail.
The right ingredients
Looking for recipes for this iconic Midori cocktail, you'll find a ton of different takes on it. Unfortunately, many cover the amazing melon flavor behind cheap sweet & sour mixes. Instead, always use freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice to get that tangy citrus taste in the cocktail.
The base of the drink is Midori liqueur, of course. This Japanese melon beverage is flavored with musk melons and yubari fruit. First added to neutral grain spirit, the Japanese melon liqueur is then sweetened and artificially colored to achieve its iconic green tint. After a very successful period in the 70s and 80s, Midori quickly was forgotten in the back of cocktail bars' shelves. But as with other almost forgotten ingredients, the latest craft cocktail movement brought it back on cocktail menus.
To add a bit of strength to what otherwise would be a relatively weak cocktail, I also add a bit of Vodka to the mix. Some recipes even replace half the Midori base with Vodka, but this, in turn, removes most of the melon flavor.
The final touch is the addition of just a splash of chilled club soda. That doesn't affect the taste but makes the drink even more refreshing. Served in a Collins or Rocks glass and garnished with a cherry, the cocktail is ready to be served in no time.
How to make a modern Midori Sour
There are two different ways to make a Midori Sour. One option is to build it in the glass, and the other is to shake it on ice. The latter is recommendable when adding egg white to the cocktail to create a frothy top. But in our version, we will make this drink in the glass, which keeps things super easy.
All you have to do is fill a glass with ice, then add Midori liqueur, Vodka, lemon juice, and lime juice to it and stir until everything is well-mixed. Now add just a splash of ice-cold soda water to some carbonation to the drink. Garnish it with a cherry and optionally a citrus wheel.
The Japanese melon liqueur has a very distinct taste and color. That makes it really hard to find replacement products. Should you never have heard of this liqueur, here are some quick facts.
- The liqueur is made from Japanese musk melons and yubari fruit. Both of these fruits grow exclusively in Japan.
- The liqueur's original name was Hermes Melon Liqueur. However, with the launch in the US, the brand got renamed Midori.
- The taste is quite sweet with a delicate taste of melon. But usually, the liqueur is not consumed straight but rather in mixed drinks.
If you want to learn more about this unique liqueur, you can read all about the Japanese melon liqueur.
- 2 oz Midori
- 0.5 oz Vodka
- 0.5 oz Fresh lime juice
- 0.5 oz Fresh lemon juice
- 1 splash Chilled soda water
- Fill a glass with ice cubes.
- Add Midori, Vodka, lime juice, and lemon juice into the glass and stir.
- Once everything is mixed, add a splash of chilled soda water and garnish the drink with a cherry and a slice of lime.