New York Sour

The 12 best Sour Cocktails

By Sina / Last updated on June 17, 2022 
Sour Cocktails will never get out of fashion. They are a prime example of how to pair ingredients to perfection, and you can find at least one version on the menu of any cocktail bar.

Sour Cocktails are absolutely delightful. They are perfectly balanced, plus you can add egg white to create the most beautiful texture.

It was a Gin Sour that got me interested in craft cocktails and mixology many years ago. Back then, I didn't think I could find raw egg white even remotely enjoyable in a drink. How things have changed...

Yet, even if you do find the idea of egg white in a drink irritating, Sour Cocktails are still for you. The protein isn't obligatory. It's just an add-on.

So get ready for some truly delicious drinks!

What are Sour Cocktails?

Classic Sour Cocktails are a mix of liquor, an acidic element, and a sweet component to balance it all out. As mentioned, optionally, you can also add some egg white to create a beautiful foamy texture.

The spirit

The spirit builds the foundation of the cocktail and defines its taste. Basically, you can use any liquor to create a Sour. From Whiskey to Tequila to Midori Melon, there are almost no limits.

The Sour

The acidic part usually is lemon juice when talking about the Sour family. You can also work with lime. A few recipes even specifically ask for it, but you can't go wrong with lemon in a Sour. 

Sometimes, you will also see grapefruit or orange juice in a Sour cocktail. But regardless of the citrus fruit in question, always use freshly squeezed juices. 

The sweetener

And then there's the sweetener. Its chief purpose is to balance the boozy component and the acid from the lemon juice. But you can also use it to add some additional flavor, complexity, and color to your drink. 

For instance, you can add fruity flavors with homemade syrup from figs or passion fruits. Or some floral notes from elderflower syrup to go with your Gin Sour. 

Hibiscus syrup and the blue butterfly pea syrup are also popular choices if your want to add some color to your drink.

Optional elements in a Sour Cocktail

Finally, there are the add-ons. Apart from the classic egg white, there are many Sour cocktails that require the use of bitters. Others have a wine float. 

There are quite some options to upgrade a regular Sour and turn it into something really fancy. And, of course, you will find quite a few of them on this list of the best Sour Cocktails.

The best 12 Sour Cocktails

Here are our favorite Sour Cocktails: From all-time classics to modern twists and completely new and unconventional takes, there's something for everyone.

Continental Sour Cocktail with cherry garnish
1 / 12

Continental Sour

I want to begin with a Sour version that's not one of the ultimate classics simply because it is my favorite: The Continental Sour. 

The base for this cocktail is a Whiskey Sour, made with Bourbon, lemon juice, and rich simple syrup. And that base gets upgraded with an egg white foam and a port wine float. 

It's an impressive sight and an absolutely gorgeous sip.

View Recipe
Whiskey Sour Cocktail and bitters
2 / 12

Whiskey Sour

The Whiskey Sour dates back to the 19th century and is one of the first documented Sour cocktails. It's Whiskey with lemon juice and simple syrup.

Of course, there's a huge selection of Whiskeys in terms of types and brands. So, if you want some inspiration and recommendations, read the article about the best Whiskeys for a Whiskey Sour

View Recipe
New York Sour
3 / 12

New York Sour

The New York Sour is another riff on the Whiskey Sour, looking very similar to the Continental Sour but is not quite the same.

Instead of the rich Port Wine, the New York Sour is served with a red wine float on top. Using a dry red wine here creates a great alternative for everyone who finds Port slightly too sweet. 

View Recipe
Gin Sour cocktail
4 / 12

Gin Sour

The Gin Sour has its origin in England, the home country of Gin. It's a lighter and mellower version of its American forerunner with Whiskey. 

The standard recipe asks for a classic London Dry Gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice. Using a more exotic Gin like Bobby's Schiedam makes for 

The Gin Sour is also particularly well suited for getting creative with the sweetener. It's great to make use of your favorite homemade syrups.

View Recipe
Tequila Sour cocktail
5 / 12

Tequila Sour

The Tequila Sour is a refreshing cross between a classic Sour and a Margarita. It contains Silver Tequila, simple syrup, egg white, bitters, and lime instead of the standard lemon juice.  

You can also go with a Reposado instead of a Silver Tequila for this cocktail. And always make sure to use 100% agave Tequila to get the best results.

View Recipe
Mezcal Sour cocktail
6 / 12

Mezcal Sour

This one is another Mexican take on a Sour Cocktail, but a slightly more complex and smoky version. As a sweetener, you can use Cynar and add just a bit of agave nectar to the mix.

If you're new to Mezcal, you might want to opt for a brand that's not too heavy on the smoky flavors. If you need some help with selecting, check out these Mezcal recommendations.

View Recipe
Amaretto Sour
7 / 12

Amaretto Sour

If you have a sweet tooth, the Amaretto Sour could be the perfect choice for you. It's a twist on the classic Stone Sour made with Apricot Brandy and a really fantastic one.

Amaretto is a popular Italian liqueur made from apricot, peach stones, and almonds. It has a distinctly sweet, almost marzipan-like taste to it.

And because Amaretto is relatively low in ABV and sweet, you best use a split base for this Sour Cocktail: Amaretto and a bit of Bourbon, lemon juice, and simple syrup make for a real treat. 

This variation of a sour cocktail works perfectly both with and without egg white. 

View Recipe
Pisco Sour
8 / 12

Pisco Sour

There's an ongoing dispute between Chile and Peru about who invented Pisco -an unaged Brandy made from grapes. 

But one way or another, I'm grateful it's there. I would not want to miss out on a good Pisco Sour. Although, I have to say I had the best Pisco Sour so far in Chile. Believe it or not, in a hostel far south in Puerto Natales.

The Pisco Sour is a drink you definitely should order with an egg white. It makes the dots of Angostura bitters on top shine, and somehow Pisco needs this smooth texture.

View Recipe
Rum Sour Cocktail recipe
9 / 12

Rum Sour

Another classic on this list, and it goes back a long way. Most likely, Rum is one of the first spirits ever to be regularly combined with lemon or lime and sugar. 

So, the Rum Sour is a descendant of the Grog -which today is known to be one of the most influential Tiki cocktails. It's a delicious combination of Rum - preferably dark-, lime, simple syrup, and a few drops of Angostura bitters. 

View Recipe
Christmas Rum Sour Cocktail
10 / 12

Christmas Spiced Rum Sour

Our favorite festive variation among the Sour cocktails. It gets some beautiful winter vibes by using Christmas spiced syrup based on red wine.

The Christmas Rum Sour is made with dark Rum, lemon juice, syrup, and egg white. Garnished with star anise, a cinnamon stick, and a dehydrated orange, this drink is an absolute winner at every Christmas party. 

View Recipe
Midori Cocktail
11 / 12

Midori Sour

From winter back to summer. The Midori Sour is based on the famous green-colored Japanese Melon liqueur. 

It doesn't 100% follow the standard template of a Sour. It's a mix of Midori, lemon and lime, soda, and a dash of Vodka. Considering the use of soda water, one could even argue it's more like a member of the Collins cocktail family.

Still, it's officially a Sour. And what's more, it's full of flavor, not overly boozy, and tastes a lot like summer. 

View Recipe
Trinidad Sour cocktail
12 / 12

Trinidad Sour

The Trinidad Sour is a truly unique representative of the Sour Cocktail family. And something as unusual as this drink certainly deserves a spot on this list. 

The drink is based on Angostura's Aromatic bitters and requires attention to detail. Otherwise, it can go very wrong and taste awful. 

But if you stick to the recipe and the exact measurements of Rye, bitters, orgeat, lemon, and egg white, you're up for a surprisingly pleasant experience. 

View Recipe

Subscribe to Cocktail Society!

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

Three Chelada cocktails with lime and Tajin

Classic Chelada - A Mexican Beer Cocktail made with Lime

Read More
Mt Fuji Shochu Martini

Mt Fuji Shochu Martini

Read More
Flying Frenchman cocktail

Flying Frenchman

Read More
Mezcal Mule cocktail

Mezcal Mule

Read More
Old Fashioned Samurai made with Shochu

Old Fashioned Samurai

Read More
Best beer cocktails

The 8 Best Beer Cocktails

Read More
Privacy PolicyContactAbout us
Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com.