Sour cocktails are refreshing drinks with a perfect balance of sweetness and acid, with the Tequila Sour being a more recent riff on the original Whiskey Sour.
In the early days of Sour Cocktails, the combination of lemon (or lime) juice and sugar was an easy way to hide harsh notes of cheap alcohol. But nowadays, they are among the most popular and most-ordered cocktail styles.
Quick Facts Tequila Sour
- Method: shaken
- Flavor profile: slightly boozy, sweet & sour
- How to serve it: straight up
- Best glassware: Rocks Glass
- Alcohol content: ~ 16%, 19 grams of alcohol per serving
Tequila has this unique agave taste, which shines through in this recipe. Mixed with fresh lime juice and syrup, this drink tastes somewhere between a typical Sour and a classic Margarita.
- 2 oz Reposado Tequila
- 1 oz Fresh lime juice
- 0.5 oz Simple syrup
- 1 oz Egg white or Aquafaba
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- Add Tequila, lime juice, simple syrup, Angostura bitters, and egg white (or aquafaba) into your cocktail shaker without ice. Shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds.2 oz Reposado Tequila, 1 oz Fresh lime juice, 0.5 oz Simple syrup, 1 oz Egg white or Aquafaba
- Open the shaker, add ice, and shake for another 15 seconds.
- Strain into a chilled rocks glass and garnish with 2 dashed of the bitters.2 dashes Angostura bitters
Ingredients & Recommendations
Like all sour cocktails, this drink combines a spirit base, citrus juice, and simple syrup. The standard version of the Tequila Sour also includes egg white for a frothy top and Angostura bitters for extra flavor. So you need:
- Tequila: We recommend using a 100% agave spirit. That is not a specific type of tequila but a quality seal. Affordable quality brands are, for instance, Patrón or Espolòn. Further, we prefer using Reposado for this recipe, which brings warmer and mellow flavors to your cocktail and has less of a bite.
- Fresh lime juice: Combine that with tangy, freshly squeezed lime juice. Please don't use bottled lime juice in cocktails- that makes for a perfect cocktail.
- Simple syrup: the regular mix of 50% sugar and 50% does the trick.
- Egg white: the fresher the egg, the better the texture of your foamy top.
- Angostura bitters: When sprinkled on top of your cocktail, they add flavor and improve its visual.
Best Practices to Make a Tequila Sour
Making this tequila-based Sour isn't much different from other Sours. The number one tip for a nice foamy top is to perform a two-step approach when mixing called dry shake. But let's look at the equipment you need first:
- a rocks glass
- a cocktail shaker
- a Hawthorne strainer
First of all, when you serve this drink straight up, cool your glass by filling it with some ice cubes or put it in the freezer for a couple of minutes. That will keep your Tequila Sour cool for a longer time.
Then, let's look at the technique called dry shake:
For that, you add all ingredients except Angostura bitters into the cocktail shaker. - Don't add ice just now. Shake the ingredients vigorously for about 15 seconds.
Open the shaker, add ice cubes, and shake for another 10 seconds. That will chill and dilute the cocktail while preserving that beautiful egg-white foam.
If this does not produce the result you had in mind, practice is the key - or a reverse dry shake.
For everyone on a vegan diet, egg white in a cocktail is a no-go. However, what if you don't want to miss out on that beautiful frothy top?
Luckily there's a solution to this dilemma - aquafaba, the water of canned chickpeas. Your drink will have less of a rich mouthfeel that egg white creates, but the difference is marginal.
Another option to alter the recipe is to opt for a Blanco Tequila instead of a Reposed. That results in a fresher, crisper cocktail with more of a bite. If you like, you can also use agave nectar instead of simple syrup to further pronounce the earthly flavors of the Mexican spirit.
From a Tequila Sour, there are two ways to go. You can mix up more drinks with your open bottle of tequila, in which case we recommend trying:
- Tommy's Margarita, a simpler version of the classic
- a Soho House Picante de la Casa with a bit of heat from chilis.
The other option is to keep practicing your Sour Cocktail skills with some of these:
Or some others of our favorite Sour Cocktails.