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20 Best Sour Cocktails You Should Try (2023 Updated)

Last Updated on January 23, 2023 by Lydia Martin

There’s no better than a sour cocktail during your lazy night at home.

But did you know that your favorite sour cocktails are sure to be a blast whether you’re looking for a refreshing drink or a highlight in your next party?  

Here are the best sour cocktails compiled by our team.    

Top 20 Sour Cocktails To Make

20. Paloma 

Glass of Paloma Cocktail Drink

Paloma cocktail is the new variation on the classic sour Margarita. For a Mexican Paloma sour drink, combine grapefruit and tequila.  

Prep/Total Time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2oz fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2oz Blanco tequila
  • 1oz soda water
  • 0.5oz simple syrup
  • 0.5oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Sea salt, grapefruit wedge 

Instructions: Rim your glass using the grapefruit wedge and sea salt, then add the liquid ingredients, except soda water. Stir, add ice, and pour soda water on top. 

Serving: 1

19. Classic Mojito

Classic Mojito garnished with Lime and Mint Leaves

Try this fantastic Cuban cocktail – Classic Mojito, balanced with lime, fresh mint, and rum.

Prep/Total Time: 5 mins

Ingredients: 

  • 2oz soda water
  • 2oz white rum
  • 1oz simple syrup
  • 1oz lime juice
  • Mint leaves

Instructions: Muddle the mint leaves in your shaker, then add the liquids, except soda water. Add ice, shake, and strain in your glass. Top it with soda water and serve with mint leaves. 

Serving: 1

18. Clover Club

Clover Club is another classic sour cocktail with tart red fruit notes and a velvety texture from the foamy topping. 

Prep/Total Time: 5 mins

Ingredients: 

  • 3oz gin
  • Egg white
  • 1oz fresh lemon juice
  • 0.75oz raspberry syrup

Instructions: Shake all the ingredients in your bar shaker for 15 seconds. Add ice and shake for another 15 seconds. Strain the gin sour in your cocktail glass and serve. 

Serving: 1

17. Tequila Sour

man holding Tequila Sour drink

This Tequila Sour is a revitalizing sweet and sour cocktail with a foamy topping.

Prep Time: 5 mins

Total Time: 5 mins

Ingredients: 

  • 2-dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2tsp agave nectar
  • 2oz reposado tequila
  • 0.5oz lime juice
  • 1oz lemon juice
  • Egg white

Instructions: In your cocktail shaker, shake all the ingredients for 15 seconds. Add ice and shake for 30 seconds more. Strain in your glass and garnish with a cocktail cherry if desired.  

Serving: 1

16. Classic Margarita

Classic Margarita Glass and Bottle of Patron Tequila

One of the most well-known sour cocktails, Classic Margarita, is an easy-to-make cocktail you can have in just three ingredients. 

Prep Time: 5 mins

Total Time: 5 mins

Ingredients: 

  • 0.75oz fresh lime juice
  • 1oz Triple sec or Cointreau
  • 1.5oz tequila reposado or blanco
  • Lime wedge, Kosher salt

Instructions: Rim your cocktail glass with a lime wedge and salt. Then, mix all the ingredients in your shaker and strain them into your rimmed margarita glass over ice. 

Serving: 1

15. New York Sour

Glass of New York Sour Cocktail Drink

Level up the classic Whiskey Sour with the addition of a red wine float on top in this stunning New York Sour.  

Prep/Total Time: 5 mins

Ingredients: 

  • 1oz dry red wine (or Italian liqueur)
  • 0.5oz agave syrup
  • 1oz lemon, juiced
  • 2oz bourbon whiskey

Instructions: Mix bourbon, juice, and syrup in your shaker with ice. Shake until cold and strain in your Old-Fashiond glass. Carefully pour some red wine on top to create a layered effect. 

Serving: 1

14. Southside

Southside Cocktail Drink

If you want a unique drink from the sour family, try this Southside recipe, a sour cocktail made with mint, lime & lemon juice, simple syrup, and gin.

Prep/Total Time: 5 mins

Ingredients: 

  • 0.5oz simple syrup
  • 0.5oz lemon juice
  • 0.5oz lime juice 
  • 2oz gin
  • Mint leaves

Instructions: Muddle the mint leaves in your shaker and add all the liquids with ice. Shake and strain in your chilled coupe glass. 

Serving: 1

13. Pomegranate Martini

Pomegranate Martini Garnished with Lime

Pomegranate Martini is another spin on one of the classic sour cocktails– the Martini but is more similar to the Cosmopolitan. Confusing, right? So, try it yourself. 

Prep/Total Time: 5 mins.

Ingredients: 

  • 0.5oz simple syrup
  • 0.5oz lemon, juiced
  • 0.5oz Cointreau
  • 1oz pomegranate juice
  • 1oz vodka

Instructions: Mix all the ingredients in your bar shaker with ice. Shake and strain in your martini glass. 

Serving: 1

12. Pisco Sour

Pisco Sour Cocktail Glass Drink

This Pisco Sour cocktail is a go-to drink for brandy [1] lovers who want a sour kick. Use fresh lime and egg whites to achieve a beautiful foamy texture. 

“Pisco Sour was extremely memorable: delicious, powerful, with a strong kick. It’s been a sentimental favorite ever since.”

— Nico Vera, Peruvian Chef/Pisco Enthusiast

Prep Time: 5 mins.

Total Time: 5 mins.

Ingredients: 

  • 2oz Pisco
  • 0.5oz simple syrup
  • 1oz lime juice
  • Egg white 

Instructions: Shake all the ingredients in a shaker for 15 seconds. Add ice and shake for 30 seconds more. Strain the Pisco Sour into your cocktail glass (you’ll see the egg-white foam on top). 

Serving: 1

11. Sidecar

Bartender making Sidecar Cocktail

Want the best classic sour cocktail of all time? Prep this Sidecar Cocktail to savor its sweet and tart flavors.

Prep Time: 5 mins.

Total Time: 5 mins.

Ingredients: 

  • 1oz lemon juice
  • 1oz Cointreau
  • 2oz Cognac VS or VSOP
  • Orange twist, sugar rim

Instructions: Rim your glass using the sugar and lemon twist; set aside. Shake all the liquids in your shaker with ice and strain the mix into your prepared glass. Garnish with an orange twist and serve.   

Serving: 1

10. Gin Gimlet

Glass of Gin Gimlet on a Wooden Table

Another classic sour cocktail is this Gin Gimlet made only from lemon juice, simple syrup, and gin.  

Prep/Total Time: 5 mins

Ingredients: 

  • Club soda
  • 0.5oz simple syrup
  • 0.5oz lemon juice
  • 20z gin

Instructions: Mix gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup in your cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled. Strain in your glass and add a few drops of soda on top. 

Serving: 1

9. French 75

2 glasses of French 75 drink

This classic cocktail, French 75, is a refreshment combining the flavors of gin and lemon– perfect for any celebration. 

Prep/Total Time: 5 mins

Ingredients: 

  • 3oz champagne
  • 1oz simple syrup
  • 0.75 fresh lemon juice
  • 1.5oz gin

Instructions: Add lemon juice, simple syrup, and gin to your bar shaker filled with ice. Shake for 15 seconds and strain the sour cocktail in your champagne flute. Pour champagne [2] on top and enjoy. 

Serving: 1

8. Gin Fizz

Glass of Gin Fizz Cocktail Drink

Want a gin-based, simple drink? Then, try this Gin Fizz cocktail with soda water and egg whites, creating a foamy topping for a fizzy yet smooth texture.  

Prep/Total Time: 5 mins

Ingredients: 

  • 0.5oz simple syrup
  • 0.75oz lemon juice
  • 2oz gin
  • Egg white 
  • Sparkling water 

Instructions: Shake gin, egg white, lemon juice, and simple syrup in your shaker for 15 seconds. Add ice and shake for 30 seconds more. Strain in your glass and pour some sparkling water on top. 

Serving: 1

7. Vodka Sour

Making Vodka Sour Cocktail Drink

Vodka Sour is a truly sour cocktail yet refreshingly sweet– with a frothy topping. 

Prep/Total Time: 5 mins

Ingredients: 

  • A few dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 0.5oz simple syrup
  • 0.5 oz citrus juice (optional)
  • 1oz lemon juice
  • 2oz vodka
  • Egg white

Instructions: Shake all the ingredients in your bar shaker for 15 seconds. Add ice and shake for another 30 seconds. Strain in your glass and let the foam float on top.  

Serving: 1

6. Amaretto Sour

Making Amaretto Sour Cocktail Drink

No one will forget Amaretto Sour, one of the iconic sour cocktails popular today. However, it looks like the classic Whiskey Sour; nah, it tastes different. 

Prep/Total Time: 5 mins

Ingredients: 

  • 2-dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1tsp honey syrup 
  • 1oz juiced lemon
  • 0.5 bourbon or rye whiskey
  • 1.5oz amaretto (for a different variation, try using maraschino liqueur)
  • Egg white

Instructions: Mix all the ingredients in your bar shaker and shake for 15 seconds. Add ice and shake for another 30 seconds. Strain in your glass and let the foam float on top. 

Serving: 1

5. Tom Collins

Tom Collins cocktail Drink

This classic cocktail, Tom Collins, is a gin sour drink close to Gin Fizz. Enjoy the bubbly, sweet-tart, and light flavors. 

Prep/Total Time: 5 mins

Ingredients: 

  • 4oz sparkling water
  • 1oz lemon juice
  • 1oz simple syrup
  • 2oz dry gin

Instructions: Combine gin [3], juice, and simple syrup in your cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain gin sour in your glass filled with ice. Top with sparkling water and serve with maraschino cherry and lemon wheel if desired. 

Serving: 1

4. Cosmo

Cosmopolitan Cocktail Glass Drink

Yes, Cosmo is one of the sour cocktails, too. Cranberry juice imparts the bright pink hue of this sour cocktail but is perfect for any sweet tooth. 

Prep/Total Time: 5 mins

Ingredients: 

  • 1tsp maple syrup
  • 0.5oz lemon juice
  • 0.5oz orange liqueur 
  • 1oz unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 1oz vodka
  • Lime wedge

Instructions: Add all the liquids to your shaker and shake filled with ice. Shake for 15 seconds and strain in your martini glass. Squeeze the lime wedge and serve. 

Serving: 1

3. Lemon Drop Martini

Two Glasses of Lemon Drop Martini

Lemon Drop Martini is one of the favorites among the best sour cocktails, enhanced by orange liqueurs, vodka, and citrus fruit. 

Prep/Total Time: 5 mins

Ingredients: 

  • 1tsp maple syrup
  • 0.5oz lemon, juiced
  • 0.5oz orange liqueur
  • 1.5oz vodka
  • Lemon wheel and sugar (Superfine)

Instructions: Rim your glass using the lemon wheel and sugar; set aside. Mix all the ingredients in the bar shaker with ice, shake, and strain in your rimmed glass. 

Serving: 1

2. Classic Daiquiri

Classic Daiquiri Drink with Lime

One of the classic sour cocktails, this Daiquiri recipe is similar to Mojito, but this unique rum sour is popular on its own. 

Prep/Total Time: 5 mins

Ingredients: 

  • 0.5oz simple syrup
  • 1oz lime juice
  • 1.5oz white rum
  • Lime slice

Instructions: Pour the juice, simple syrup, and rum into your cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled. Strain in your glass and serve with a slice of lime. 

Serving: 1

1. Whiskey Sour

Glass of Whiskey Sour

The favorite among classic sour cocktails is whiskey Sour. Enjoy its perfectly balanced flavors with an acidic element and the addition of egg whites. 

Prep Time: 3 mins.

Total Time: 3 mins.

Ingredients: 

  • 2oz bourbon whiskey
  • 1oz fresh lemon juice
  • 0.75oz simple syrup or maple syrup
  • Cherry, orange peel

Instructions: In your shaker, add all liquid ingredients with ice. Shake and strain into your lowball glass over ice. Garnish with cherry and orange peel, then serve

Serving: 1

FAQs 

How do you make a sour mix?

To make a sour mix, combine sugar, limes, lemons, and water. 

Are sours actually sour?

Sours actually has sour notes. You can taste some tartness or acidity, but it blends well with all the flavors of the drink.  

Is Margarita mix the same as a sour mix?

Margarita mix and sour mix are similar. The only difference is that Margarita uses lime juice, while sour mix uses lime and lemon.  

To Sum Up

Speaking of sour cocktails, there are many great-tasting drinks, regardless of the celebration and season. 

From the classic Daiquiri to Pisco Sour [4] to the Paloma cocktail, all are equally refreshing, tart yet sweet, and easy-to-prepare beverages with a kick of alcohol.

But what we love the most is, of course, the classic Whiskey Sour. When we say sour cocktail–that’s Whiskey Sour right away. 

References:

  1. https://www.britannica.com/topic/brandy 
  2. https://www.britannica.com/topic/champagne-alcoholic-beverage 
  3. https://www.britannica.com/topic/gin-liquor 
  4. https://theculturetrip.com/south-america/peru/articles/a-brief-history-of-the-pisco-sour/ 

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