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A world of unique, crafted gins

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Total flexibility, no commitment

A world of unique, crafted gins

Easy, free and reliable delivery

Total flexibility, no commitment

A world of unique, crafted gins

Easy, free and reliable delivery

Craft Gin Club's Guide to Sour Cocktails!

Craft Gin Club's Guide to Sour Cocktails!

May 24, 2021

As cocktails go, few are quite as iconic as a Sour. In fact, it’s difficult to think or say the word cocktail without some form of foamed-topped Whisky Sour, Gin Sour, Pisco Sour or even Amaretto Sour coming to mind - the image of that classic foam top is one of the quintessential cocktail images.

In this feature, we’re going to be taking a closer look at Sour cocktails (particularly Gin Sours, our favourites!). We’ll be exploring what they are, where they came from and some fabulous gin-based Sour cocktail recipes. So scroll down to find out everything you need to know about Sour cocktails!

Let’s start with the basics, what is a Sour cocktail?

Our unique Gin & Ginger Sour has a fabulous foam top!
Our unique Gin & Ginger Sour has a fabulous foam top!

A Sour cocktail is an alcoholic mixed drink traditionally served in a coupe or rocks glass and made from a spirit (we like gin), citrus juice (often lemon or lime juice) and a sweetener (often simple syrup which is sometimes known as sugar syrup).

That foamy top comes from the addition of egg white, which is why you put egg in a Sour.

When shaken with the other ingredients, the egg forms a silky, delectably smooth foam that rises to the top of the drink after it has been poured - the foam top on our delicious Gin & Ginger Sour cocktail is a great example of this. Most Sours can be made with or without egg whites though, so don’t worry if don’t like the thought of having raw egg in your cocktails.

Is it safe to use raw egg in cocktails?

In most cases, raw eggs are indeed safe to eat (or drink, in this case) as long as they have been stored in a cool, dry place, are within their best-before dates and have a British Lion stamp mark. However, some medical conditions may stop you from eating or drinking raw egg so it is always best to check with your doctor if you are unsure. The NHS has lots of information on egg safety and nutrition at this link. And you can find out even more about healthy ways to eat eggs here.

Is there a vegan alternative to using eggs in cocktails?

Yes, there is a vegan alternative to using eggs in cocktails and it’s called aquafaba. Aquafaba is the juice from a can of chickpeas and you need around 30ml of aquafaba to replace a single egg white in a Gin Sour. The aquafaba will give you a great foam top. You can find some mouthwatering vegan cocktail recipes right here!

Where and when did Sour cocktails originate?

The classic Gimlet is made with just lime and gin!
The classic Gimlet is made with just lime and gin!

The truth of the matter is that nobody knows exactly where the Sour originally came from, although it is thought to have one of the oldest family trees in the whole cocktail kingdom, preceded only by Punches.

The earliest form of a Sour-like drink is thought to have come from early Naval exhibitions. On doctor’s orders, sails were asked to mix their spirits (not beer, which would go off during long voyages) with citrus juice to ward off scurvy.

This is certainly how the original Gimlet came into existence. A Gimlet is an early form of Sour cocktail that is made without egg, mixing gin with lime juice.

You can find our Gimlet recipe at this link!

The quintessential Gin Sour recipe:

You may ask, which gins work best in a Gin Sour? For that quintessential Gin Sour experience, we recommend keeping things simple with a craft London Dry like Boatyard Double Gin or Blue Bottle Dry Gin.

After that, try mixing things up with a spiced gin like Cuckoo Spiced Gin or a floral gin like Wessex Saxon Garden Gin. Both spiced and floral flavours work so well with the citrus juice in this cocktail. Just keep the ratios the same and your Gin Sour will always be exquisite.

Gin Sour cocktail recipe.jpg

The ingredients for a classic Gin Sour:

50ml gin
50ml lemon or lime juice
25ml simple syrup
1 egg white (optional)
Citrus peel, to garnish (optional)

How to make a classic Gin Sour:

If using the egg white, add all of the ingredients apart from the garnish to a cocktail shaker and shake well. Add ice and then shake well again. Strain into a coupe or rocks glass, garnish and enjoy.

Once you have mastered this recipe, there are a whole host of alternative Gin Sour recipes out there for you to try.

One of our favourite alternative Gin Sour recipes is a Pomegranate Gin Sour, it’s so pretty to look at and tastes incredible. The sweet, tart pomegranate flavours of grenadine work really well with the rich juniper notes of the gin and the sour kick of the lemon juice in this recipe. The Angostura Bitters then add a subtle yet scrumptious hum of spice.

You can find the full recipe by clicking on the image below, where you can also find even more fantastic takes on the Gin Sour, including a strawberry-flavoured recipe and a rhubarb-flavoured recipe!

Discover some the best Sour cocktail recipes!

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