Sour cocktails are all the rage right now! They offer the perfect balance of sweet and sour, making them the ideal refresher for summer.
In this article, we'll provide some tips on how to make your own delicious variations according to the simple four-part method. We've also collaborated with Twist of Fate to bring you their signature Dirty Bourbon Sour cocktail recipe! Twist of Fate is well-known around Victoria as a power bartending duo. Co-founders Sarah Worrall and Andrew Langford provide services along with their event manager, Ashley Cooke such as event bartending and cocktail consulting. They've also recently released a line of Cocktail Cordials for building a top-quality drink at home.
Sour Cocktail Ingredients
Sour cocktails are made with four parts; two parts spirit, one part sweet, and one part sour. Egg whites are also often included in sour cocktails for an extra bit of froth on top. The sour recipe formula is popular because it provides just enough kick but doesn’t overpower your taste buds with too much acidity. This makes for a super fresh and invigorating drink.
Not surprisingly, lemons and limes are the most common fruits used to make sour cocktails. Fresh lemon juice has a bright, assertive flavour that makes any drink taste like summer. They also have a higher acidity than limes, so they are often used to make cosmopolitans and other cocktails with a strong sour flavour. Lime is a good choice for cocktails with a more subtle tartness, like mojitos and daiquiris. It adds a nice, citrusy flavour to the drink without being too overpowering.
One of the great things about the sour cocktail is that you can use almost any spirit–and there is a sour cocktail for every spirit! Maybe you tried a variation of a margarita that you loved, but you’d like to try it with gin. Or maybe you’ve wondered how a daiquiri would taste with tequila. The recipe format is endlessly adaptable.
Sugar is the most important ingredient in a sour cocktail because without it, the cocktail would just be liquor and acidity–imagine how a margarita would taste without any sweetener! This is why it’s best to stick to the classic four-part guide.
There are a few variations of sweetener that can be used in a sour cocktail: simple syrup, superfine sugar, and grenadine. Simple syrup is the most common sweetener used in cocktails because it dissolves easily in liquids and is very easy to prepare. Simply combine equal parts water and sugar over heat and mix together until the granules have dissolved. Let the simple syrup cool before adding it to a cocktail.
Superfine sugar is another good choice because of its ability to dissolve easily, but it can be more difficult to find in stores.
Grenadine is a thick, red syrup that is made from pomegranates. It adds sweetness and depth of flavour to a cocktail and can also be used to add aesthetic appeal.
You can also branch out beyond simple syrup by using agave syrup or maple syrup. These will add a subtle variation in the flavour of the cocktail. Or, try out a flavoured syrup for a special twist!
If you’re looking to take your cocktails to the next level, try one of Twist of Fate’s new Cocktail Cordials. They have a mouthwatering lineup of flavours like King Tiki, which is made of pineapple syrup, allspice dram, coconut water, and fresh lime! Simply mix any of the cordials with your choice of spirit and enjoy.
Head to Twist of Fate’s website to check out the complete collection of Cocktail Cordials and to learn more about the delicious combinations you can create with them this summer!
Twist of Fate's Dirty Bourbon Sour
Twist of Fate’s signature cocktail is a variation of the classic sour cocktail recipe. Learn how to recreate this vibrant summer drink to impress your guests this summer!
- 1.5 oz Four Roses Bourbon
- 0.75 oz sour mix
- 0.25 oz red beet syrup
- 0.5 oz liquid egg white
- Splash of Bowmore 12-Year-Old Whisky
- Combine Four Roses Bourbon, sour mix, red beet syrup, ice, and liquid egg white in a cocktail shaker.
- Shake to combine for about 20-30 seconds.
- Rinse the glass with a splash of Bowmore 12-Year-Old Whisky.
- Pour the cocktail mixture into the glass and top with a garnish if desired. Enjoy!
Basic Sour Cocktail
You can use this recipe and substitute the ingredients listed in the Classic Sour Cocktails below for some easy, fresh sips this summer. Feel free to adjust the amounts slightly if you prefer your drink sweeter or more sour.
- 2 oz spirits
- 1 oz sweetener
- 1 oz acidity
- Combine the spirit and sweetener in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until the ingredients are well combined, about 20-30 seconds.
- Add the acidity and shake again.
- Strain the mixture into a glass and enjoy!
Classic Sour Cocktails
A margarita is a sour cocktail that is made with tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur. The balance of these three ingredients creates the classic flavour that so many people know and love.
A classic daiquiri is made in a cocktail shaker and served in a chilled coupe glass. For this drink, you’ll use light rum, lime juice, and simple syrup. It is not the frozen blended drink that comes to mind when you think of a daiquiri (though this is also considered a sour cocktail), but if you’d like to learn more about making frozen cocktails, check out our guide at the end!
The whiskey sour is a classic cocktail that is made with whiskey, lemon juice, sugar, and egg white. After combining the whiskey, lemon juice, and sugar according to the Basic Sour Cocktail recipe above, add the egg white to the shaker and shake until fluffy. Pour the mixture into an old-fashioned glass, top with a cherry and orange slice, and enjoy!
Pisco is a type of brandy that is made in Peru and Chile. It has a fruity flavour and makes for a silky smooth mouthfeel when combined in a cocktail. The pisco sour is made with pisco, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white. The drink is typically enjoyed with a few dashes of aromatic bitters added to the top.
Interested in learning more about sour cocktails? Check out our blog posts with some more refreshing recipes!