Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Gin Cocktails

Gin Sour

Gin Sour cocktail / Tim Nusog

You’ve likely had, or at least heard of, a Whiskey Sour, a standard in the dark-spirit cocktail canon, and the Pisco Sour, its light-spirited cousin from south of the Equator. But have you tried a Gin Sour yet? It’s essentially the same drink with a different spirit swapped in—a light, refreshing and mildly botanical sipper for any season or occasion.

The classic sour format, dating back to the mid-19th century, calls for a spirit, lemon or lime juice, and a sweetener. A frothing element such as egg white or aquafaba (the liquid you’d usually drain from a can of chickpeas) is optional and adds a lovely layer of foamy texture atop the drink, which you can then decorate with bitters. If this format sounds familiar, it’s because many drinks follow it, such as the Gimlet—essentially a Gin Sour that calls for lime juice rather than lemon—and the Daiquiri and Tommy’s Margarita. (You’ll want to omit the egg white in all three of these drinks, though.) 

This recipe calls for a London dry gin, but feel free to switch it up with different types if you like; an Old Tom gin or even genever, gin's Dutch predecessor, both work well. And feel free to dial back the lemon juice and crank up the simple syrup by a quarter of an ounce if you prefer a sweeter version of the drink. There’s really no wrong way to make a Gin Sour.


  • 2 ounces London dry gin

  • 1 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup

  • 1/2 ounce egg white or aquafaba (optional)

  • Garnish: lemon twist (optional)

  • Garnish: 3 drops Angostura bitters (optional)


  1. Add the gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white (if using) into a shaker and vigorously dry-shake (without ice) if using egg white or aquafaba. (If not using egg white or aquafaba, skip the dry shake and move to the next step.)

  2. Add ice and shake again until well-chilled.

  3. Strain into a coupe glass.

  4. Garnish with a lemon twist. Or if using egg white or aquafaba, decorate the frothy top with 3 to 5 drops of Angostura bitters.

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.