Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Other Cocktails

Winter Sour

Winter Sour cocktail in a cocktail glass, layered with red at bottom and a white frothy top, garnished with a rosemary sprig / Tim Nusog

A sour cocktail is more than just a description of a tart drink. The sour is a template that features a spirit, citrus, sweetener and sometimes egg white. Within that wide category, you’ll find classics like the Sidecar, Daiquiri and Pisco Sour, plus modern classics and plenty of original creations like the Winter Sour.

This low-alcohol cocktail by San Francisco bartender H. Joseph Ehrmann is bitter, sweet and seasonal. It calls for Campari, the Italian bitter red liqueur, plus Meyer lemon juice, honey syrup, egg white and a rosemary sprig. At 48 proof, Campari provides a less boozy base than most cocktails, which tend to feature spirits at 80 proof and above. The honey and lemon balance the Campari’s bitterness with a classic blend of sweet and tart, the egg white lends a silky texture to the drink and rosemary brings a touch of herbaceous flavor and fragrance.

The Winter Sour tastes great all year, but Meyer lemons reach their seasonal peak in winter. Look for the bright yellow fruits in stores beginning around November, then use them liberally while they last.


  • Leaves from 1 small rosemary sprig

  • 1 1/2 ounces clover honey syrup*

  • 1 ounce Campari

  • 1 1/2 ounces Meyer lemon juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1 ounce egg white

  • Garnish: rosemary sprig


  1. Add the rosemary leaves and honey syrup into a shaker and muddle gently.

  2. Add the Campari, Meyer lemon juice and egg white and vigorously dry-shake (without ice) for 15 seconds.

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

  4. Double-strain into a cocktail glass.

  5. Garnish with a small rosemary sprig.

*Clover honey syrup: Add 1/2 cup clover honey and 1/2 cup water into a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the honey is dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Allow to cool then transfer to an airtight container. The syrup will keep, refrigerated, for up to 1 month.


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