A Complete Guide on How To Make The Greatest Vodka Sour Recipe

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If you skipped your morning omelet and are looking for a protein hit, why not get it from a cocktail? “Sour” cocktails, whether made with whisky, vodka, or other liquors, generally contain egg whites. 

If you’ve only had one at a bar before, you may not have seen the bartender shake in an egg white, and you probably didn’t taste it either. The egg white only serves to give the drink some texture and some aesthetic froth on top. It’s not meant to add flavor. 

And, if you’re worried that you can’t enjoy a sour cocktail as a vegan, think again. Below, we’ll show you a vegan-friendly drink recipe that includes an excellent (and surprising) substitute to keep your drink tasting and looking great. 

Once you learn the basics, you can create any kind of “sour” you like, so consider this permission to diverge from the norms. Historically, a sour cocktail contains a shot of liquor, some lemon or lime juice, and a sweetener. Don’t forget those egg whites for great texture and foam on this classic vodka sour recipe. 

How to make a vodka sour

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: None

Total time: 5 minutes

Servings: 1

Ingredients: 

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ½ ounce fresh lime juice 
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 egg white
  • Cocktail cherry and lemon slice (for garnish)

Glassware: 

  • Old-fashioned glass

Preparation instructions 

  1. Combine the vodka, lemon juice, lime juice, syrup, bitters, and egg white without ice in a shaker. Shake well. (If you want to keep this recipe a bit simpler, you can substitute the lemon and lime juices and the simple syrup for sweet-and-sour mix.)
  2. Add ice cubes to your cocktail shaker and shake again for at least 30 seconds. 
  3. Strain the drink into an Old-Fashioned glass over ice. (Watch as the foam rises to the top!)
  4. Garnish with a lemon wedge or slice and a Maraschino cherry.

Bartender’s note: This recipe isn’t a vegan recipe, but if you’d like to make a vodka sour without egg whites, you can easily subtitle this animal product. Switch out the egg for 2 tablespoons of aquafaba to get the same white foam. What is “aquafaba,” you may ask? It’s the liquid in a can of chickpeas. This may not sound like a likely ingredient for a sweet cocktail, but aquafaba is common in vegan baked goods and other foods and beverages that contain egg whites. 

Recipe adapted from A Couple Cooks.

Fernanda Flugel – stock.adobe.com

Vodka sour variations: 

Passion fruit sour: To make a vodka sour passion-fruit-flavored, simply substitute the simple syrup for a passion fruit infused variety.

Cherry vodka sour: This cherry vodka sour recipe is made a bit differently than the classic version above. It doesn’t contain lemon or lime juice, and it gets its cherry flavor from grenadine (which is incidentally pomegranate flavored, so go figure!). This version also happens to be vegan. Shake up 1 ounce of sour mix, 1 ounce of vodka, and a splash of grenadine with plenty of ice, and strain into an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a Maraschino cherry and a slice of orange. 

Other vodka cocktail recipes:

Simple cocktails with vodka: The most straightforward vodka cocktails that require one or two other ingredients. If you’re just starting to try our hand at mixology, you might want to pour a “Vodka Red Bull,” which you can make by pouring a shot of vodka into a glass over ice and topping it off with an energy drink (ideally, Red Bull). If you want to step up your game a bit, try a basic vodka negroni. This drink is a classic and a crowd-pleaser, and it only contains three ingredients. Simply shake up 1 part vodka, 1 part Campari, and 1 part sweet red vermouth with plenty of ice and strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a lemon peel for added flair. 

Sweet and sour mix drinks with vodka: 

  • Vodka collins: To make a vodka collins — a play on the classic cocktail, the Tom Collins — combine 1 ½ ounces of vodka and 1 ½ ounces of sweet and sour mix in a shaker with plenty of ice and strain into a glass with more ice. Top up with club soda. 
  • Lemon drop martini: Mix up a lemon drop martini by shaking 1 ½ ounces of lemon juice, 2 ½ teaspoons of granulated sugar, 1 ½ ounces of vodka, 1 ½ ounces of limoncello, and 3 ounces of sweet and sour mix with plenty of ice. Strain into two martini glasses and garnish with a lemon twist.

Other sour drink variations 

To experiment at your at-home bar, try swapping base liquors like vodka or whisky for gin, tequila, or amaretto. Play with the citrus component, too. Grapefruit, anyone? Nectarine? Finally, you can vary the sweetness of this drink by only adding as much sweetener as you like. Increase the liquor content and swap out the syrup for more citrus juice for a stronger variety. You can mix in a fruity liqueur, too, and leave your hard liquor concentrations where they are. 

We recommend using egg whites in any of your creative combos–at least the first time around–to ensure that your finished cocktail has good suspension and silky texture for the perfect addition to any happy hour.

Best mixers for vodka:

  • Energy drinks like Red Bull 
  • Colas 
  • Club soda
  • Iced tea 
  • Coffee (and Irish Cream as a milky component)  
  • Flavored seltzer water 
  • Tonic water 
  • Orange juice
  • Pineapple juice
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Lemonade
  • Ginger beer
  • Cranberry juice
  • Tomato juice
  • Egg nog
Sunny Forest – stock.adobe.com

Is your bar stocked for the weekend? If not, ask Gopuff to lend a hand behind the bar. You can order everything you need in seconds and have it at your door in a matter of minutes. Start cleaning out your cocktail glasses because it sounds like you may be having company. 

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