Sliced Lemons
Photo credit: John

Under the microscope, the cells on your tongue look like little keyholes into which bits of food might fit.  The tongue is able to identify sweetness, saltiness, bitterness, sourness and most recently recognized, umami, as identified by Japanese chemist Kikunae Ikeda.

We’ll focus on sour, which Greek philosopher Democritus described as “large in its atoms, but rough, angular and not spherical.”  It’s thought that it’s the way these shapes interact with one’s taste buds that illicit a particular flavor profile.  True or not, below you’ll find 10 sour cocktail recipes for you to experiment and form your own… hypothesis.  Yes, hypothesis.  You’re doing this for a worthwhile cause.

Amaretto Sour

  • 1.5 oz amaretto almond liqueur
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 maraschino cherry

Rub the rim of an old-fashioned glass with lemon, and dip repeatedly into granulated sugar . Shake amaretto with lemon juice, and strain into the glass; over ice. Garnish with a maraschino cherry, and serve.

Lemon Drop Martini

  • 3 oz citron vodka
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 slice lemon
  • 1/4 oz triple sec

Cut lemon in half. Cut a wheel from the lemon. Juice both lemon halves. Pour in 3 oz Citron vodka. Pour in 1 oz simple syrup. Shake vigorously. Pour into chilled cocktail glass half rimmed with sugar.

Weissen Sour

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup
  • 1 tsp orange marmalade
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • 2 oz white ale
  • ice cubes

Combine all ingredients and gently shake with ice. Strain over ice cubes into a glass and garnish.

West Indies Sour

  • 1 oz brandy
  • 1 oz. allspice dram
  • ¾ oz fresh lime juice
  • ¾ oz Cabernet sauvignon
  • ½ oz simple syrup

Combine ingredients and shake with ice until chilled. Strain into a glass, then garnish.

Trinidad Sour

  • 1 oz Angostura bitters
  • 1 oz orgeat
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz rye whiskey (100 proof preferred)

Combine ingredients in a shaker and fill with ice. Shake well to chill; strain into a chilled glass.

Pisco Sour

  • 2 oz Pisco
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1 egg white

Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a glass.

New York Sour

  • 2 oz rye whiskey or bourbon
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz red wine

Add all the ingredients except the wine to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Slowly pour the wine over the back of a spoon so that it floats on top of the drink.

The Forbidden Sour

  • 1 oz Pama Pomegranate Liqueur
  • 1 oz Bourbon
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz Simple syrup

Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass filled with  ice.

Kyoto Sour

  • 2 slices fresh grapefruit
  • 2 dashes green Tabasco sauce
  • 3 oz Sake
  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz agave nectar

In a shaker, muddle the grapefruit and Tabasco. Add the remaining ingredients and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into glass filled with ice.

The Kilbeggan Secret Sour

  • 1 1/2 oz Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey
  • 3/4 oz dry vermouth
  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz fresh grapefruit juice
  • 3/4 oz Simple syrup
  • 1 1/2 oz Club soda
  • 1 dash orange bitters

Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.

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