Vodka Sour

This crisp, bright tasting riff on the classic cocktail will surely quench your thirst.

Vodka Sour

Sours are some of my favorite cocktails. When you hear the word “sour” you might conjure up images of milk going bad or taking a giant bite out of a lemon, resulting in your face turning inside out. As a child, because of cartoons, I always thought that any citrus would cause my head to pucker in on itself, causing onlookers to faint. When the grown-ups around me would add lemons or limes to anything, I’d run in the opposite direction. But I loved lemonade, so that was my “in”. The icy cold and thirst-killing summer favorite was something I could drink by the gallons, and after awhile I began to realize that nothing that good could be made from anything bad.

When adulthood hit me full-time, I was well-versed in the joys of sour flavors. My fear of my head imploding had subsided after truly tasting, and relishing, beautiful, juicy lemons. Now I require the freshest lemonade every summer, I’ve fallen in love with sour beers, and of course, cold and refreshing cocktails that hit my lips with tart, tangy sensations are absolutely blissful.

A Whiskey Sour was the first cocktail I ever had when I turned old enough. Looking back, it’s no wonder. Everybody has different tastes, naturally. Mine tends to skew toward a sweet and tart refreshment, and any Sour variation always hit the spot when I get that craving. A Vodka Sour, the drink we’ll be making today, is one of the best versions of this cocktail you can have; cool, crisp and with a perfect pop of citrus, this beverage will be on your summer menu this year for sure.

What is a Sour?

The Sour, like many cocktails that have stood the test of time, has its origins in the British Navy in the 1600s. Sailing the Caribbean was fraught with many dangers, like pirates and the dreaded scurvy. To keep healthy, the sailors would mix their rations of harsh tasting rum with lime, or lemons, and sugar. Over time, these concoctions evolved from medicinal potions to popular social beverages, the Sour being one of them.

What is the Best Vodka to Use in a Vodka Sour?

When choosing a vodka to mix your Sour with, it’s always a good idea to find a smooth mid-to-top shelf brand. You don’t want the spirit to disappear under the other flavors, nor do you want them to be overpowered. Grain or wheat distilled vodkas will be slightly peppery, while a corn-distilled spirit will taste a little sweeter. I always try a few different varieties out when mixing up a new cocktail, that way I find the flavor that suits me best.

Vodka Sour
Servings 1 serving
serving 5 minutes


  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz fresh lime juice optional
  • 0.5 oz simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 egg white
  • Cocktail cherry for garnish
  • Lemon wedge for garnish


  • In a cocktail shaker, combine the vodka, lemon juice, lime juice (if using), simple syrup, bitters, and egg white.
    Vodka Sour
  • Shake vigorously without ice for about 15 seconds to create a frothy texture with the egg white.
    Vodka Sour
  • Add a handful of ice to the shaker and shake again for approximately 30 seconds to chill the mixture.
    Vodka Sour
  • Strain the cocktail into a glass, allowing the foam to settle on top.
  • Garnish with a cocktail cherry and a lemon wedge. Serve immediately and enjoy your homemade Vodka Sour.


Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 59mg | Potassium: 104mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 9IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg
Vodka Sour

FAQs & Tips

When dry shaking your mixture for getting your egg white to froth, make sure you don’t do it for longer than fifteen seconds… any more and the contents of the shaker will explode. In your face. Then you start hearing “What was that noise?!” from the other room. It doesn’t take much, so don’t overdo it.

Vodka Sour

Vodka Sour Variations

With so many versions of the Sour cocktail out there in the wild for you to find and conquer, Twist & Toast can give you a head start on your quest. Check out a few of our recipes here:

  • Whiskey Sour – While there are many tasty versions to choose from, the original is still one of the very best.
  • Maracuya Sour – Pisco joins the Sour party, and there’s a reason it’s popular. I explore this cocktail a little here.
  • New York Sour – Whiskey, lemon and a dash of red wine bring this Big Apple-inspired tipple to life.
  • Whiskey Smash – I recently discovered the joys of this delicious beverage. You just might become a whiskey lover with this one.

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