This classic vodka sour is tart and refreshing with a thick foam and sweet finish. It’s naturally gluten-free and has a vegan option.
Sweet or tart? You get both in this showy cocktail. Its egg-white or aquafaba foam creates a frothy top, giving it a show-stopper look for entertaining.
So what is it exactly?
Vodka sours are in the family of sour cocktails with three main parts: liquor, citrus and sweetener. The basic formula for a sour cocktail is 2 ounces spirit, 3/4 ounce sour and 3/4 sweet. On top of that, variations create a wide range of colors and tastes to create a variety of drinks.
It’s easy to make in as little as 5 minutes by just combining the ingredients and giving it a hearty shake.
- Vodka — I used 1941 vodka, but any mixable unflavored vodka will work.
- Freshly squeezed lemon & lime juice — the combination of lemon and lime juice make a tart and refreshing sour cocktail. Freshly squeezed juice makes all the difference, so don’t skip it!
- Simple syrup — adds a bit of sweetness to balance out the acidity of the citrus.
- Angostura bitters — adds a bit of spice and earthiness to the cocktail. Feel free to switch it up and use orange or grapefruit bitters if you prefer.
- Pasteurized egg white — egg white is the key to thick and foamy cocktails. I highly recommend using pasteurized egg whites to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Look for the vegan option below in the post.
- Lemon or lime wheel and a maraschino cherry — optional garnish options.
What kind of vodka to use?
I stay in the lower mid-range when it comes to a mixed cocktail. I don’t splurge on the best sipping vodka, but I don’t go for the bottom shelf, either.
Since we’re mixing juices and dashes of bitters, any vodka you feel good about will do just fine.
What are Angostura bitters?
It’s a neutral alcohol infused with spices, herbs, fruits or other ingredients like chocolate. Most bitters are 35 to 45% ABV (alcohol by volume), which is high, but a little goes a long way.
Angostura bitters were the first mass-produced bitters as a medicinal tonic in 1824. It was first produced in Venezuela but moved to Spain, where it’s still produced today.
Angostura bitters are spicy and bitter with notes of cinnamon and cloves. And although we don’t know the exact ingredients, we know it is infused with gentian root, herbs and spices to give you earthy, aromatic notes and a slight tartness.
This recipe calls for a dash of the bitters, and a dash is anywhere between 1/8 and 1/4 teaspoon. Any more than that will overpower the cocktail.
According to the Angostura bitters website, it’s both vegan and gluten-free.
Egg whites create a frothy texture, adding a creamy flavor and enriching the cocktail. It also cuts the citrus a bit.
Bartenders have been using egg whites in cocktails for about a century now, and the best way to achieve that classic foam is to do a dry shake.
- First, shake the ingredients in a cocktail shaker without ice to let the egg foam before adding ice.
- Then add the ice and shake again to bolster the foam and chill the drink.
- Strain to get that frothy white foam.
If you want to avoid using egg whites but want that lovely foam, then you can use aquafaba.
Aquafaba is the liquid in a can of chickpeas — it’s starchy and works as a binder, like an egg.
Two tablespoons of aquafaba are equivalent to one egg white, making the same type of frothy foam.
You can use this recipe to make any kind of “sour” cocktail you like – whiskey sour, gin sour, etc.
Try adding different fruits to your sour – swap the lime juice for orange juice or add a splash of maraschino cherry juice to your cocktail before shaking.
Other classy cocktails
I hope you enjoy this classic vodka sour! If you make it, I’d love to hear how it turned out. Please leave a comment or post on social media with #texanerin so I can be sure to see it. Cheers!