Whether it’s a summer cocktail or a fun pink cocktail for Valentine’s Day, the Raspberry Sour is an easy and delicious drink to make when you’ve got a few extra fresh raspberries. You can choose to use an egg white or a vegan alternative like aquafaba to make a great silky cocktail with that gorgeous foam on top.
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What is a Sour?
A sour cocktail consists of spirit, sugar, and sour – usually with the ratio of two parts spirit to one part sugar to one part sour. Here we’re going to use my favorite spirit, bourbon, to make a great whiskey sour.
The whiskey sour has naval origins. It was originally used by sailors as a means to get their daily ration of citrus to prevent scurvy on long sea voyages. They would take advantage of their watered-down rum, a little citrus, and a bit of sugar to sweeten it up. By the 1860s it had been written down in Jerry Thomas’ The Bar-Tender’s Guide.
For more on the Whiskey Sour, its storied history and how to make a classic sour, read How to Make a Classic Whiskey Sour.
Flavors in this Raspberry Sour
While some people prefer gin or vodka in their sours, whiskey’s sweet, vanilla notes and slight oakiness often balances in incredible ways with lemon and a sweet element. I strongly suggest trying this cocktail with whiskey first, but if you are a gin or vodka (or even rum) drinker, go in that direction – they all make lovely Raspberry Sour cocktails
In this case, instead of using an infused raspberry syrup, we muddle the raspberry with some simple syrup to get the gorgeous color and taste of the berry.
This gives the raspberry syrup the taste of fresh raspberries instead of cooked raspberries. Think of the taste of sugared raspberries versus raspberry jam. They both taste like raspberries, but cooked raspberries taste sweeter and softer with less of the tartness of the fresh berries with sugar.
So in addition to the fresh raspberries and simple syrup, we’re using lemon juice in the raspberry bourbon sour – has to be fresh – and just a dash of chocolate bitters.
I love the combination of raspberry and chocolate in a tart so I added a hint of that flavor. Adding the chocolate bitters is optional, but it adds a great aroma and depth to the cocktail.
To add that huge hit of silkiness and bed of foam to the top I added an egg white, but aquafaba is a better option for vegans. Both add a creaminess to the mouthfeel and a lovely bed of foam to rest berries or bitters on.
How to Make a Raspberry Sour
You can make this drink with or without egg white/aquafaba, and the method is slightly different so let me describe the two different methods.
To Make a Raspberry Sour Cocktail without Egg White
Because this drink has lemon juice in it, we’ll shake it hard with ice.
Start by adding your raspberries and simple syrup to your cocktail shaker and muddle until the simple syrup has turned dark pink from the raspberries. Next, add your remaining ingredients to the cocktail shaker and fill it with ice.
Shake for 10-12 seconds and strain into a chilled coupe. Because we muddled the fresh strawberries, the cocktail shaker will be full of pulp. Straining will take about a minute. Moving the shaker back to the upright position briefly will help improve the flow of liquid from the shaker.
Garnish with a skewer of fresh raspberries.
To Make a Raspberry Sour with Egg White or Aquafaba
The first part of the instructions is the same if you’re using egg white or aquafaba.
Add the raspberries and simple to the cocktail shaker and muddle them until the raspberries have turned the syrup a brilliant dark pink. Add lemon juice, bourbon, and chocolate bitters and fill with ice.
Shake for 10-12 seconds and strain into a mixing glass. Again, it will take some time to strain because of the raspberry pulp.
Add the egg white and aquafaba and use a latte whip on it for 10-20 seconds. Pour into a chilled coupe and garnish with raspberries on a skewer.
If you don’t have a latte whisk, add the egg white or aquafaba to the shaker and shake for 30 seconds.
If you’re a pro, I find a dry shake, then a wet shake works best. So shake for 30 seconds with just one or two ice cubes, then add the rest of the ice and shake for another 30 seconds.
Tips and Tricks to Make the Raspberry (Whiskey) Sour
If you prefer, use raspberry syrup instead of muddling raspberries. It’s a bit faster, and the taste will be closer to that of raspberry jam than fresh raspberries.
If you don’t have a handheld electric latte whisk, use the dry shake/wet shake alternative described above.
The chocolate bitters are optional, but if you decide not to do them, adding a few drops of your favorite bitters to the top of the cocktail foam adds a great nose on the drink.
Other Cocktails You Might Enjoy
- Peach Sour
- Blood Orange Sour
- Apricot Sour
- Fig and Pear Sour
- Blackberry Whiskey Sour
- Whiskey Tiki Sour
- Raspberry Sour
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Recommended Bar Tools
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You probably already have these, but you may need them, too:
- 10 raspberries
- 3/4 oz lemon juice
- 3/4 oz simple syrup
- 2 oz bourbon
- 1 dash chocolate bitters
- 1 egg white
- Garnish: raspberries
- Add the raspberries and simple to the cocktail shaker and muddle them until the raspberries have turned the syrup a brilliant dark pink.
- Add lemon juice, bourbon, and chocolate bitters and fill with ice.
- Shake for 10-12 seconds and strain into a mixing glass. Be patient, it will take some time to strain because of the raspberry pulp in it.
- Add the egg white and aquafaba and use a latte whip on it for 10-20 seconds.
- Pour into a chilled coupe and garnish with raspberries on a skewer.