There are four different basic types of cocktails: three-parters, old-fashioneds or lowballs, fizzes or collins, and sours. All of these cocktails serve a unique purpose and fit different situations.
In this article, we’re going to be focusing on sours. This is one of the oldest styles of mixed drinks, even being described in Jerry Thomas’ 1862 book, “How to Mix Drinks.”
What Are Sour Cocktails?
A sour can be described as a cocktail with a liquor base, a sweetener, and lime or lemon juice. Egg whites may also be included in a sour.
Without a doubt, the two most prominent sour cocktails are the Margarita and the Whiskey Sour. A Margarita uses tequila and orange liqueur as its base liquor, agave syrup as its sweetener, and lime juice. Meanwhile, the Whiskey Sour uses whiskey as its base liquor, simple syrup as its sweetener, and lemon juice.
Sometimes, a bartender will blend a cheap spirit with some sour mix and label it as a sour. This is a grave misrepresentation of the drink, though.
If possible, you should add ingredients individually to your sour instead of using a premade mix. This is the only way to get the precise flavoring you want. By using specific liquors, sweeteners, and juices that you like, you’ll get the most out of your cocktail.
A sour is defined by its balance: between the liquor, the acidity of the lemon juice, and the sugariness of the sweetener. These flavors can be developed further with an egg white and with some bitters.
Today, we’ve got a treat for you. We bring you the only Rum Sour recipe you’ll ever need.
Rum Sour Supplies And Ingredients
To begin, you need to gather your supplies. Obviously, you can choose whatever ingredients you want. But if you’re lacking a sense of direction, try our recipe!
We recommend using 5 centiliters of high-quality dark rum. Along with that, you’re going to want to use 3 centiliters of lemon juice and two centiliters of sugar syrup.
For your garnishes, have some lemon wedges and cherries available.
Optionally, you can also include an egg white, a dash of angostura bitters, and a dash of orange bitter. Don’t be intimidated! These extra pieces can go a long way in maturing the flavor of your cocktail.
You’re also going to need a few ice cubes. Who wants to drink a warm, muddy cocktail?
In addition to these ingredients, you’ll also want to have a jigger or a measuring cup handy, as well as a cocktail shaker or strainer. A squeezer or a Mexican elbow will also make your life much easier.
Preparing Your Rum Sour
Now, it’s time to put it all together. Contrary to popular belief, the preparation process is actually very important to the final result of your drink.
First, pour the rum, lemon juice, and sugar syrup into your shaker. If you choose to use an egg white, throw it in afterward. Take out any shells or yolk from the egg white before adding it.
Shake up the mixture for about ten seconds. If you use an egg white, it should be fluffy and foamy now. Then, add a few ice cubes and shake up your ingredients again until they’re nicely blended.
Using your strainer, squeeze out your mixture into a chilled glass. People often underestimate the importance of using a chilled glass. Try to use a vessel that is already cold. This will significantly contribute to your drink staying cooler for longer.
Add your bitters after your drink is poured. Lastly, garnish your drink with a lemon wedge. Add a cherry on top. And boom—you’ve got a beautiful Rum Sour.
For some extra kick in your cocktail, you can mix in some sirop d’épices, a spiced syrup. But you have to prepare it a day in advance. To make sirop d’épices, mix some sugar and water together in a small pan and heat it up at a medium setting.
Stir the mixture as it cooks. Once the sugar is fully dissolved and the mixture is simmering, stir in some raisins, ginger, vanilla bean, star anise, and cinnamon stick.
Lower the heat and allow your ingredients to cook, stirring it regularly. Let it simmer for five minutes.
Then, turn the heat off and let it cool for five minutes.
Once cooled, move your mixture to a glass bowl or glass cup, cover it, and put it in the refrigerator for 24 hours. When it’s time, strain the sirop d’épices into a lidded jar.
You can add the leftover star anise, cinnamon stick, and vanilla bean to the jar for a nice aesthetic. But do throw out the ginger and raisins, those ingredients will not stay in the sirop d’épices well if you plan to keep it for a while.
Additional Recipe Ideas
There is so much room to experiment with this cocktail. It’s simple enough to not be overwhelmed choosing ingredients for it but palatable enough to encourage creativity.
Just by substituting an ingredient or two, you can entirely change the flavor of your cocktail. Instead of dark rum, maybe try white rum for your next Rum Sour. Or maybe even a spiced or flavored rum. Doesn’t a pineapple Rum Sour sound amazing?
If you like any particular fruit notes in your drink, you can also use a fruit-based sweetener like strawberry sweetener or mango syrup.
Instead of lime or lemon juice, you can also use other fruit juices. A lot of people are fans of using a splash of orange juice in their Rum Sour.
You can also add new ingredients entirely. Cinnamon, cloves, and ginger are all great additions to this drink. For some extra sweetness, throw a few berries in there as a garnish. The combinations are endless. This is one of the main reasons why people gravitate toward sour cocktails. They allow for free expression and imagination.
You should have fun while whipping up cocktails. A Rum Sour allows you to play around with different palates and fine-tune your drink.
History Of The Sour
This classic cocktail was first introduced in the 1700s. Back then, it was mainly made with whiskey. The first documented sour recipe is in Jerry Thomas’ book from 1862, “The Bon Vivant’s Companion, The Bartender’s Guide.” It is believed that the recipe was used for at least a century beforehand.
At first, critics of the sour called it a weaker copy of punch, which was known for its mantra, “one spirit, two sweet, three strong, and four weak.” Some people saw the recipe of the sour, a spirit, which includes a sweetener, a citrus, and garnish, like a knockoff of the aforementioned recipe.
The sour also has roots in sailor culture. In the early days of sea exploration, many British Navy members suffered from scurvy. To ease their symptoms, they were given a mixture of limes, lemons, and rum.
This blend was viewed as a treat for sailors, as well as a medicine. Not only did it treat their scurvy, but it also helped with malnutrition. At the time, doctors on ships believed that the acid of the drink would help the sailors. But it was actually the limes’ high concentration of vitamin C that improved their health.
This famous drink is the reason why British sailors are known as “limeys.” The originator of this first recipe was Vice Admiral Edward Vernon, a former Royal Navy officer.
The Rum Sour, in particular, came to fruition when the British Navy began sailing in the Caribbean. In that region, rum was the most widely available spirit. This mixture came to be known as “grog.”
At some point along the way, egg whites began to be added to the cocktail to improve texture and froth. Egg whites can also be found in other sour cocktails, as well as some fizz cocktails.
Make sure to pour up your sour cocktail in some quality glassware as well. Jerry Thomas recommends a small bar glass. But you can also use a claret glass, punch glass, or highball glass.
In most restaurants and bars, you’ll find that the sour is served in an old-fashioned glass. It’ll also usually be served on the rocks.
The next time you enjoy a refreshing glass of Rum Sour, try pairing it with some hearty seafood and poultry plates like fish tacos, ceviche, or chicken satay.
For some lighter snacking options, try pairing the Rum Sour with some cheese and crackers, pretzels, or some popcorn.
The first step in making Rum Sour is finding some good, quality rum. For the highest quality rum on the market, visit Saucey. We have rums that are aged for over 20 years, as well as more affordable rums aged for a few years.
We also have other spirits, beers, and wines, as well as cocktail mix kits. Best yet, we deliver it all straight to your door. We deliver to nearly every major city in America as well. For fast, reliable alcohol delivery, there’s no one better than Saucey.