One of the classic takes on any drink is the sour, of which the best known (at least in North America) is probably the Whisky Sour. However, many other spirits can be used to create a simple sour cocktail or even something more complex, like a Negroni Sour.
Although there are commercial sour mixes on the market, the best way to make a tasty sour-style cocktail is to add raw egg white (for frothiness) along with some citrus, typically lemon (for the signature sourness) along with a smaller amount of sugar (usually in the form of simple syrup).
A Negroni Sour, then, is simply a classic Negroni with the addition of lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white.
For this recipe, I switched out Ford’s Gin for Hendricks Gin. An interesting choice, certainly, but inspired by two factors. First, it was the only other gin I currently have stocked on my shelf. Second, and perhaps more crucial to this recipe, I like how Hendricks and lemon work together.
I also changed up my vermouths. Instead of Carpano Antica, which has a smooth mouthfeel with hints of caramel and vanilla, I opted for Dolin Rouge, a French spirit that is lighter than many other vermouths. I typically use it when I want the main spirit of a cocktail to stand out a little more.
Also, as you may have noticed yesterday’s recipe, the ratio for Negroni ingredients is 1:1:1. I kept that same ratio for the Negroni Sour but dialed back the amount a bit to account for the addition of lemon juice and simple syrup.
Negroni Sour Ingredients
- 3/4 oz. Hendricks Gin (or any gin)
- 3/4 oz. Campari
- 3/4 oz. Dolin Rouge (or any sweet vermouth)
- 1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 ounce simple syrup
How to Mix a Negroni Sour
Unlike the Negroni, which is a stirred drink, the Negroni Sour is a shaken drink with the addition of lemon juice and egg white. For any shaken drink, I recommend using a set of metal shaker tins (also known as a Boston shaker) for best results.
After dry-shaking to emulsify the egg (see below), combine the ingredients to the shaker tin, add ice, and shake for 10 to 15 seconds or until the tins are very cold to the touch. Strain with a Hawthorne strainer into a coupe glass and garnish with an orange twist.
I know some people are wary of drinking raw egg, and for good reason. But as with any cocktail, the alcohol will take care of any malevolent organisms. Probably.
The Dry Shake
Any time you’re making a cocktail with an egg, a “dry shake” is recommended. This means, typically, shaking without enough ice to cause dilution of the drink and to allow for proper mixing of ingredients and emulsification of the egg.
There are two main schools of thought on how to dry shake. 1.) Add the egg to your shaker tin along with one ice cube. Shake the heck out of it for ten to fifteen seconds. The ice cube will cause the metal of the tins to contract, giving a proper seal so you won’t spray raw egg all over your bar. It’s also a very loud procedure. 2.) Add all the cocktail ingredients to the shaker tin without ice, then shake for 10 to 15 seconds to fully mix the ingredients. Without ice, the tins won’t seal all that well, so be careful with this method.
In both cases, most cocktails require another shaking of about 10 to 15 seconds with ice after the dry shake to complete the drink.
Tomorrow I’ll continue Negroni Week by taking a look at a recent Negroni variant—one that may not even really be a Negroni. So join me, won’t you?
Made from 18/8 stainless steel, these metal shaker tins are an ideal tool for building your shaken drinks.