5 Classic Sour Cocktail Recipes

5 Classic Sour Cocktail Recipes

The sour cocktail family is big! You can use almost any kind of liqueur or spirit as a base for a sour cocktail. All sours consist of a simple combination of base spirit, citrus juice and sweetener, making it a very popular cocktail family. But there are more sour cocktails to explore than just an ordinary Amaretto Sour, so here is a list of 5 other classic sour cocktail recipes.


The Daiquiri is the ultimate sour cocktail with a perfect balance of ingredients. Despite its seeming simplicity, the Daiquiri cocktail has become the ultimate test for the bartender. In order to create a perfect Daiquiri, you need to make sure all 3 ingredients (rum, lime juice, and sugar syrup) are beautifully balanced. None of the flavours should overpower and the cocktail should be shaken the right amount of time to ensure a well-chilled and diluted cocktail.

A classic Daiquiri contains white rum, lime juice and sugar syrup. But as we like our Daiquiri with a twist, we love to add our favourite liqueurs. For example, Bols Apricot Brandy for a sweet and sour Nacional Daiquiri, Bols Banana for a tropical Banana Daiquiri or Bols Pink Grapefruit and Bols Maraschino for a beautiful Hemingway Daiquiri.


The Margarita is the most famous and frequently consumed tequila cocktail in the world. The cocktail can be considered a tequila sour where the robust flavours of blanco tequila are complemented by the sweet, rich orange notes of the Bols Triple Sec and the freshness of lime juice. Although the recipe appears simple, this sour cocktail is endlessly fascinating because of its complex ingredients. The young, fruity, grassy and earthy notes from the powerful tequila, the sweet undertones of the orange liqueur Bols Triple Sec and the fresh lime juice. By sipping a Margarita and tasting it with a salt rim, the flavours are intensified even more.

All Margaritas use tequila as their base spirit. However, we like to add an extra flavour to our Margarita and preferably a fruity one. Check out the sweet Strawberry Margarita with Bols Strawberry, the fresh Watermelon Margarita with Bols Watermelon or the outstanding blue Margarita Azul with Bols Blue Curacao.


The simplest and most popular gin sour cocktail ever invented is the Gimlet. The Gimlet cocktail has been around since the 18th century but this rock-solid combination of gin and lime never gets old. The original recipe of this sour cocktail was a 1:1 mix of lime cordial and gin. This is a very strong and sweet combination. Besides, it was not stirred with ice, but only occasionally diluted with room temperature water. Luckily, we live in the 21st century and have plenty of fresh limes and good-quality ice. Lime cordial is no longer necessary as fresh lime juice makes the Gimlet that bit more refreshing.

Bols' Gimlet recipe is very closely related to the Gin Sour cocktail and uses 4 parts Damrak Gin, 1 part fresh lime juice and 1 part sugar syrup. This results in a fresh and sour Gimlet with lots of citrus, herbal and orange flavours and a nice kick from the Damrak Gin.

For a fresher Gimlet variation, check out our recipe for the Cucumber Gimlet. Do you prefer an alcohol-free Gimlet? Use Damrak Virgin.


People often expect this cocktail to be overly sweet due to the pink colour and the Sex and the City connection. Yet, a good Cosmopolitan is a balanced mix of sweet, sour and a slight bitterness created by the (lemon) vodka, triple sec, cranberry and lime. Most of the Cosmopolitan recipes use a lemon vodka, for that extra citrus touch. But we like to use a more neutral vodka, such as Bols Vodka. But the real secret of a perfect Cosmopolitan is the combination of Bols Triple Sec and cranberry juice, creating that smooth citrus flavour. 

Whiskey Sour

When creating a list of the 5 most popular classic sour cocktails, we can't leave out the Whiskey Sour. Like all classic sour recipes, the whiskey sour is a simple, yet well-balanced formula. We like the ratio of 2 parts whiskey, 1 part lemon juice and ½ part sugar syrup. Our favourite variation on the Whiskey Sour is to replace the whiskey for Bols Genever Barrel Aged. This genever is a rich and complex malt spirit, aged on French oak casks for 18 months. Perfect for a deliciously smooth sour cocktail.

Reading next

7 Best Cocktails with Bols Triple Sec
How To Build A Cocktail