Two Midori Sours

Swap out your Midori Sour for a new twist

The Midori Sour was the cocktail that defined the 1980s — but it’s still just as delicious today. A typical recipe for the drink consists of Midori (a Japanese melon-flavored sweet liqueur), lemon juice, lime juice, and club soda, with many renditions also featuring vodka. Traditionally — and according to the Midori website — the drink was made up of just Midori and sweet and sour mix (a blend of sugar and various citrus juices), but most modern recipes agree that you should skip the pre-made sour mixes for the Midori Sour.

Making the bright green drink is quite easy. Combine 1 ounce of Midori, 1 ounce of vodka, ½ ounce of lemon juice, ½ ounce of lime juice, and ice in a cocktail glass, then give it a good stir. Finish the drink by topping it off with 2 ounces of soda water (or to taste), then garnish with a lemon or lime slice. If you’re not a fan of vodka, there’s no need to worry.

You can make a different version of the drink that doesn’t skip on liquor. To find out the best substitute, Look spoke with an expert: Tiffanie Barriere, a cocktail consultant and educator known as The Drinking Coach. According to Barriere, there are three main liquor options to choose from to replace the vodka in a Midori Sour: rum, gin, and tequila.

Each of the liquor substitutes brings a different flavor

Woman sipping a Midori Sour

Before you choose which liquor to replace the vodka with, you’ll want to know how each one will change the flavor of the Midori Sour. First up, rum. Tiffanie Barriere said, “Using a light rum instead of vodka adds a slightly sweet and tropical note that complements the melon flavor of Midori.” If you want to add a grassy flavor element and lean away from too much sweetness, Barriere suggests choosing a rhum agricole, which is slightly different from rum.

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Next, how about gin? Barriere explained, “Gin can add botanical and herbal notes, creating a more complex and interesting version of the Midori Sour.” So, choose gin if you love an herbal cocktail — and, of course, you’ll still taste the traditional sweet and sour notes of the fruity drink.

Finally, what does tequila bring to the table? Barriere says, “Silver tequila can bring a unique agave flavor and a bit of spice.” So, if you’re someone who loves the trio of spice, sweet, and sour, you’ll definitely want to reach for that bottle of gin.

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