Tequila Sour Recipe

This page may contain affiliate links. Please see our Disclaimer for more information. Always drink responsibly and adhere to your local legal drinking age.

Are you looking for a refreshing cocktail that combines your love of margaritas with the creaminess of a whiskey sour? The tequila sour is the drink for you.

Tequila Sour is a smooth and refreshing cocktail that fuses tequila, the famous margarita, plus a few choice ingredients. The tasty drink contains fresh lemon juice, a sweetener, plus the alcohol and sports a frothy topping and a creamy, velvety texture. What’s more, it is pretty easy to prepare.

In this article, you will find all you need to know about Tequila sour including the perfect recipe, a history of the classic cocktail and a vivid description of how it tastes. Keep reading.

What Is a Tequila Sour?

Tequila Sour Cocktail with Lemon and Lime

Tequila sours are refreshing drinks that pair two beloved cocktail favorites — lime and tequila. Additionally, the tequila cocktail fuses two incredibly popular drinks — margaritas and the sour cocktails — into a delicious super drink.

Tequila sours are cocktails made of tequila (of course), fresh citrus juice usually, but not limited to , lime, simple syrup or agave nectar, egg whites, and bitters.

Making the perfect tequila sour hinges on using good tequila and using a technique called the dry shake —  a move that ensures your egg whites foam up beautifully and give your drink a creamy, delicious texture.

The History of Tequila Sour

Tequila Sour Cocktail with Lemon and Drink Jigger

The tequila sour is descended from one of the oldest families in cocktail history —  The Sours. Cocktails in the sour family are basic but delicious. Every sour recipe is a variation on this simple formula; spirit + citrus juice + simple syrup + egg whites.

While tequila sour is the newest member of the family, it combines the best aspects of these cocktails with the taste of a margarita for a fresh, crisp drink.

Sour Cocktail Family

Sours are some of the oldest recorded cocktails. Jerry Thomas provided the first written record of sour cocktails in The Bartender’s Guide in 1862. This document included recipes for brandy, rum, and gin sours.

Sour cocktails follow a simple formula:

2 parts base spirit + ¾ parts citrus juice + ¾ parts sweetener = 1 delicious cocktail.

Today, sour cocktails use whiskey, gin, amaretto, brandy, citrus vodka, and tequila as the base alcohol.

What Does Tequila Sour Taste Like?

Two Tequila Sour Drink Lemon Bitters

The Tequila Sour taste is an interesting combination of tangy, sweet, and tart. It features a strong citrusy flavor from the freshly squeezed lime, vintage vibes, and an intriguing vibe thanks to the bitters. 

Mixing the Perfect Tequila Sour

Tequila sours are relatively simple to make.

The cocktails only require a few essential ingredients, and bartenders can simplify the recipe by using agave nectar instead of making simple syrup for the drink.

However, the key to crafting the perfect tequila sour is the dry shake, a basic technique that yields excellent results.

The Dry Shake

The dry shake ensures your egg whites foam up nicely and create the best and creamiest texture for your cocktail.

Shaking egg whites in a cocktail makes a meringue. Ideally, the foam resulting from the vigorous shaking floats on top of the cocktail, a process called emulsification. Dry shaking ensures maximum emulsification.

Dry shaking is simple — just follow these easy steps:

  1. Pour all the wet ingredients —  the citrus juice, tequila, sweetener, and egg whites into a shaker.
  2. Shake vigorously for thirty seconds. This forms a firm foam.
  3. Add enough ice to make the shaker ⅓ of the way full.
  4. Shake for another thirty seconds. The ice strengthens the already formed foam and cools the cocktail.

The dry shake is the best way to create good foam. Note that adding the ice before the first shake dilutes the egg white. While your tequila sour will still be drinkable, it will not be as delicious as a dry-shake cocktail.

After you’ve shaken the cocktail twice, strain the tequila sour, first through a Hawthorne Strainer and then through a fine-mesh strainer.

Working With Egg Whites

You might feel a little nervous about drinking egg whites owing to taste and health reasons. While there’s always some risk to ingesting raw eggs, as long as the eggs are fresh, mixing them into a cocktail is safe enough.

The earliest versions of sours didn’t include egg whites, so you may be wondering what the ingredient adds to cocktails. Quite a lot, it turns out, including:

  • Egg whites mellow the citric acid in the juice, making the cocktail milder.
  • The whites create a delicious, emulsified foam for the top of your drink.
  • The inclusion of egg whites won’t make your drink taste eggy, but will add texture and creaminess.

In addition to using the freshest eggs, separate the whites from the yolk. Yolk impacts the white’s ability to form foam and emulsify, resulting in the egg’s distribution throughout the drink.

While you can certainly still drink tequila sours without the foam, the topping makes the beverage great.


Being vegan won’t prevent you from enjoying a tequila sour; you just need to know what to substitute for the egg white.

Aquafaba is the starchy liquid used for preserving chickpeas. Drain the aquafaba off your can of chickpeas, and use it in place of egg whites — two tablespoons of aquafaba equal one egg white.

Tequila Sour Ingredients

Top View of Tequila Sour Cocktails on Cutting Board

A tequila sour is a pretty basic cocktail, but every recipe is only as good as its ingredients.

For the best tequila sour, use:

  • Tequila reposado. This tequila is golden — brown and aged for a richer, deeper flavor.
  • Angostura bitters. Named for their manufacturer —  the House of Angostura in Trinidad and Tobago, these bitters are the most popular variety.
  • Agave nectar or simple syrup. This is to sweeten your drink.

Making Simple Syrup

The “simple” in simple syrup describes both the makeup of the sweetener and the process of cooking it. Knowing how to make simple syrup will serve you well beyond simply the tequila sour; it’s a foundational component of many cocktails, with room for variation.

Simple syrup consists of equal parts water and granulated sugar.

  1. Heat the water and the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves entirely.
  3. Remove the syrup from the heat and allow it to cool completely.
  4. Once the syrup is cool, store it in an airtight, sealed jar and keep it refrigerated. Simple syrup stored in your refrigerator lasts a month.

If you prefer your syrup sweeter, add more sugar, and, inversely, if you want a less sweet syrup, add less sugar. Tailor your syrup to your palette and preferences.

Tequila Sour Recipe

Tequila Sour Recipe

Delicous Tequila Sour Recipe

This Tequila Sour Recipe is a different take on the classic Whiskey Sour Cocktail. Enjoy the perfect blend of foam, lemon, lime, bitters, and Tequila.
No ratings yet
Print Pin
Drink Type: Cocktail
Main Alcohol: Tequila
Keyword: Bitters, Lemon, Lime, Tequila
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1


  • Rocks Glass
  • Cocktail Shaker


  • 2 oz Tequila
  • 1 oz Lemon Juice Fresh
  • .5 Lime Juice Fresh
  • 2 oz Agave Nectar (or Simple Syrup)
  • 1 Egg White (Garnish)
  • 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 wedge Lime
  • Ice


  • Add Tequila, Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, Agave Nectar, Angostura Bitters, and Egg White to the Cocktail Shaker (Don't Add Ice)
  • Shake vigorously for around 15 seconds (This will help turn the Egg White into delicious foam)
  • Add Ice and Shake Cocktail for Another 30 Seconds
  • Strain Drink into Rocks Glass
  • Garnish with Lime Wedge

Bartender Notes

  • This cocktail can be made with either Agave Nectar or Simple Syrup.

Final Cocktail Thoughts

The tequila sour is a wonderful addition to the sour cocktail family. These tequila drinks are easy to make and consist of five ingredients: citrus juice, egg white, tequila, bitters, and a sweetener —  either simple syrup or agave nectar.

With a cocktail shaker, the essential ingredients, and some basic know-how, you’ll be making perfect tequila sours in no time.

Sour Cocktail Recipes

Bourbon Whiskey Sour with Foam and Cherry

The Whiskey Sour is the classic sour cocktail that all others are based on. This drink has the perfect balance of whiskey and sour lemon flavor.

Vodka Sour Cocktail Recipe

The Vodka Sour is a smooth cocktail. The light taste of the vodka really brings out the fresh lemon taste.

Amaretto Stone Sour Cocktail Drink Recipe

This modern sour recipe is highly delicious. A nice blend of Amaretto, sour, and orange will not disappoint.