Garden Sour

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Cocktail History

The Garden Sour is a modern cocktail that was created in 2017 by Giffard, a brand of liqueurs and syrups. The recipe was released alongside the premiere of their Rhubarbe Liqueur and was meant to highlight its unique spring-inspired flavor by pairing it with smoky mezcal, citrus, celery, and soda water.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Mezcal: This is a spirit made in Mexico with agave, sugar, and alcohol that is aged in an underground pit lined with wood. We used Del Maguey Vida Mezcal because it has a palatable mezcal flavor with notes of ginger, cinnamon, and tangerine. For a mocktail version of this drink, try MONDAY Zero Alcohol Mezcal in place of the mezcal.

Rhubarb Liqueur: This is a liqueur made with rhubarb, citrus, sugar, and alcohol. This recipe specifically calls for Giffard Rhubarbe Liqueur, but we used Edinburgh Gin Distillery Rhubarb & Ginger Liqueur for an added layer of complexity. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Funkin Rhubarb Cocktail Syrup in place of the rhubarb liqueur.

Lemon Juice: This is the liquid juice of a lemon. We used freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Rich Simple Syrup: This is a sweetener made with 2:1 white sugar and water. We made ours at home using Alex’s stovetop recipe.

Celery Bitters: This is a food product made with celery, botanicals, herbs, and alcohol. We used Fee Brothers Celery Bitters.

Soda Water: This is a type of water that has been infused with carbon dioxide gas under pressure. We used Topo Chico Sparkling Mineral Water because it’s light, essentially flavorless, and refreshing.

Rhubarb Ribbon: This is a rhubarb slice that has been thinly cut into a strip.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Boston Shaker: This is used to shake ingredients. We used the Boston shaker from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Hawthorne Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is shaken. We used the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer.

Paring Knife: This is used to cut ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Juicer: This is used to juice citrus. We used the ALEEHAI Manual Fruit Juicer.

Peeler: This is used to peel ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set.

Tasting Notes

The Garden Sour features light, earthy aromas of mezcal and rhubarb and starts with a cooling taste that initially features a bit of mezcal’s depth offset by citrus, and it all mingles with the sweeter notes of the plant which come further forward on the aftertaste.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: If you can do us one favor this spring, add this one to your repertoire; it’s refreshing, cooling properties are mingled with just enough flavor expression to be interesting yet easy, and it’s a surefire win for drinkers of any experience level.

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“This drink was absolutely delicious to me, as a lover of mezcal to begin with especially. The sweet, fruity notes of rhubarb mingled with the earthy mezcal much better than I expected going into the drink, and the whole thing had just the right amount of citrus to balance and lighten the flavors. The top off with soda was a great call to make the recipe feel a bit airy, and as a total package, this drink is perfect for the garden in the springtime. Expect this drink to even please somebody who doesn’t like mezcal because the rougher notes of the spirit are perfectly tamed.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“We haven’t tried very many spring mezcal drinks yet, but this one is the most delightful we’ve come across so far. I really liked how refreshing the recipe was, and while the mezcal is prominent, it’s not overwhelming in any way. This is another great gateway to enjoying the smoky agave spirit’s taste in other beverages, and it’s a truly lovely, light, and airy sip for this time of year.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Difford’s Guide, an online guide to cocktails, spirits, and liqueurs.

AuthorDifford's Guide

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz Mezcal
 ¾ oz Rhubarb Liqueur
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 ½ oz Homemade Rich Simple Syrup
 2 dashes Celery Bitters
 2 oz Soda Water
 1 Rhubarb Ribbon

Method
1

Add mezcal, rhubarb liqueur, lemon juice, simple syrup, celery bitters, cubed ice to shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a highball glass filled with fresh cracked ice.

4

Top with soda water.

5

Stir gently for 3-5 more seconds.

6

Position rhubarb ribbon around the outside of the ice in the glass.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz Mezcal
 ¾ oz Rhubarb Liqueur
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 ½ oz Homemade Rich Simple Syrup
 2 dashes Celery Bitters
 2 oz Soda Water
 1 Rhubarb Ribbon

Directions

Method
1

Add mezcal, rhubarb liqueur, lemon juice, simple syrup, celery bitters, cubed ice to shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a highball glass filled with fresh cracked ice.

4

Top with soda water.

5

Stir gently for 3-5 more seconds.

6

Position rhubarb ribbon around the outside of the ice in the glass.

Garden Sour

Make It a Mocktail: Use MONDAY Zero Alcohol Mezcal in place of the mezcal and Funkin Rhubarb Cocktail Syrup in place of the rhubarb liqueur to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

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OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set - Swivel and Julienne
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More Spring Cocktails

If you like this spring-inspired cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Final Say Cocktail Recipe

Final Say: A gin cocktail made with maraschino liqueur, crème de violette, lime juice, and a lime twist

The Cherry Blossom Cocktail Recipe

The Cherry Blossom: A sake and gin cocktail made with maraschino liqueur, grenadine, triple sec, lemon juice, and a cherry

Lavender Sour Cocktail Recipe

Lavender Sour: A gin cocktail made with lemon juice, Green Chartreuse, lavender syrup, egg white, and dried lavender buds

The Garden Rose Cocktail Recipe

The Garden Rose (Variation): A tequila and sparkling wine cocktail made with elderflower liqueur, strawberry syrup, lemon juice, rose water, and a strawberry rose

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