Pompelmo Sour

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Cocktail History

The Pompelmo Sour is a modern cocktail that was created by Sarah Boisjoli at Estela in New York City, New York and was first published in The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks by the editors of PUNCH. The recipe, the name of which is Italian for “grapefruit,” is described as a hybrid grapefruit sour and lemon milkshake that uses gin as the base and pairs the spirit with a unique, old school-style grapefruit oleo-saccharum, lemon, a bitter amaro, egg, and botanicals.

Cocktail Ingredients

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

Gin: This is the base spirit. We used The Botanist Islay Dry Gin because it features cool mint, juniper, citrus, and herbal notes that play well with fruity ingredients. For a low-proof version of this drink, you can also try Lyre’s Dry London Spirit in place of the gin.

Lemon Juice: This adds sweet and sour citrus flavors for balance. We prefer to use fresh citrus juice because it’s less bitter than the bottled stuff and tastes better.

Amaro Montenegro: This is an Italian amaro made from a secret blend of forty botanicals, including vanilla, orange peel, and eucalyptus.

Grapefruit Oleo-Saccharum: This is a citrus-flavored oil sugar made by coating grapefruit peels in an excess of white sugar.

Egg White: This helps to soften the more intense flavors. It also adds body and a rich, silky smooth texture to the drink.

Angostura Aromatic Bitters: This is a type of spirit infused with botanicals. They add more spice and complexity to the drink and tie the other flavors together.

Grapefruit Peel: This is the garnish. It adds more fresh grapefruit aroma.

Tasting Notes

The Pompelmo Sour begins with slightly bitter grapefruit aromas and has a citrusy taste that features herbal gin and amaro at the forefront with grapefruit-tinged sourness after, all chased with a slightly spiced zing from the amaro and bitters.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: Some cocktails just work well with no explanation needed, and this is one of them, in both of our opinions. While it features a lot of complexity on paper, the drinking experience couldn’t be more well-rounded yet still somewhat thought provoking. And neither of us may not find ourselves craving this one’s unique flavor profile very often especially considering the extra work it takes to make the oleo-saccharum, we can honestly say we wouldn’t change a thing about the drink itself.

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“This drink was a sleeper hit for me with a surprising amount of grapefruit flavor coming from the oleo-saccharum and a great juxtaposition of bitterness and sweetness between said grapefruit and the amaro. It has an overall fairly sweet and citrusy flavor but with a definite undercurrent of deeper bitterness on the swallow that makes it super intriguing. I really liked this cocktail and would be happy to make it again, with absolutely no changes proposed.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Even two years into cocktail tastings, I’m still not usually big on drinks that use egg white, but I will give credit where it is due. This recipe deserves its place among modern classics! I didn’t love the bitter aroma of the grapefruit oleo-saccharum as it was being made, but its flavor works really well in this drink. The grapefruit is tart and tasty, the gin’s botanicals shine through but don’t overpower the other ingredients, and the amaro gives it great depth. Try this at least once!”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks by the editors of PUNCH and Megan Krigbaum.

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail BookPrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz Gin
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 ½ oz Amaro Montenegro
 ½ oz Grapefruit Oleo-Saccharum
 Egg White
 2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters
 1 Grapefruit Peel

Method
1

Add gin, lemon juice, Amaro Montenegro, grapefruit oleo-saccharum, egg white, bitters, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Remove ice from shaker.

4

Dry shake for 5-10 more seconds to emulsify egg.

5

Strain into a cocktail glass.

6

Garnish with grapefruit peel.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz Gin
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 ½ oz Amaro Montenegro
 ½ oz Grapefruit Oleo-Saccharum
 Egg White
 2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters
 1 Grapefruit Peel

Directions

Method
1

Add gin, lemon juice, Amaro Montenegro, grapefruit oleo-saccharum, egg white, bitters, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Remove ice from shaker.

4

Dry shake for 5-10 more seconds to emulsify egg.

5

Strain into a cocktail glass.

6

Garnish with grapefruit peel.

Pompelmo Sour

Make It a Mocktail: Use Lyre’s Dry London Spirit in place of the gin to try a low-proof version of this drink.

Tools & Glassware We Recommend

More Grapefruit Cocktails

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

Salted Sage Paloma Cocktail Recipe

Salted Sage Paloma: A tequila cocktail made with grapefruit juice, lime juice, salted sage syrup, soda water, and sage leaves

Blinker Cocktail Recipe

Blinker: A whiskey cocktail made with grapefruit juice, grenadine, and a grapefruit twist

Rosemary Gin & Tonic Cocktail Recipe

Rosemary Gin & Tonic: A gin cocktail made with grapefruit shrub, lime juice, grapefruit tonic water, grapefruit slices, and rosemary

De Rigueur Cocktail Recipe

De Rigueur: A whisky cocktail made with pink grapefruit juice, honey syrup, and a grapefruit wedge

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