The Midori Sour is a stand out cocktail. And I mean that literally. It’s vibrant green hue is unlike any other. It truly stands out, and catches every eye. Since the first bite is with the eye, this gives the Midori Sour a great start in the cocktail world.
It needs it. Based on the sickly sweet, bright green melon liqueur Midori, it’s not a drink for cocktail snobs. Nor it is much loved by cocktail bartenders. It’s tough to be taken seriously as a mixologist when making a Midori Sour. In the same way as it’s tough to be taken seriously as a scholar when delivering lectures wearing a bunny suit.
In fact, the Midori Sour comes perilously close to being placed in the mixologist’s Pit of Shame. This contains such vile products as Archers and Bacardi, along with Sour Mix by the carton and powdered egg white.
Its saving grace is that it has completely embraced what it is, and owns it. Unlike Bacardi, which craves to be taken seriously as rum.
Colour as Philosophy
Midori is a bright green Japanese liqueur which came out in the late 70’s and gained popularity in the early 80’s. Over time it has been used in numerous tall, sweet and sickly cocktails of dubious quality. But in the Midori Sour does it really come into its own.
This is because the Midori Sour perfectly follows Midori’s own philosophy, which is all based on its colour.
Bright green is not a common colour in cocktails. There aren’t many green bottles on the back bar. And most that do exist, like Absinthe, green Chartreuse and Crème de Menthe, have such a strong taste that using enough to turn the drink itself green results in an overpowering taste.
But the bright green of Midori conjures up summer feelings. Light, sweet and approachable. The Midori Sour is not a drink which takes itself too seriously. And that’s great. Because of that attitude, it has its place and it owns it.
It’s very much a drink for younger people and often girls. Those who appreciate it most tend to have less mature palates, preferring sweetness and lightness over depth and complexity. In this a vibrant green colour is quite an asset as it also tends to appeal to people with these tastes.
In saying this I don’t intent to make judgement, merely state facts. The first lesson of any bartender is that personal taste is more important than expert opinion.
Ingredients and Recipe
The Midori Sour is another simple Sour. If you’re unsure as to what constitutes a Sour, refresh your memory here.
However, the Midori Sour is a seriously pared down Sour compared to others. This is in service to its guiding philosophy as a light, bright, approachable drink. It omits any Bitters, owing to the fact that they don’t really complement the taste while they do compromise the colour. Similarly, egg white is omitted as the lovely froth it produces is just out of place here. It interferes with the light, airy approach.
So that leaves the Midori Sour with only three ingredients. Midori, lemon juice and sugar syrup. And since Midori itself is so sweet, little sugar syrup is needed. In fact, you could conceivably use less lemon juice and cut the sugar syrup out altogether. Though this would perhaps result in the drink being too strong.
Also, since you’re not using egg white and have no heavy ingredients to use, shaking is not necessary. You could just as easily build or stir the Midori Sour. It’s not fussy.
So, whichever mixing method you choose, we’re talking two shots of Midori; the juice of one lemon; and ~10ml sugar syrup. Mix them how you like. Then you could serve it straight up, though over ice is probably better. You could even go over crushed ice if you like. Then garnish with whatever you like, but follow the bright and fruity philosophy of the drink. Some lemon zest perhaps. Or maybe a bright red cocktail cherry.
Overall I’d like to recommend the Midori Sour as an excellent candidate for use in parties and events of all types. The bright green colour is eye catching, and the light taste is highly approachable. Which makes for a wider appeal among those unused to drinking cocktails. You’re likely to find more people like this at a party or event than in a bar known for its quality of cocktails.
It is also very fast and easy to make. Only three ingredients, and can be built in the glass if needed. Or made by the jug. You could even choose to lengthen in with soda or lemonade in a party situation. Though I would never do this in a bar.
All in all an ideal candidate for house parties or event bars.