Sour Raspberry Valentine (Raspberry Gin Sour)

This raspberry gin sour might be tart, but it’s anything but bitter.

It’s a pretty in pink cocktail loaded with sweet, fruity flavor and plenty of booze. And it’s the perfect Valentine’s Day cocktail to serve your sweetheart.

Make it a raspberry gin sour if you like the complex taste of botanicals. Or go for a raspberry vodka sour if you prefer something clean and crisp.

Either way, this Sour Rasberry Valentine is sure to make your next date night special.

Sour Raspberry Valentine (Raspberry Gin Sour)

What is a Gin Sour?

The Sour is one of the oldest and most famous mixed drinks around. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where it came from, but Jerry Thomas was the first to put pen to paper in his book “​​How to Mix Drinks.”

My favorite story is that sailors made it to help fight off scurvy. True or not, it’s a classic that’s never gone out of style.

The gin sour is a mixed cocktail featuring gin, lemon juice, and sugar. And in many cases, there’s an egg white shaken in the mix to create a signature foamy top.

And gin isn’t the only sourpuss around! You’ve heard of the Whiskey Sour, right? It’s the same base but with - you guessed it - whiskey instead of gin.

Other sours include:

  • Amaretto Sour - just swap out the booze and add a dash of bitters
  • Caipirinha - use Cachaça and lime juice.
  • Tequila Sour - best made with Blanco tequila for its clean finish. And add some lime with the lemon.
  • Santa Cruz Sour - keep the sugar and citrus, but use Santa Cruz rum

I think you get the idea. 

At its core, any sour is a blend of liquor, citrus, and a sweetener. But you can jazz it up any way you like!

Raspberry Gin Sour vs. Raspberry Vodka Sour

Gin, whiskey, tequila, pisco…there are a lot of sour recipes to choose from. And they’re all great.

And while I love a gin sour, I wanted to include a vodka swap because I know plenty of people can’t stand gin.

(Although, if you want to give gin a shot, check out these incredible Empress 1908 Gin Cocktails! They’re stunning!)

So, what’s the difference between the gin sour and the vodka sour? The booze, of course.

When you add gin to a mixed drink, it’s unmistakable. The floral notes and juniper berries really stand front and center. And they complement the raspberry in this cocktail beautifully.

But if you want something more mellow, I highly suggest vodka. Mid to top-shelf vodka, to be precise. That way, you get the boozy warmth without any nasty aftertaste. 

And with decent vodka, you’ll still feel the buzz, but the flavor is all raspberry.

Fresh raspberries in a cocktail shaker


The Sour Raspberry Valentine is an elegant cocktail. But it packs a punch in the flavor department. Between the sweet-tart raspberries and the citrus kick, it’ll leave you wanting more. 

Here’s what you need to make it at home:

  • London Dry Gin: London Dry Gin brings a complex, botanical depth. The juniper and herbal notes complement the raspberry and lemon flavors so well. 
  • Vodka: For something more neutral, use vodka instead. It allows the raspberry and lemon to take center stage. So it’s perfect for people who prefer something smooth and subtle.
  • Lemon Juice: Always use fresh citrus for cocktails. You really can taste the difference. 
  • Simple Syrup: Made with equal parts water and sugar, this enhances the fruity flavors.
  • Fresh Raspberries: Don’t use frozen as they don’t have the same punchy flavor. If you can’t find fresh, use the raspberry syrup instead.  
  • Egg White or Unsalted Aquafaba: For that signature silky foam on top of the drink. It’s optional but makes this extra pretty. Use aquafaba for a vegan swap. 
  • Ice: To chill the glass and the cocktail 
  • Rose Petals: For a romantic garnish.
  • Raspberry Syrup (Alternative to Simple Syrup and Fresh Raspberries): If you’re a big cocktail maker, I highly recommend making this (recipe below). The flavor is so punchy, and it’s the best way to infuse color into a drink.

How to Make a Raspberry Gin Sour

Making this Sour Raspberry Valentine cocktail is way easier than it looks. Yes, you might think it’s taken from a fancy cocktail bar, but you’ll be amazed at what you can do with a cocktail shaker and some ice. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to crafting this exquisite drink:

  1. Chill the glasses. Fill them with ice and water and set aside.
  2. Muddle and mix. Muddle the fruit in the bottom of the shaker. Add the gin or vodka, simple syrup, lemon juice, and the egg white or aquafaba. If using the raspberry syrup, add that instead of the simple syrup and fresh fruit.
  3. The dry shake. Shake the ingredients for about 15 seconds without any ice. This is where the foam comes from.
  4. Shake with ice. Add ice to the shaker and shake again for 10-15 seconds until the shaker feels chilled. 
  5. Strain and serve. Pour the ice and water out of the glasses. Strain the drink into the glasses, serve immediately, and enjoy!

As for the garnish, I think it looks lovely with the rose petals on top. But you could add fresh fruit, a mint sprig, or a drizzle of extra raspberry syrup that’ll sit on top of the foam. 

Sour Raspberry Valentine (Raspberry Gin Sour)

Raspberry Simple Syrup

You have two fruity options for this one:

  1. Use fresh raspberries and simple syrup.
  2. Make raspberry simple syrup

I prefer option two because it gives the best flavor, and you can make the syrup with fresh or frozen fruit. That means this raspberry gin sour is on the menu all year!

Here’s how I make it:

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Chill Time: 2 hours


  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice


  1. Mix the raspberries, sugar, water, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan.
  2. Warm over medium heat, stirring constantly as the sugar dissolves. 
  3. When the syrup starts to simmer, reduce the heat to low and keep stirring.
  4. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until reduced, thick, and syrupy.
  5. Remove from the heat and carefully strain through a fine mesh sieve into a heat-proof bowl. 
  6. Use a spatula to press it through.
  7. Let the syrup cool fully. 
  8. Store in a glass jar with a secure lid in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Raspberry Gin Sour Variations 

I already have an easy swap: use vodka instead of gin.

But that’s not all! This Sour Raspberry Valentine might be perfect as it is, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play around and create something of your own. 

Need some ideas? Check this out:

  • Change the fruit - make it a strawberry, blueberry, or blackberry sour. 
  • Make it tropical - use passion fruit puree and coconut rum. 
  • Use lime juice - if you want it slightly less tart, use lime juice instead of lemon.
  • Experiment with citrus - want something really different? Try orange or grapefruit juice!
  • Make a mocktail - try non-alcoholic gin or vodka. Or, use water instead of booze.
  • Make it fizz - after you’ve made the drink, top it off with a splash of citrus soda or sparkling water. 
  • Rim the glass - use crushed freeze-dried raspberries or pink sanding sugar. Just run a lemon wedge around the top first so it sticks.
  • Nix the egg whites - as you can see from the image below, this drink is just as impressive when served on the rocks without the foam.
  • Try rose water - just a few drops to add a pleasant aroma.
Sour Raspberry Valentine on the rocks (Raspberry Gin Sour with strawberry garnish)

Recipe Tips

If you’re new to the world of mixed drinks and cocktails, don’t stress. This is an easy one to master!

And luckily, I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help you out:

  • Adjust the Sweetness: If you’re using fresh, ripe raspberries, you may need less sugar. If you’re making the syrup with frozen, you may need more to counter the excess water. 
  • Get a cocktail shaker - or don’t: If you want to make the best cocktails, get a shaker. If you just want to try this out, use a jar with a lid that seals. Easy.
  • Don’t skip the dry shake: If you want your raspberry gin sour to look like mine, you have to shake the egg whites without ice first. 
  • Pick the right glass: I think this pretty sour works best in a coupe glass. But it’ll also look cute in a martini or rocks glass with the right garnish.
  • Valentine’s Day Garnish: Cut a few strawberries into hearts and skewer them on top. 
  • Use cold ingredients: That means vodka from the freezer and syrup from the fridge! Oh, and don’t be shy with the ice.

Sour Raspberry Valentine (Raspberry Gin Sour)

Prep time:
5 min
Cook time:
15 min
175 kcal
This raspberry sour might be tart, but it’s anything but bitter. It’s a pretty in pink cocktail loaded with sweet, fruity flavor and plenty of booze.


  • 120 ml of London Dry Gin or Vodka (4 oz)
  • 60 ml of Fresh Lemon Juice (2 oz)
  • 30 ml of Simple Syrup (1 oz)*
  • 12-16 Fresh Raspberries
  • 2 Egg Whites or 60 ml of Unsalted Aquafaba (2 oz, optional)
  • Ice
  • Rose Petals, for garnish
  • *60 ml of Raspberry Syrup (2 oz) - substitute the fresh raspberries and simple syrup


  1. Fill 2 coupe glasses with ice and water. Set aside.
  2. Muddle the fresh raspberries in the bottom of a cocktail shaker to release the juices.
  3. Add the gin (or vodka), lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white.
  4. Seal the lid and dry shake for 15 seconds.
  5. Add ice and shake again for 10-15 seconds.
  6. Discard the ice water, then strain the drink into the chilled glasses.
  7. Garnish with rose petals, fresh raspberries, or a sprig of mint. Enjoy!
NOTE: If using raspberry syrup, replace the fresh fruit and simple syrup in the dry shake. Then, make as instructed.

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