This Yuzu Gin Sour is award-winning. Literally. A few months ago our dear friends hosted an “Iron Chef” themed cooking competition. Each “chef” team had to create a dish for 25+ people featuring the secret ingredient: Citrus! Luke and I presented a Meyer lemon crab cake slider with lemon vinaigrette-dressed frisée and preserved lemon aïoli on lemon butter-toasted baby brioche. Oh, and a #casual fried quail egg on top. As if that wasn’t enough to sweep the competition, we also paired the slider with a yuzu gin sour, #GoBigOrGoHome. Spoiler alert… we won!
The yuzu gin sours, in particular, were such a hit that I’ve continued to make them several times since. I finally got around to getting them photographed (by my incredibly talented friend Caroline Potter) and am so excited to share the recipe with you here!
For the night of the competition, I combined some home-infused Meyer lemon London Dry (juniper-forward) gin, yuzu juice, Meyer and conventional lemon juices, and lime honey simple syrup. The combo was absolutely perfect. Not too tart from the yuzu, not too puckery from the lemons and not too limey from the syrup. I’ve since tweaked and tinkered with the recipe, and the ingredients and directions below reflect what I think is the simplest, best way to achieve the perfect, award-winning Yuzu Gin Sour!
- 2 oz. juniper-forward gin such as Woody Creek
- 1.5 oz yuzu juice
- .5 oz Meyer lemon juice
- 1 oz. simple syrup
- East Imperial Yuzu Tonic Water to top, optional
- Edible flower to garnish
- In a cocktail shaker combine the gin, juices, syrup and ice.
- Shake for 15 seconds and strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass.
- Top with a splash of East Imperial’s Yuzu Tonic for an extra punch of Yuzu flavor if desired.
- Garnish with an edible flower (such as micro daisies or elderberry blossoms) and enjoy!
A few notes…
- Thank you to Woody Creek for the gin! You may have heard of Woody Creek Vodka but did you know they produce gin and rye whiskey as well? London Dry lovers will fall hard for their local, hand-picked Colorado juniper-forward gin and the rye whiskey is so good, the bottle barely lasted a week in our house.
- Thank you to East Imperial for the tonics! East Imperial is a New Zealand-based company offering exceptionally high-quality, low-sugar cocktail mixers. They’re my gold standard for sodas, tonics, etc. Their ginger beer specifically is the only ginger beer on the market I would recommend.
- I get yuzu juice at my local Asian market but I also see it regularly at Whole Foods and on Amazon.
- I love stopping by Specialty Produce to pick up micros for complimentary and impactful garnishes – basil (seen here), marigolds (seen here) and elderflower (as seen in this post) especially.