Midori Sour Cocktail

Midori Sour Cocktail

The Midori sour is a fun and easy retro cocktail created in the 1970s. It requires no special bar tools —just build and stir the drink in the glass — making it a great cocktail for the home bartender and for a crowd. There are several ways to make a Midori sour. The most common is to combine Midori, vodka, lemon and lime juice, all topped with club soda.

Some recipes use sour mix in place of the fresh juice, several skip the vodka for a low ABV variation, and others serve it as a martini-style drink, straight up and without the soda.

Despite these variations, the one constant is the bright green melon liqueur known as Midori. When playing with variations and alternative ingredients, remember that Midori is very sweet. To maintain a balance of flavor, you want to keep any additional sweeteners (whether a sour mix or soda) in check.

What is Midori?

Midori is a premium Japense liqueur and the most famous melon-flavored liqueur on the market, making it easy to find at most liquor stores. Flavored with Yubari King Melon (with a flavor akin to cantaloupe) and Musk Melon, the liquor is made with a grain alcohol base, which is then finished with cognac, sweetened, and dyed a vibrant green. Midori tastes of melon and has a slightly dry finish, despite it sweetness.

Recipe Tips

  • This cocktail is best with fresh-squeezed citrus juice. The bottled versions are often sweetened and can throw off the drink’s flavor balance.
  • For the best Midori sour, choose a mid-range vodka that you would enjoy drinking on its own such as Tito’s or Reyka.

Batch Your Midori Sour For a Crowd

To make a ready-to-serve pitcher of Midori sours, increase the ingredients in proportion to the number of servings needed. For instance, to serve six people:

  • Mix nine ounces (1 1/8 cups) of melon liqueur, six ounces (3/4 cup) of vodka, and three ounces each of the lemon and lime juices in a pitcher.
  • Keep chilled, then pour about 3 1/2 ounces of the juice mix over ice into each glass before topping it off with chilled club soda and adding the garnish.

How to Batch Any Cocktail for a Party

“This might be the most ‘grown up’ use of Midori in a cocktail. This recipe highlights the melon liqueur in such a subtle and responsible way. Cutting the overt sweetness with lemon and lime adds acidity to an otherwise syrupy concoction. The soda water pops along the palate while the rest of the flavors waltz to perfection.” —Sean Johnson

Midori Sour Tester Image A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces Midori melon liqueur

  • 1 ounce vodka

  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 1/2 small lemon

  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, from 1/2 medium lime

  • 3 ounces cold club soda

  • Lemon wheel, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for a Midori Sour Cocktail

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

  2. In a collins glass filled with ice, pour the melon liqueur, vodka, and lemon and lime juices.

    collins glass filled with ice and midori sour ingredients

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

  3. Stir well for about 20 seconds.

    cocktail spoon stirring glass filled with ice and midori sour mix

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

  4. Top with club soda.

    collins glass with ice, mixed midori sour ingredients and topped with club soda

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

  5. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

    Midori Sour Cocktail With Lemon Wheel

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

Recipe Variations

  • When you want a more relaxed mixed drink, skip the vodka entirely for a low-ABV Midori spritz.
  • For a subtly sweeter cocktail, switch from club soda to lemon-lime soda or ginger ale.
  • Swap out the vodka in the Midori sour with tequila or mezcal instead.
  • If you prefer a martini version, try the Grinch cocktail which uses the melon liqueur, lemon juice, and simple syrup.

How Strong Is the Midori Sour?

Even with a shot of 80-proof vodka, the soda ensures that the Midori sour is a relatively low-proof cocktail. Typically, this drink mixes up to an alcohol content of around 10 percent ABV (20 proof). It’s similar to drinking a glass of wine.

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