Cocktails | Gin

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Welcome to the world of the Southside cocktail, a timeless classic that exudes sophistication and refreshment. This cocktail is a harmonious blend of gin, mint, lemon, and sugar, perfect for sipping on a warm summer evening or as a chic pre-dinner beverage. Let’s dive into the allure of this beloved drink.

The Southside offers a tantalizing balance of flavors that can transport you to a state of bliss. Whether you’re a gin aficionado or a newcomer to the cocktail scene, the Southside is sure to impress with its crisp and invigorating taste. It’s a drink that promises to be both a crowd-pleaser and a conversation starter.

Join us as we explore the intricacies of the Southside cocktail, from its rich history to the art of perfecting its preparation. Get ready to elevate your mixology skills and discover the secrets behind this exquisite concoction.

Key Facts About the Southside

Alcohol Volume: Approximately 14% ABV (28 proof)

Calories: Approximately 180 kcal

Preferred Glass: Chilled cocktail glass

Typical Garnish: Mint sprig

Interesting Facts about the Southside

Origin: The Southside is rumored to have been a favorite among the Southside gangsters of Chicago during Prohibition.

Variations: A popular variation includes adding soda water for a fizzy touch, known as the Southside Fizz.

Popularity: It has gained a reputation as a summer staple at prestigious golf clubs and social events.

Southside Cocktail Preparation

Tasting Notes

The Southside cocktail is a symphony of flavors. The gin provides a botanical backdrop, while the fresh lemon juice adds a zesty punch. The simple syrup lends a subtle sweetness, perfectly complemented by the mint’s refreshing aroma.

This cocktail is ideal for those who appreciate a drink that’s both refreshing and robust. It’s a versatile choice, suitable for a casual backyard gathering or an elegant soirée. The Southside is a testament to the beauty of simplicity in mixology.

Whether you’re seeking a cool-down on a hot day or a sophisticated sipper to start your evening, the Southside cocktail is a match for any occasion. Its crispness and minty undertones make it a perennial favorite.

History of the Southside

The origins of the Southside cocktail are steeped in mystery and lore. Some say it was born in the Prohibition-era speakeasies of Chicago, while others claim it was the creation of bartenders at the New York’s 21 Club. Regardless of its birthplace, the Southside has cemented its place in cocktail history.

Throughout the years, the Southside has evolved, but its core ingredients have remained unchanged. It’s a cocktail that has withstood the test of time, appealing to generations of drinkers with its timeless charm.

The drink’s association with the roaring twenties and its rumored connection to gangsters have only added to its mystique. Today, the Southside continues to be celebrated for its elegance and simplicity.

Southside Ingredients

  • Gin (2 oz / 60 ml): The spirit base, providing a complex botanical flavor.
  • Fresh lemon juice (3/4 oz / 22 ml): Adds a bright, citrusy tang.
  • Simple syrup (1/2 oz / 15 ml): Balances the tartness with sweetness.
  • Mint leaves (4-6): Impart a refreshing, aromatic quality.
  • Ice cubes: Essential for chilling and diluting the cocktail to perfection.
  • Mint sprig: For garnish, enhancing the drink’s visual appeal and aroma.

Did you know that the Southside is sometimes referred to as the ‘Mojito of the North’ due to its similarity in flavor profile but with gin replacing rum?

Southside Cocktail Glass

Southside Method

The art of crafting the perfect Southside cocktail lies in the method. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure your Southside is impeccable:

Muddling the Mint

Start by gently muddling the mint leaves with simple syrup in a shaker. This process releases the mint’s essential oils, infusing the syrup with its signature flavor.

Combining Ingredients

Add the gin and fresh lemon juice to the muddled mint mixture. The quality of gin you choose can significantly influence the cocktail’s overall taste.


Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously. This not only chills the drink but also ensures a thorough blend of the ingredients.


Double strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass to remove any small mint fragments, resulting in a smooth, clean drink.


Finish by garnishing with a sprig of mint, adding a final touch of elegance and a burst of aroma with each sip.

Serving Suggestion

The Southside cocktail is traditionally served in a chilled cocktail glass. The glass’s shape allows the drink’s aroma to be fully appreciated, enhancing the overall experience.

Garnishing with a mint sprig is more than just decorative; it also provides an aromatic allure that complements the drink’s minty notes. The garnish is the crowning glory of this classic cocktail.

Elevating the Southside

To elevate your Southside cocktail, consider these professional tips:

  • Use Premium Gin: Opt for a high-quality gin to enhance the botanical notes.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Always use fresh lemon juice and mint for the best flavor.
  • Proper Technique: Muddle the mint gently to avoid bitterness and shake the cocktail until it’s perfectly chilled.

These tips will ensure your Southside cocktail is a cut above the rest, impressing even the most discerning of guests.

Southside Cocktail Final Presentation

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Southside

If you’re missing an ingredient or looking to experiment, consider these substitutions:

  • Honey Syrup: Replace simple syrup with honey syrup for a richer sweetness.
  • Lime Juice: Lime can be used instead of lemon for a different citrus twist.
  • Other Spirits: Try vodka or white rum as an alternative to gin for a different flavor profile.

Similar cocktails include the Mojito, Mint Julep, and Gimlet, which share some ingredients and characteristics with the Southside.

Add a twist

As an expert mixologist, consider these creative spins on the classic Southside:

  • Infused Syrups: Use syrups infused with herbs or spices for an added depth of flavor.
  • Bitters: A dash of bitters can introduce a complex layer to the cocktail’s profile.
  • Sparkling Wine: Top with sparkling wine for a celebratory Southside spritz.

These twists can add a personal touch to the cocktail, making it uniquely yours.

Preferred Liquors for the Southside

For the best Southside cocktail, consider these gin recommendations:

  • London Dry Gin: Classic choice for a crisp, juniper-forward flavor.
  • American Craft Gin: Often features unique botanicals for a modern twist.
  • Old Tom Gin: Slightly sweeter, it can add a different dimension to the cocktail.

Selecting the right gin can transform your Southside from good to exceptional.

Similar Cocktails to the Southside

If you enjoy the Southside, you might also like:

  • Mojito: A rum-based cousin with lime and soda water.
  • Mint Julep: Bourbon meets mint in this Southern classic.
  • Gimlet: A simple yet delightful combination of gin and lime cordial.

These cocktails share the Southside’s refreshing qualities and are perfect for exploring different flavors.

Food Pairings to go with the Southside

Enhance your Southside experience with these food pairings:

  • Seafood: The cocktail’s brightness complements the delicate flavors of seafood.
  • Light Salads: A fresh salad with vinaigrette dressing pairs well with the Southside’s crispness.
  • Grilled Vegetables: The charred flavors of grilled veggies are a great match for the cocktail’s botanical notes.

These pairings are ideal for a balanced and enjoyable culinary experience.

Southside FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about the Southside cocktail:

Can I make a Southside without gin?
Yes, vodka or white rum can be used as substitutes for a different take on the cocktail.
Is the Southside suitable for large gatherings?
Absolutely, it’s a versatile cocktail that can be batched for parties and events.
How can I adjust the sweetness of the Southside?
Vary the amount of simple syrup to tailor the cocktail to your preferred level of sweetness.
What’s the best way to chill the cocktail glass?
Place the glass in the freezer for a few minutes or fill it with ice water while you prepare the drink.
Can I use bottled lemon juice?
For the best flavor, fresh lemon juice is highly recommended over bottled varieties.



Southside Cocktail

The Southside is a refreshing classic cocktail that is often described as a gin mojito sans the soda water. It's a perfect balance of sweet, tart, and minty flavors, making it ideal for a summer day or as a sophisticated pre-dinner drink.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Cuisine American
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 180 kcal


  • Cocktail shaker
  • Muddler
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Jigger
  • chilled cocktail glass


  • 2 oz Gin
  • 3/4 oz Fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz Simple syrup
  • 4-6 Mint leaves
  • Ice cubes
  • Mint sprig for garnish


  • In a shaker, gently muddle the mint leaves with the simple syrup to release the oils.
  • Add the gin and fresh lemon juice to the shaker.
  • Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously until well-chilled.
  • Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass to remove the small pieces of mint.
  • Garnish with a sprig of mint.


The Southside can also be served in a highball glass over ice with a splash of soda water for a fizzy variation. Adjust the sweetness by varying the amount of simple syrup to your taste.
Keyword classic, Cocktail, Gin, Lemon, Mint, Pre-Dinner Drink, Refreshing, Southside, sugar, Summer

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