Tequila Lemon Sour Recipe

We’ve all heard of the whiskey sour, but did you know you can make a “sour” cocktail with just about any alcohol? This Tequila Lemon Sour recipe is bright and delicious – a perfect cocktail for Cinco de Mayo.

Cocktail pouring into glass.

Sours are mixed drinks made with a base liquor, lemon or lime juice, and a sweetener/syrup. The whole “sour” category of drinks was also traditionally made with egg whites to produce a silky texture and a foam head.

Dry Shake vs. Reverse Dry Shake

For many years, I drank whiskey sours with a pre-packaged sour mix. The thought of raw egg in my drink? Blech. But then I tried it and I never looked back. Making a sour with an egg white gives it a wonderful, creamy texture that just can’t be beat.

The method I learned to make a sour is called a dry shake. You combine all your ingredients in a cocktail shaker without ice and shake vigorously. Agitating the whites causes their proteins to unfold and mixes in air bubbles, creating a nice foam that’s perfectly safe to drink. Once the ingredients are emulsified, you add ice to chill the drink and shake again.

Then recently I read about a reverse dry shake. What was this dark magic, I wondered? It was said that shaking your cocktail with ice after the dry shake was not recommended because it watered down the nice foam of the egg white. It sounded logical, so I put it to the test.

Tequila and Limoncello bottles and cocktail shaker.

Tequila Lemon Sour Recipe

This tequila sour recipe calls for 1.5 ounces of tequila, 1 ounce of Limoncello, 1/2 ounce of Triple Sec, 3/4 ounce lemon juice, and 3/4 ounce egg white. I made one drink with the traditional dry shake: I combined all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker without ice then, after a good shake, I added in ice for another shake. Strain into a glass and you get the drink on the left in this photo:

Two tequila sours with dry shake on the left and reverse dry shake on the right.

Next, I tried the reverse dry shake. I combined all ingredients except the egg white in a cocktail shaker with ice. After shaking to chill, I strained out the ice, added the egg white, and shook again. This ensures the drink is chilled, but the egg white foam is not watered down. You can see the result in the drink on the right.

After tasting both drinks, I much preferred the traditional dry shake followed by the wet shake. It does break down the egg white foam a bit more, but it results in an even, silky consistency. The reverse dry shake resulted in an meringue-like foam with much more air and much more separation. The foam sat on the top of the drink, while the drink itself lacked the velvety taste of the traditional sour.

I hope you will test out both shaking methods for your next sour and let me know what you prefer. And enjoy this Tequila Lemon Sour!

Tequila Lemon Sour

Tequila Lemon Sour

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

A bright tequila sour that's perfect for Cinco de Mayo.


  • 1.5 oz tequila blanco
  • 1 oz Limoncello
  • 1/2 oz Triple Sec
  • 3/4 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz egg white


  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker without ice and shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds.
  2. Add ice to the cocktail shaker and shake again until the shaker is frosty.
  3. Strain into a glass and serve.
  4. Please drink responsibly.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 249Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 36mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 0gSugar: 18gProtein: 2g

Nutrition information is estimated and should only be used as a general guideline.

Tequila Lemon Sour pouring into glass.

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