4 Ways To Shake Up Your Next Midori Sour, Straight From A Cocktail Expert

The Midori sour — the cocktail that defined the 1980s — is as delicious as it is aesthetically pleasing. For anyone unfamiliar, Midori is a Japanese melon flavored sweet liqueur produced by Suntory that was released in the United States in 1978. Bright green in color, the liqueur is flavored with lesser known melon varieties: muskmelons and Yubari. The liqueur can be used to make a number of cocktails, but the Midori sour is easily the most popular. Traditionally — and according to the Midori website itself — it consists of just Midori and sour mix (a mixer containing a blend of various citrus fruit juices). However, many modern recipes choose to ditch the pre-made sour mix when making the cocktail and instead use fresh lemon and lime juice.

To make the drink, grab a cocktail glass, such as a Collins glass or a lowball glass. Combine 2 ounces of Midori, ½ ounce lemon juice, ½ ounce lime juice, and ice in a glass, then stir. Top it off with 2 ounces of soda water and garnish with a lemon or lime slice. If you want a stronger version of the drink, add just 1 ounce of Midori, as well as 1 ounce of vodka.

The Midori sour is delicious just like this — a sour mix-free version of a nostalgic drink — but there are also ways to shake up the Midori sour. In fact, an expert — Tiffanie Barriere, "The Drinking Coach" cocktail educator and consultant — has given us four variations of the Midori sour to try out.

Add some sweetness to the drink with the berry Midori sour

For this variation, you'll need fresh raspberries or blackberries — or both — along with the typical ingredients for the Midori sour. Additionally, this variation, as well as the other variations in this list, will require you to break out a cocktail shaker — after all, we did say these variations would shake up the traditional drink. Even though the cocktail is typically stirred, these unique versions work better in a shaker so that the added flavors are blended as thoroughly as possible.

Muddle a handful of those fresh berries (or more for a stronger berry taste), then add them into the shaker with the other drink components — you can make either the Midori-only version or the stronger version with the vodka addition. Shake thoroughly, then strain into a cocktail glass over ice. Finally, prepare and add the garnish: Add an assortment of fresh berries onto a skewer, then stick in the finished cocktail.

Making this adjustment brings in a burst of bright fruitiness, and the berries complement the sweetness from the melon liqueur. This variation is perfect for anyone who is craving a sweet and extra fruity cocktail. After all, who doesn't love a sweet-and-sour combination?

Enjoy a kick of heat with the spicy Midori sour

If a sweet drink is not your thing and you'd rather enjoy something with a kick of heat, then you need to try the spicy version of the Midori sour. For this one, grab all of the Midori sour ingredients, plus a handful of jalapeños. Cut up the jalapeños, then add a few slices to the shaker with the rest of the ingredients — again, feel free to include the vodka or forgo it.

Shake it up nicely, then strain into the cocktail glass. The jalapeños will infuse their spiciness while being shaken up with the other ingredients. Then, add a slice of jalapeño (or two if you want even more heat) as the drink's garnish. On the other hand, if you want the taste without the heat being overpowering, you can remove the seeds before adding the jalapeño slices to the drink to make them a bit less spicy. Either way, after just one sip, it will be clear that this version of the Midori sour is as good of a heat-infused cocktail as a spicy margarita.

Infuse freshness with the herbal Midori sour

Next up: the herbal Midori sour. For this variation, you'll need to get your hands on fresh basil or mint leaves — either will work, so it's totally up to your personal preference. You can even make three different takes on the herbal cocktail: one with basil, one with mint, and one with both.

Add a few basil or mint leaves to the shaker with the other Midori sour ingredients (either including or excluding vodka). Just like the other variations, give the drink a thorough shake, then strain into a cocktail glass over ice. Garnish with a sprig of either basil or mint. You can even use the garnish to integrate both herbal flavors — if you included basil in the shaker, garnish with mint, and vice versa. Whichever combination of basil and mint you go with, the herbal Midori sour is guaranteed to be an ultra refreshing take on the classic cocktail.

Enjoy a tropical spin with the coconut Midori sour

Last but not least, we have the coconut Midori sour, a tropical spin on the melon flavored cocktail — and this one just so happens to be our expert Tiffanie Barriere's favorite of the variations. Grab all of the Midori sour fixings along with a bottle of coconut rum. Unlike the other variations, this one can be made without the cocktail shaker.

Substitute half of the vodka with coconut rum — so ½ ounce of each liquor — then pour the rest of the ingredients into the cocktail glass (minus the club soda) along with ice, and give it a good stir. Then, top it off with the club soda. If you don't want the drink to be too boozy, you can simply use ½ ounce of coconut rum along with 1½ ounces of Midori. Or if you simply want a stronger coconut flavor, you can use a full ounce of coconut rum and leave out the vodka.

Additionally, if you'd prefer the coconut Midori sour shaken rather than stirred, you can use that method instead, and the drink will turn out just as delicious. Finally, garnish with toasted coconut flakes and a lime wheel to complete the drink. However you make it, the coconut Midori sour will be a delicious, tropical version of the cocktail we already know and love.