Today’s three-ingredient cocktail is actually two variations on one of the easiest and tastiest drinks you can make: the sour.
The first variation is made with “guaro,” a traditional Costa Rican spirit that I’ll describe at length in the next section of this post. The second variation is a tequila sour made with egg whites to give it a super frothy and light consistency. Don’t be intimidated by the egg white situation; it doesn’t require that much skill, only the stamina to shake your drink.
Both of these sours are refreshing and light, making them the perfect summer cocktail. Enjoy!
The Guaro Sour
If you are not familiar with guaro, it’s probably because you can only find it in Costa Rica. Wait. That’s technically not true. It turns out that the label “guaro” is used all over Central and South America to describe different sorts of locally-produced moonshine.
The one I’m familiar with, however, is Guaro Cacique, the one specific to Costa Rica. It has somewhat lost it’s “illicit” status and is now mass produced by Fábrica Nacional de Licores, the largest Costa Rican distillery. It’s extremely cheap compared to other spirits so, if you are ever in Costa Rica, I recommend that you buy one or two bottles.
Now let’s talk flavor. Guaro is essentially sugar cane liquor, so it’s slightly sweet but also very mild. Think of it as the Costa Rican vodka. Its neutral flavor makes it a great spirit for mixed cocktails. Costa Rican people traditionally drink it mixed with lime juice in a guaro sour. We also like to do shots of guaro mixed with a slighty spicy tomato mixture; these are called chiliguaros. Chiliguaros go really well with beer, so I recommend that you try one when you visit.
The cocktail I’ve made for you here is a classic guaro sour: guaro Cacique, lime juice, and simple syrup. If you can’t find Cacique, make a classic whiskey sour instead. Liquor.com has a really simple recipe that doesn’t require egg whites. Keep in mind that this cocktail is supposed to be refreshing and light; it’s hot in Costa Rica most of the time, so we favor light spirits rather than full-bodied ones.
The Tequila Sour
I wanted to feature a really simple variation on the sour (the Guaro Sour) and a more involved one. Whiskey sours are often made with egg whites, so I thought that making a tequila variation of one would be fun. I also try to put tequila in everything (I submit this strawberry-rhubarb granita as evidence). I’ve used my favorite tequila, Espolón, for this cocktail, but feel free to use your favorite reposado if you can’t find it.
To make a cocktail using egg whites, you will need a cocktail shaker. My husband bought ours ages ago at Target, and he doesn’t really remember what brand it is. I did some research though, and there are so many good options on Amazon nowadays. I’m partial to metal shakers mostly because I’ve never had any problems with them and those are the ones I see being used by professionals, so I would recommend this one. It’s also a great deal to pay $13 for the shaker, the strainer, and the jigger.
Once you have your shaker, it’s all about shaking those egg whites like there’s no tomorrow. It’s a good idea to start with fresh egg whites since you will be consuming them raw. And don’t worry, you won’t be able to taste them; they will just give a subtle sweetness and wonderful aroma to the cocktail. As you can probably tell, this is not a three-ingredient cocktail, but it is totally worth the extra time and effort.
One last thing: the recipe for this tequila sour is minimally adapted from one in Liquor.com. I loved the simplicity of it and the beautiful presentation. You can find it here.
Guaro and Tequila Sours
- For the guaro sour:
- 2 oz guaro Cacique
- 1 oz simple syrup
- 1 oz lime juice (from 1 lime)
- For the tequila sour:
- 1½ oz reposado tequila (I used Espolón)
- ¾ oz lemon juice
- ¼ oz lime juice
- ¾ oz simple syrup
- 1 egg white
- Angostura bitters (optional)
- Step 1 To make the guaro sour: Salt the rim of a rocks glass (optional). Fill a shaker with ice. Pour all the ingredients in and stir with a bar spoon. Strain into glass and garnish with a slice of lime.
- Step 2 To make the tequila sour: Put the egg white, tequila, lemon juice, lime juice, and simple syrup in a shaker and shake dry (without ice) for 15 seconds.
- Step 3 Add the ice and shake vigorously for another 15-20 seconds.
- Step 4 This cocktail needs to be double strained. To do this, place a small, fine-mesh strainer over your coupe glass. Use the strainer that comes with the shaker to strain the cocktail into the fine mesh strainer and into the glass. This is to prevent any small particles of ice from falling into the glass, which would cause the egg whites to separate.
- Step 5 Serve immediately. If you let this drink sit, the egg whites will start to collapse.
- Step 6 Garnish with three drops of Angostura bitters (optional)
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