Southside Cocktail

The house cocktail of New York’s 21 Club, this has quite a following at the Bottega bar as well. Think of it as a gin mojito.–Frank Stitt

LC Rolling in the Deep Note

As chef Frank Stitt points out in Frank Stitt’s Bottega Favorita, the inspired collection of recipes from which this recipe is taken, “rolling a drink” means to “gently pour it from the shaker into a glass in order to mix it.” Sorta like “rolling in the deep”–deep into cocktail hour, anyways.

Special Equipment: Cocktail shaker

Southside Cocktail Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • Makes 1


  • 2 lime wedges
  • 1 ounce Simple Syrup
  • 2 sprigs fresh mint
  • 2 ounces gin
  • Splash of club soda


  • 1. Squeeze the lime wedges into a cocktail shaker (if you’re the sort who needs to measure, you should have ¾ ounce fresh lime juice) and drop the wedges into the shaker. Add the simple syrup and mint. Muddle with a long-handled spoon to bruise the mint and extract some of the oils from the lime peel. Add the gin and enough ice to fill the shaker halfway. Cover and shake.
  • 2. Add a big splash of soda, roll the cocktail into a highball glass, and serve.
Thirsty for more? Sip on these:

  1. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Bette F.] I may have found my new summer drink! This cocktail is absolutely delicious and not too potent, which made me want to add a splash more gin. Very refreshing and perfect for when the hot weather sets in.

  2. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Karen T.] Yum, yum, and YUM!!! Lime? Mint? Gin? I’m THERE! I made this three times over the course of a week (well, I had to find something to use up all that simple syrup, right? Yeah. Right.) With an ingredient list this short, using a nicer gin would really make a difference. I used Beefeater because that was what we had in the house. It was fine, although if you have Plymouth or Hendrick’s, I would recommend using one of them, as they’re smoother and good for sipping alone. One word of caution: Be careful not to over-muddle, or your drink will get bitter. As for serving suggestions, I tried muddling in some fresh blackberries I had lying around. They were a bit sour so I had to adjust the simple syrup, but they made for a really outstanding drink. This is going into the permanent recipe file!

  3. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Marilee Johnson] This was a cool, refreshing, minty, lime-y drink! I loved it, as did my guests–and I’m not really a gin lover. I think this is a keeper.

  4. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Cindy Z.] This cocktail is going to be my go-to for the summer! The hardest part of putting this drink together is making the simple syrup (and that’s not bad at all!). As there was still snow on the ground here when I tested this recipe, I had to use store-bought mint. The flavor was good, but I can hardly wait for our mint to start growing in our garden this summer! I made this in the shaker as recommended but I also think that you could make this in a pitcher and serve it over ice for a crowd. This would probably be delicious with vodka as well for those who don’t like gin, although the gin flavor becomes muted with the lime and mint. Excellent!

  5. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Raye Tiedemann] What a day I had today and this is exactly the thing I needed. It’s perfect, as far as I can tell. Went outside to gather up some fresh mint, just starting to come up so they are just young small mint leaves. I’m a fan of the mojito. This is just like it but lighter in strength. The gin replacement is very nice. I’m also a gin tonic fan. This will be a great summer drink. I planned to serve this for Easter, but there was just so much baking at the last minute I would have been too tired if I had this drink! But today is another day…

  6. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Sita Krishnaswamy] This is wonderful summer cocktail. Easy to make and very refreshing with its addition of mint and lime. I also tried making this recipe in a pitcher–I added the ice as I was serving and used a strainer to filter the mint leaves. Served it with a lime slice and a mint leaf on a toothpick. Was a hit. It’s a sweet cocktail, but you can adjust the quantity of the simple syrup used.

  7. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Anna Scott] Time and time again I have tried drinking mojitos because I love the idea of a refreshing summer cocktail flavored with mint and lime…but then I remember that I am not such a huge fan of rum. Drat. I am, however, a gin drinker—dry martinis as well as gin and tonics, to be specific. The Southside Cocktail solved my “no rum” issue with mojitos by substituting gin–a brilliant idea! The ratios of this cocktail were perfect; the simple syrup made the concoction just sweet enough without going overboard and the splash of club soda gave a little bubble to the drink. I have to say that it was so delicious that I had two of them…which brings me to my next point…this cocktail is so good it could be dangerous (in a good way!). I like the idea of making a pitcher of this cocktail for a party or cookout. Since the finished product is not served over ice, I recommend serving this in a martini glass with a lime round on the rim of the glass.

  8. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Jennifer V.] Just in time for the summer! This was a nice, refreshing drink. If you like your drinks mintier, then be sure to infuse the simple syrup with mint as well, but this would be based on personal preference. With regard to the lime wedges, I used approximately 1/3 of a lime in total (as I cut my limes into six wedges). You may want to adjust accordingly depending on the size of your limes. I garnished with a fresh sprig of mint and another lime wedge.

  9. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Sheri C.] I love mojitos, and the idea of making one with gin instead of rum is genius. This is an easy drink to make, and the payoff is big. Not too sweet, refreshing, and the herbaceous gin plays off really well against the mint.

  10. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Carol Anne G.] This is a lovely, refreshing cocktail with a nice kick to it. It has very clean flavors and would be great as a palate cleanser or an accompaniment to any al fresco dining. Also works with orange if you run out of lime. Just sayin’…

  11. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Jenna Helwig] This drink is exactly as advertised–think of it as a gin mojito. Cool and refreshing, it’s a perfect spring and summer drink. If you have simple syrup on hand it will take three minutes to put together. If you need to boil up some simple syrup, count on all of six minutes. (I make a big batch of simple syrup and keep it in my fridge for months for cocktails and iced coffee.)

  12. Mary Withrow says:

    I’m not really a gin drinker but you make this tempting to try!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      I don’t think you’ll be sorry, Mary. Although we simply brought you the recipe. As for the tempting part, it was mostly restaurant owner and cookbook author Frank Stitt who did all the hard work, developing the recipe and sipping it over and again ensuring that it was just minty enough and only somewhat inebriating rather than smashingly intoxicating. Yeah, hard work…anyways, do let us know when you try it, Mary!

  13. Joe says:

    Tried this for the first time tonight, indeed a great drink, I’ll make it again. It does make me think about ingredients and building the drink though. For me, simple syrup made with white sugar tastes like exactly that. You could get a deeper flavor with simple syrup based on raw or demerara sugar. And you could make this like a classic mojito–that is, just muddle the lime and mint into sugar in the bottom of the glass, add the gin, the ice, the soda. The drink is not as clean tasting if you make it like this. On another level I don’t see much taste difference between this and a mojito made with light white rum. Of course, in some ways that is what makes this one so good–a slight twist on a familiar classic. And I like the suggestions in the comments for using other fruits. Nice!!!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      …and that’s the beauty of recipes, Joe. They can be eminently tweaked according to preferences. I personally like the “clean” flavor of a basic simple syrup here, as it allows the taste of the other ingredients to come through unfettered, but I admire the way you’re thinking, as again, it all comes back to personal preferences. Glad you’ve made this little number your own!

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