Southside Cocktail

This southside cocktail is a tempting summer cocktail made with gin, simple syrup, mint, lime, and a splash of club soda. Consider it a lighter, gin-based mojito that goes down dangerously quickly. (You’ve been warned.)

A southside cocktail on a napkin on a silver tray with a potato chip and sprig of mint beside it.

“The Southside Cocktail is the house drink of New York’s 21 Club,” explains chef and cookbook author Frank Stitt, who took the name seriously when he transported the cocktail quite a ways south to his restaurant Bottega in Birmingham, Alabama. As far as we can tell, it’s a welcome change of pace given the drink’s unfailing ability to soothe adled spirits and quench desperate thirsts.–Renee Schettler

Southside Cocktail

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • Serves 1
5/5 - 1 reviews
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Special Equipment: Cocktail shaker



Squeeze the lime wedges into a cocktail shaker (if you’re the sort who needs to measure, you should have 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice) and drop the wedges into the shaker. 

Add the simple syrup and mint to the shaker. 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.

Add a big splash of soda, roll* the cocktail into a highball glass, and serve. Originally published June 1, 2012.

Print RecipeBuy the Bottega Favorita cookbook

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    *What does it mean to "roll" a drink?

    • As chef Frank Stitt points out in Frank Stitt’s Bottega Favorita, “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.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    Yum, yum, and YUM!!! Lime? Mint? Gin? I’m THERE! I made this Southside cocktail 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!

    This Southside cocktail recipe 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.


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    1. I may have found my new summer drink! This Southside 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. What a refreshing drink. I am not fond of sweet drinks, but this was great. I will probably reduce the simple syrup a tad next time and up the lime juice, but really enjoyed it as it was. I have plenty of fresh mint in the garden to make this all summer long…I made this as part of my Frank Stitt Bottega Favorita menu tonight: Southside cocktail and charred onion dip with potato chips, roasted branzino with dill and lemon, Venetian spinach and finally apple crostata. Love his recipes.

      1. Cheriede, that menu sounds spectacular! So glad that the Southside could be a small part of it. I am a huge Frank Stitt fan, too, and I am seriously considering recreating your menu as I’m craving each component right now. Thank you!

        1. P.S. I used branzino—his recipe is made with trout. I switched out the arugula salad for the Venetian spinach and forgot to mention, I made half batch of capellini gratin and served tiny portions…what a mistake that was. Just today was reading a well-known travel journal featuring Birmingham and Highlands Bar & Grill was the restaurant they recommend. My next trip to the South will include Birmingham.

    3. These are amazing summer drinks! I have been making these all summer and all my friends have been asking for the recipe! Not too sweet, not too sour. Even non-gin lovers love these!

    4. 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!!!

      1. …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!

      1. I don’t think you’ll be sorry, Mary. Although in the spirit of giving credit where credit is due, we simply brought you the recipe. The person truly responsible for the temptation is restaurant owner, chef, and cookbook author Frank Stitt—he did the heavy lifting by sipping the drink over and again to perfect if, ensuring that it was just minty enough and only somewhat inebriating rather than smashingly intoxicating. Do let us know when you try it…

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