“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 Rossi

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

Southside Cocktail

5 / 3 votes
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.)
David Leite
Servings1 servings
Calories219 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes


  • Cocktail shaker


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


  • 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.


*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.
Frank Stitt’s Bottega Favorita

Adapted From

Bottega Favorita

Buy On Amazon


Serving: 1 cocktailCalories: 219 kcalCarbohydrates: 25 gProtein: 1 gFat: 1 gSaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gSodium: 19 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 21 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2008 Frank Stitt. Photo © 2008 Christopher Hirsheimer. All rights reserved.

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.

This Southside 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!

What a day I had today and this Southside cocktail is exactly the thing I needed. It’s perfect as far as I can tell.

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.

Went outside to gather up some fresh mint, just starting to come up so they are just young small mint leaves.

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…

This Southside cocktail recipe is a wonderful summer drink. 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.

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. This Southside cocktail recipe 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.

Just in time for the summer! This Southside cocktail 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 6 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.

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

This Southside cocktail recipe is a lovely, refreshing drink 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’…

This Southside cocktail recipe 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 6 minutes. (I make a big batch of simple syrup and keep it in my fridge for months for cocktails and iced coffee.)

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

Hungry For More?

Pressure Cooker Ribs

We confess, we’d never imagined you could turn ribs fall-off-the-bone tender in 30 minutes. Until this recipe made believers out of us.

1 hr

Garlic Butter Steak Bites

These juicy bites of sirloin, smothered in garlic and herb butter, will satisfy any steakhouse craving for a fraction of the price.

25 mins

Chocolate Muffins

Those of us who prefer a restrained sweetness and a more pronounced cocoa taste will adore these muffins. Nothing overtly sweet here. And we’re okay with that.

1 hr

5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    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.

        1. Love it. All of it. And I just peeked at the menus for all three of Frank Stitt’s restaurants in Birmingham, cherlede, and I think I may be heading to Birmingham, too!