In the cocktail world, certain words have special meanings. “Perfect,” for example, means that a drink has equal parts sweet and dry vermouth. Another such word is “royale” - and, appropriately, it means that you add Champagne. A Southside Royale is, therefore, what you get when you add Champagne to a Southside, which happens to be a classic (and excellent) gin cocktail with mint and lime. Make one of these regal, crowd-pleasing drinks the next time you need something that’s fancy and elegant, but in an understated sort of way.
The Southside Royale
- 2 ounces gin (or vodka)
- .75 ounce lime juice
- .75 ounce simple syrup
- 1.5 ounces dry sparkling wine
- 5-6 mint leaves
Step One: Lime Juice
There’s only one correct way to get lime juice, and it’s by juicing a lime. One lime should yield about an ounce of juice - so once you have that, go ahead and throw .75 ounce lime juice in your shaker. (Don’t have a lime? Lemon juice is also wonderful in a Southside Royale.)
Step Two: Simple Syrup
Time to make simple syrup. If you don’t remember how to do that, it’s about as easy as the name suggests. Mix equal parts white sugar and warm water, then stir until the sugar is dissolved. Put .75 ounce simple syrup in your cocktail shaker.
Step Three: Mint
Next up: mint. You’ll need about 5 or 6 leaves, and you don’t have to muddle them into a mushy green pulp. Just toss them straight into your shaker.
Step Four: Gin
Now for some gin. Use whatever kind you want, or feel free to use vodka as a substitute. Pour 2 ounces into your cocktail shaker.
Step Five: Shake
Throw 5 or 6 ice cubes into your shaker, and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Once you’ve finished, strain your cocktail into a coupe - and be sure to use a fine strainer in addition to your usual Hawthorne strainer, if you don’t want any minty bits floating around. (They add some nice flavor, but they also get stuck in your teeth.)
Step Six: Champagne
Now we need to turn this Southside into a Southside Royale. We mentioned earlier that you’ll need Champagne - unfortunately, Champagne is pricey (as a rule). So if you don’t want to part with $50+ on a bottle of fancy French stuff, prosecco and cava work great as well. Whatever you’re using, find your bottle, and top off your Southside with roughly 1.5 ounces of your dry sparkling wine. Congratulations, you’re now the proud owner of a Southside Royale. Drink it before the bubbles go flat.