The Southside is quite literally, a Gin Gimlet served straight up with mint (or a Gin Daiquiri with mint). It is a modern offshoot of the Southside Fizz, which contains soda water - hence the "fizz", though many ways the Southside has surpassed it’s progenitor in worldwide recognition.
This drink is a poster child for why simple cocktails with fresh ingredients are just the best. Adding mint is about as basic as modification you can make to a sour style cocktail, but here it works especially well because those fresh cooling notes slide right in the step alongside the juniper and other gin botanicals, adding an easygoing complexity.
While I love the Fizz version for its bubbly ethereal qualities, particularly with cucumber, the Fizz-less Southside offers a more bracing, "to-the-point" experience that is very satisfying. They’re best enjoyed quickly (the fizz has longer legs), and as cold as you can get them. Speaking of cucumber, if you muddle cucumber into this recipe it becomes an East Side cocktail, another delicious modern invention. Though I personally prefer using just mint, its poetic simplicity is just too alluring. For the full backstory on this and all of the cocktails in the Southside family, check out the history section on the Southside Fizz page.
2 oz gin
¾ oz lime juice
¾ oz simple syrup
10-12 mint leaves
In a shaker, muddle the mint with the simple syrup. Add the lime, gin, fill with ice and shake. Fine strain into a chilled coupe or Martini glass. Garnish with a mint leaf or sprig.