DIY: How To Make Home Made Sour Mix

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Sour Mix (also known as Sweet and Sour mix) is one of the most important ingredients that any bartender or home mixologist can have in his arsenal. It’s used in many classic favorites ( Margarita, Collin, Whiskey sour) and it’s very easy to incorporate in new recipes as you’re mixing at home. If you head to your local liquor store (or grocery store) chances are you’ll find at least a dozen different pre packaged brands of sour mix under several names ( Margarita mix, Collins mix, lemon-lime mix) and in all different shapes and sizes ( 1.75 L jug, 16oz bottle, plastic bag, etc). If you’ve ever bought and used any of these before, you might have realized they all taste slightly different but none taste like the real thing

Real Sour Mix is made up of lemon juice, lime juice, sugar and water. Those pre packaged brands tend to taste more  like an overly sweet, artificially flavored candy than the fresh and citrus-y mixer its intended to be. If your bar is already stocked with one of those pre-made brands, I challenge you to try making some fresh sweet and sour using our how-to guide today and see for yourself the difference. Why should you try do-it-yourself? Think about it, mixing drinks isn’t much different then baking or cooking. The fresher the ingredients, the better the final result. It shouldn’t taste like a lemon lime jolly rancher. It shouldn’t look like radioactive waste (bright green, bright yellow, or green-yellow).

Making your own Sour mix isn’t rocket science. All it requires is the juicing of a few lemons and limes and adding some water and sugar. Chances are you have most of this on hand in your pantry anyway. Even better, you can make a batch in bulk and keep it stocked in the fridge for impromptu margaritas and whiskey sours when the neighbors come over. Try this at home and let us know what you think. You can thank us later.

Home Made Sour Mix (Sweet & Sour)

  • 3 cups Sugar
  • 3 cups Water
  • 2 cups Fresh Lime Juice
  • 2 cups Fresh Lemon Juice

Combine your water and sugar in large pan. Bring the pan to a boil, for about 7 minutes. Stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let it cool. Separately, juice your lemons and limes into a container removing the pulp (unless you enjoy pulp) and then add to your cooled down syrup. Chill in the fridge.


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photo credit: Junnn via photopin cc

Alex is a full time consultant with 10+ years experience in the wine & spirits + consumer packaged goods industries. He is not a professional bartender, but is BarSmarts certified and makes a mean caipirinha. When not writing, Alex can be found traveling, spending time with his family, or bar hopping.

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