DIY Sour Mix

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[The Monthly Mixer is a new column by M. Quinn Sweeney who writes about crafting cocktails at]

Bottles of fluorescent fluids labeled “sour mix” can be purchased at any grocery or liquor store but what you are buying has no actual fruit or anything else found in nature. It’s an artificial conglomeration of crap that tastes like the description above implies. It’s like stirring up some Tang and calling it orange juice. Bars use it because it is cheap and never spoils, but the flavor you get from making it yourself at home is worth any price, but it only costs pennies!

Proper sour mix is just lemon juice, sugar and water, and you needn’t go further than using simple syrup and fresh-squeezed fruit in place of the green goo. For the sake of simplicity, or if you know you will be making several drinks in an evening (you lush), combine 4 parts lemon juice with 3 parts cooled simple syrup and bottle up as much as you want, but keep it cool and use it today or the flavors will change.

Combining this homemade sour mix one-to-one with bourbon makes the perfect whiskey sour.

Learn more DIY bartending tips in our book DIY Cocktails. Available Now!

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