Sour mix is one of the more ubiquitous truly booze-centric mixers. It’s almost like a blank slate candification for your favorite spirit. You’ll find it available in three formats: powdered mix (like kool aid), bottled mixers, and fresh.
Anything but fresh is so utterly awful please do yourself a favor and avoid at all costs. Such a mix is actually the only time I ever returned a drink for tasting so embarrassingly rank. I always ask first or–better yet–only enjoy them at home.
There are many ways to whip up your own mix. Formulas range from all lemon to half lemon and lime with levels of sugar all over the place. This is the best and most adaptable/usable formula I’ve come up with:
- 2 parts fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 part fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 2 parts simple syrup
Mix all three and you are golden. You can keep it in the fridge for about a week before noticing any reduction in quality, but it’s best to enjoy as fresh as possible.
Want to make a lot? Here’s how I usually mix up a big batch, that avoids the need to boil up sugar. What you’ll need:
- 1 quart bottle (I reuse glass juice bottles)
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 2 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
Add sugar and hot water to bottle and shake well for 15 seconds. Let sit as you juice the lemons. Once you have 1 cup of lemon juice, add it to the bottle and shake well. Repeat this process for the second cup of lemon juice and the cup of lime juice. Top off with cool water if there is room (leave about an inch of space). Refrigerate until sugar fully dissolved before using.
Feel free to adjust as your tastes see fit. More lime, no lime, less sugar–all are acceptible and often better in certain applications.