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Homemade Sour Mix and a Whiskey Sour

Homemade Sour Mix and a Whiskey Sour

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We are so happy that it is Friday.  To kick off the weekend we are going to talk about some Bar Basics.  Items that every home bar should have.  The first item we want to talk about is a Sour Mix. It is basically equal parts citrus along with simple syrup.  It is slightly sweet but full of sour in a good way.  When mixed with the right alcohol it creates a fantastic cocktail.  This recipe for Homemade Sour Mix along with a Whiskey Sour is about to brighten up your weekend.

Sours are often thought of as lazy day drinks, think puckery citrus cocktails, margaritas, and daiquiris;  traditional “vintage” cocktails.   The first time we were reintroduced to these traditional sour drinks was with the daiquiri which is a rather sultry drink, especially nice on a hot summer night.  Another timeless sour drink is the whiskey sour, and it is perfect served any time of the year.  Sours are straightforward and not complicated.  You basically need a base spirit, sour mix and an egg white (this is optional).

Most pre-made sour mixes are full of over processed sugar as well as preservatives.  After trying a few different sour mixes, we decided to venture into the kitchen to make our own.   We worked on this recipe a few times using equal parts lemon and lime as well as using kumquats (just imagine juicing all those little guys), it was good but not sour enough.  The last few times we used oranges, particularly Seville oranges, and the recipe came out perfect.  Slightly sweet and not overly sour, just enough to cut through the sugar.  Your homemade sour mix will last for a week in the fridge.  If, you don’t plan on using within the week, add a teaspoon of vodka to help preserve the freshness.  Warning it is so good it probably won’t last the entire week.

Recipe:  Homemade Sour Mix


1/2 cup sugar

1 cup of water

1 cup fresh citrus juice: I used 4 limes, 1 Meyer lemon, and 3 Seville oranges

How To:

In a medium saucepan over low heat, add all of the ingredients.

Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Cook for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let cool.

Strain to remove any pulp.

Pour into a sterile bottle.

Keep in the fridge until ready to use.

Makes almost 2 cups.

Recipe:  Whiskey Sour


* makes two drinks

3 ounces whiskey

4 ounces sour mix

handful of ice

2 orange wedges


ice cubes

 How To:

In a cocktail shaker add all of the ingredients except for the orange wedge and cherry, in the order listed.


Pour into a cocktail glass filled with ice.

Garnish with the orange peel and cherry.



More Tasty Dark Spirit Cocktails

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The French Old Fashioned

Blackberry Sage Bourbon Smash

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Tom Fulton

Thursday 14th of February 2019

FYI there is a typo in your Homemade Sour Mix and a Whiskey Sour recipe which reads, "Pour into a sterile bottom." I have a feeling it will be difficult to find a sterile bottom anywhere in this world.

Regards, Tom

Denise Woodward

Thursday 14th of February 2019

Thanks for the catch Tom! Agreed, sterile bottoms are hard to find these days. Enjoy.

Jun Belen

Friday 9th of March 2012

Yes, make it a double. Please. Happy Friday, Denise!!

Barbara | Creative Culinary

Friday 9th of March 2012

Great minds and all? Did the same cocktail today for my Happy Hour Friday post; love the idea of a mix but either way, NOT using a commercial pre-made sour mix is key don't you think? Probably why I've not enjoyed some of the whiskey sours I've had; that fresh lemon makes all the difference!

Jay @

Friday 9th of March 2012

Make it a double.


Friday 9th of March 2012

Sounds terrific - even at 6:50am. I'm curious, though, why you cook the citrus along with the water and sugar? I would think to mix the simple syrup with the fresh juice...