If you do nothing else for your cocktails this year, at least
NIX THE (Pre-made) SOUR MIX!
I've said it before but it's worth saying again - commercially made, chemical laden, fake flavored cocktail mixes are death to a good cocktail. Commercially produced sour mixes are the reason you never thought you liked a Whiskey Sour, an Amaretto Sour or any other cocktail that calls for citrus and a sweetener. Like your food, your cocktails were never meant to have ingredients you couldn't pronounce in them.
It really doesn't take that long to make a fresh, nutritious homemade sour mix and the difference it makes in the taste of your cocktails is amazeballs.
Now, go get some REAL lemons and limes and do yourself and your cocktails a huge favor.
SWEET & SOUR MIX
2 Cups Cane or DemeraraSugar
2 Cups Water
2 Cups Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
1 Cup Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
1 Oz. Vodka, optional
Tools: Medium Saucepan, Juicer, Funnel, Resealable Storage Bottle,
In a saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil. Stir until the sugar dissolves then remove from the heat and allow this to cool. (Congratulations you have just made simple syrup!)
While your simple syrup is cooling, juice, then strain out the pulp from your lemons and limes. (If you're using a centrifical or cold press juicer you won't need to strain. If you using a hand juicer you will need to strain.)
Pour the fresh juices into your storage bottle then add the simple syrup and give it all a good shake.
This should keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Toss the sour mix when you notice it getting cloudy. If you add the vodka it will keep for up to a month, however it will not taste as fresh.
Yes, you can leave out the vodka and cut the recipe.
Yes, you can use oranges, grapefruits and other citrus, though you might have to adjust the amount of sugar. Try different citruses for different cocktails. Mix it up, have some fun!
No, you cannot use artificial sweeteners. Yes, you can use honey or agave syrup but you'll need to adjust the water amount. And remember that honey carries it's own distinct flavor.
P.S. This homemade sour mix is also great in iced tea.