This post may include affiliate links; for details, see our disclosure policy.

Here’s how to make sweet and sour mix! It has the best zingy lemon lime flavor, perfect for big batch cocktails of all kinds: whiskey sours, margaritas, and more.

Sweet and sour mix
Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!

Want to whip up lots of cocktails for a party? Try this homemade sweet and sour mix! The lemon lime flavor is so bright and zingy, you can’t help but raise your eyebrows in admiration after one sip. It makes a big batch that you can use it in drinks and cocktails of all kinds.

Why we love this recipe: This homemade sour mix has the best fresh flavor using real citrus, and makes for one knockout margarita or whiskey sour. Alex and I typically shake up these to order, but when you’re entertaining it’s so much easier to make batch cocktails by starting from the mix. Here are all our secrets!

What is sweet and sour mix?

Sweet and sour mix is a lemon-lime flavored mixer used in cocktail recipes. It’s usually used for sour cocktails like a whiskey sour or amaretto sour, but you can also use it for margaritas, too. The sour mix ratio depends on the recipe author. We love our drinks on the tart side, so we’ve customized ours to the perfect level of sour. Here’s the sour mix ratio:

  • 1 parts sugar
  • 1 parts water
  • 1 part lime juice
  • 2 parts lemon juice

Tips for how to make sweet and sour mix

There are only a few things to know about making sweet and sour mix! Here’s what to do:

Step 1: Juice the limes and lemons.

Step 1: Juice the limes and lemons. This is what takes the most time in this recipe. Use a good juicer to make quick work of it. Here’s the press citrus juicer we use: it’s our favorite way to juice citrus.

Step 2: Heat the juice, water, and sugar.

Step 2: Heat the juice, water, and sugar just until it dissolves. You barely need to heat the mix! Just heat and whisk constantly until the sugar just dissolves.

Step 3: Let the sweet and sour mix cool to room temperature.

Step 3: Cool to room temperature. This takes just a few minutes.

Sour mix storage

Once you make your sweet and sour mix, you can use it right away to mix up drinks. Or you can store it! Here’s what to remember: Store refrigerated for up to 1 week.

The sour mix tastes the best right away! But you won’t notice a significant difference after 1 week. Once you hit the week mark, you’ll notice the flavor starts to fade. Drink it as close to making it as possible!

We love making a big batch of this sour mix for vacation. It’s perfect for a trip to the beach or a lake house, or even for entertaining by the pool!

Sweet and sour mix

Sweet and sour mix cocktail recipes

Here’s the best part: how to make cocktail recipes with sour mix! Here are some of our favorite cocktail recipes made with sour mix:

1. Whiskey sour with sour mix

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 ¾ ounces sweet and sour mix

Add the bourbon and sour mix to a cocktail shaker. Fill with a handful of ice and shake until very cold. Strain the drink into a glass. Serve with ice, an orange peel and a cocktail cherry.

2. Margarita with sour mix

  • 2 ounces tequila
  • ½ ounce Cointreau
  • 1 ounce sweet and sour mix

Rim a glass with salt. Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with 4 ice cubes and shake until cold. Strain the margarita into the glass with the salted rim. Fill the glass with ice and serve.

3. Tom Collins with sour mix

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 2 ounces sweet and sour mix
  • ½ cup soda water
  • Ice (try our clear ice!)

Add the gin and sour mix to a cocktail shaker with 4 ice cubes. Shake well until chilled. Strain the liquid into an ice filled glass, and top off the glass with soda water. Garnish with a lemon wheel and cocktail cherry.

4. Daiquiri with sour mix

  • 1 ½ ounces white rum
  • 1 ½ ounces sweet and sour mix
  • Lime slice, for garnish

Mix in a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour into a cocktail glass. Serve garnished with a lime slice.

5. Amaretto sour with sour mix

  • 1 ½ ounces amaretto
  • ½ ounce bourbon whiskey
  • 1 ounce sweet and sour mix

Add the amaretto, bourbon, and sour mix to a cocktail shaker. Fill with a handful of ice and shake until very cold. Strain the drink into a glass. Serve with ice, an orange peel and a cocktail cherry.

Margarita with sour mix.

Is sour mix the same as margarita mix?

Not quite! Our homemade margarita mix uses only 3 ingredients and has no added sugar. To try it, head to Margarita Mix. If you want to make a large pitcher enough for 8 or 16 drinks, make a margarita pitcher instead. Go to our Margarita Pitcher Recipe.

Dietary notes

This sweet and sour mix recipe is vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

Frequently asked questions

Why make my own sour mix when I can buy it pre-made?

There are several benefits to making your own sour mix:
Cost-effective: Homemade mix is significantly cheaper than store-bought options.
Fresher ingredients: You control the quality and freshness of ingredients.
Adjustable flavor: Tailor the sweetness and tartness to your preferences.
Preservative-free: Homemade mix avoids preservatives often found in store-bought syrups.

What ingredients do I need to make sour mix?

The basic ingredients for sour mix are:
Water: The base liquid.
Granulated sugar: For sweetness.
Lemon juice and lime juice: For tartness.

Are there any variations on the basic sour mix recipe?

Absolutely! Here are some ideas:
Simple syrup: Substitute some sugar with simple syrup for a smoother sweetness.
Fresh herbs: Add large handful of mint or rosemary to the simmering water and allow it to infuse for 30 minutes for a subtle herbal note (remove before bottling).
Other fruits: Experiment with adding muddled berries or other fruits for a unique twist.

How long does homemade sour mix last?

Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, homemade sour mix can last up to 1 week.

My homemade sour mix tastes too sweet/tart. How can I adjust it?

Taste your mix as you go and adjust the sugar and citrus juice to your preference. Start with a little less than you think you’ll need and add more to taste.

Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!
Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Sweet and sour mix

Best Sweet and Sour Mix


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 9 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 minute
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 15 ounces 1x

Description

Here’s how to make sweet and sour mix! It has the best zingy lemon lime flavor, perfect for big batch whiskey sours and margaritas.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) water
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) lime juice
  • 6 ounces (¾ cup) lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Juice the limes and lemons.
  2. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture becomes clear, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Cool to room temperature (takes a few minutes).
  3. Stir in the lemon juice and lime juice, then pour into a jar. Keeps 1 week in the refrigerator (the flavor is best in first 24 hours, but it’s still good over a week).
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

1 Comment

  1. Marie says:

    Love your recetas!!