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Level up your craft cocktail game with the Best Homemade Sweet and Sour Mix for Drinks Recipe. This easy lemon-lime flavor bomb is perfect for so many classic cocktails and drinks. Whether you are working on your perfect margarita, a whisky sour, or just want a fresh DIY sour mix, this drink mixer is for you!

Jar of Homemade Sweet and Sour Mix with two lemons and some limes showing in the background
Sweet and Sour is great for cocktails and drinks.

🍹 What makes this recipe special?

Who doesn’t like fresh ingredients? This recipe is easy, quick, and helps you make a quality sweet and sour drink mix for any number of classic cocktails. Maybe an amaretto sour, Tom Collins, or just an easy drink mixer for tequila, vodka, whisky, rum, or most straight spirits. 

Some vodka, sweet and sour mix, and a bit of soda water is a great simple cocktail, but the combinations are endless. One thing that is great about this is that you can prepare it beforehand and keep it in the fridge for when you want your next drink. 

I made this specifically for my Appletini Cocktail, but it can be used for so much more. While I tend to use fresh lime for my classic margarita recipe, you could definitely use this as a mix to make it quicker. 

🍋 Ingredients

The ingredients for this DIY cocktail mix are straightforward. It is a simple syrup where we add lemon and lime.

Pouring sugar into water with lemon and lime on a table.
This only has lime, lemon, sugar, and water.
  • sugar
  • water
  • lemon
  • lime

Different fruits are going to have different amounts of juice in them, so you may need to adjust your quantities. Also, I understand buying the big bag of random lemons and limes, but buy good fruit for the best outcome. 

See the recipe card for quantities.

🍲 Instructions

This is as easy as heating up some sugar and water until they are dissolved together. Then, add the lemon juice and lime juice. 

Bottle (or mason jar) up your freshly minted sweet and sour mix and put in the fridge for up to a month. When you serve it up, just shake a bit to make sure things are well combined and use.

Process of making sweet and sour mix.
Simmer water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Then, mix in lemon, lime and cool.

🤷 Substitutions and variations

You can change this up however you like

  • Lemons – If you like more lemon flavor, add more lemons. If you do not, remove it and use more lime.
  • Lime – Similar thing for limes. Use more or less!
  • Other citrus – I have not experimented with this specific recipe, but I imagine you could use almost any citrus juice in a recipe like this if you wanted to get creative.
  • Sweetener – Maybe try honey for a unique flavor. Substitute this 1:1 with the sugar. 
  • Herbs – Maybe add some fresh rosemary or thyme to mix it up.

📦 Storage

Once you have this in your containers, place this home made sour mix in the refrigerator and use it as you need. This should last about a month if you are keeping it appropriately. 


What is in sweet and sour mix? 

Sweet and sour mix contains sugar, water, lemon, and lime. It makes a yellow-green mixture that is perfect for drinks.

What is sweet and sour mix used for?

Sweet and sour drink mix is generally used for cocktails but can be used for any beverage enhancer.  

What is the difference between sweet and sour vs sour mix?

Nothing. They are the same. 

Can sweet and sour mix go bad?

Check the package if you purchased prepared sweet and sour mix. The fresh mix should last for a while if stored in the refrigerator, but yes. It can go bad.

Is simple syrup the same as sweet and sour mix?

No. Sweet and sour cocktail mix contains simple syrup. Once lemon and lime juice is added to simple syrup, it then becomes Sweet and Sour. 

corner angle of sour mix
Easy to make and great for your next sour cocktail.

📝 Tips and tricks

  • While you can juice by hand, purchasing a hand juicer makes this so much easier. 
  • This recipe can be halved or doubled very easy!

🛠 Products used in this recipe

😋 Did you make this recipe?

Awesome! I am so happy you gave it a try. It would really be awesome if you could spend a few minutes and let me know how it went in the comments section below. Most of all, I really appreciate you visiting Ramshackle Pantry!

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Jar of Homemade Sweet and Sour Mix with two lemons and some limes showing in the background

Homemade Sweet and Sour Mix Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 11 reviews
  • Author: Ben Myhre
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 20 Ounces 1x
  • Category: Cocktails
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: American
Save Recipe


A great sweet and sour mix is a great addition to any home bartender’s arsenal. Make some spectacular drinks and cocktails with this homemade sweet and sour mix recipe!


  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup lemon juice (approximately 4 lemons)
  • ¾ cup lime juice (approximately 6 limes)


  1. Add water and sugar to a saucepan and put on medium heat
  2. As soon as sugar is fully dissolved into water, remove from heat
  3. Place fine strainer above the pan and squeeze fruit into.
  4. Mix
  5. Place into a secure container and save up to 1 month in the refrigerator

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  1. I hadn’t even thought of making my own sweet and sour mix! I eat low carb, but I’ll just change out the sweetener and be good to go! Yum!

  2. I can think of so many thing s to use this for! But I can’t wait to see what you’ve really made this for 🙂

  3. I love making my own mixes so I have control of the ingredients. It is going to be interesting to see how you use this recipe with apples!

  4. This would be so great to have on hand for summer cocktails! So simple and so many uses, and way more affordable than buying it!

  5. THIS RECIPE IS AWESOME! My husband has been buying that gross electric yellow crap from the store for years, and it never tasted that good but we couldn’t find a good replacement. This recipe was so easy and tastes great! We will never buy from the store again!

  6. What a great mixer – I can think of so many uses for it, look forward to seeing what you make!