Blood Orange Sour Mix Recipe

Store-bought sour mix, which is something recipe developer Michelle McGlinn describes as " cloudy neon-yellow liquid," does make for a quick and cheap way to make several different types of cocktails including whiskey and vodka sours and margaritas. The problem with these, however, is that, as McGlinn says, "Store-bought mixes tend to be very sugary or, at best, very sour." Homemade sour mix, however, can not only be made fresh on an as-needed basis but can be tweaked to suit your own personal taste.

With this particular recipe, McGlinn is actually going in a slightly different direction from a standard sour mix by using blood oranges instead of lemons. With this simple swap, her sour mix can make for two-ingredient margaritas since all you'll need to add is tequila. No triple sec is required since the mix not only supplies the sweet and sour, but also both the lime and orange flavors. This recipe is "super versatile" since it can serve as a citrus-flavored simple syrup as well as a sour mix. McGlinn's advice is to try it in a Moscow Mule or gin and tonic if you prefer these cocktails made with added sweetener. Non-drinkers can enjoy this sour mix too, using it in mocktails or adding a few tablespoons to a glass of seltzer to make a citrus-flavored soda.

Gather the ingredients for the blood orange sour mix

To make this mix, you will only need 4 ingredients, or 3 if you don't count water. The ingredients that don't come out of your tap include granulated sugar, blood oranges, and limes. If you can't find blood oranges where you shop, you can use whatever oranges are on offer, although blood oranges do tend to be sweeter than other varieties. McGlinn also notes, "Blood oranges may also be sweeter if more ripe," so if you want a really sweet syrup, you may want to hold out for these.

Prepare the produce

The first step in making this syrup is to squeeze the necessary amount of both types of citrus juices. You will also then need to strain the juices, as well. This step is necessary, according to McGlinn, "to avoid seeds and pith going into your mix."

Make a simple sugar syrup

Mix the sugar and water and heat them to a simmer. Cook them for a minute or so until the sugar is dissolved. If you don't want to turn on the stove, McGlinn does say, "You could technically do this without heating it," although she notes that "it may take longer to dissolve the sugar" so a little more patience will be required.

Add the citrus juices

You can add the strained orange juice to the syrup while it is still warm, but you'll need to cover it and let it cool down before adding the lime juice. "If you plan to use this mix in sour cocktails and need it to be more sour," says McGlinn, "just add more lime juice," and advises doing so half a lime at a time.

Once you've got your syrup tasting the way you like it, pour it into a bottle or jar, cover it, and stick it in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.

Blood Orange Sour Mix Recipe
5 from 25 ratings
Learn how to make this blood orange sour mix to use as a cocktail or mocktail ingredient.
Prep Time
Cook Time
pinkish drink with orange garnish
Total time: 11 minutes
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh blood orange juice (about 6 blood oranges)
  • ¼ cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
  1. Bring the water and sugar to a simmer and stir the mixture for about 1 minute until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Strain the orange juice into the syrup.
  3. Cover the syrup and let it cool.
  4. Stir the lime juice into the syrup, adding additional lime juice if desired.
  5. Refrigerate the syrup in an airtight glass container.
Calories per Serving 225
Total Fat 0.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 57.7 g
Dietary Fiber 0.2 g
Total Sugars 55.4 g
Sodium 3.8 mg
Protein 0.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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