The Reason You Should Skip Premade Sour Mix For Cocktails

Making cocktails is a great way to get creative in the kitchen: There are endless variations to try, and even if you fail, your guests will probably still enjoy consuming the results. However, that doesn't mean that you're down to ruin a bottle of quality liquor with cheap ingredients.

One of the quickest and easiest ways to ruin a drink is to use premade sour mix. The fluorescent margarita mixes found in plastic bottles on supermarket shelves may be passable for college parties, but even bottom-shelf tequila will taste better when you use fresh-squeezed lime and homemade simple syrup. While premade mixers help streamline the process of cocktail-making, for many (whether they're casual drinkers or cocktail connoisseurs) the shortcut just isn't worth it. If you want to forgo flavoring your drink with sickly sweet corn syrup, Bon Appétit also suggests making sour mix at home. It's really about as difficult as making simple syrup, which is called simple for a reason.

The perfect ratio of ingredients is key to a sour cocktail

Explore Drinks states that 'sours' refers to a specific category of cocktail that mixes sweet components with a citrusy tang and a healthy splash of booze. The category includes daquiris, the gimlet, and, of course, margaritas. While sour cocktails often get a bad rap, using quality ingredients can turn these tart drinks into something sublime.

Bon Appétit reports that classic sour cocktails follow a simple formula: ¾ ounce sour ingredients, ¾ ounce sweet ingredients, and 2 ounces base liquor. Store-bought sour mixes are typically too sweet or too artificial. Using homemade ingredients gives you control over this formula, and once you've got it down, you can fine-tune it to your personal taste.

Plus, skipping the premade sour mix gives you more leeway to get creative and customize your cocktails. You're unlikely to find sour mix infused with pickle juice at your grocery store, and nothing will kick your Grapefruit Paloma up a notch like homemade chamomile syrup.