Make your own sweet and sour mix at home to make your own fabulous cocktails and mocktails. Loaded with fresh flavors, and less sugar than the store-bought stuff, you’ll agree this is the best margarita mix you’ve tried!
Darlings, I haven’t bought margarita mix in like 10 years. Not that I don’t love a good margarita, especially with tacos, but I just can’t with the sugar for drinks mixed at home. So for the longest time we just made margaritas like this key lime margarita. Super simple and made for sipping. But then we went to a restaurant and I tried a margarita that inspired the recipe coming on Friday. And darlings, restaurants use margarita mix! There’s just no way around it when you’re making margaritas in volume! But many of them also make their own margarita mix, and now… you can too!
What is margarita mix, exactly?
Margarita mix is a combination of lemon juice, lime juice, sugar, and water. If you’ve ever had a sweet and sour cocktail, margarita mix and sweet and sour mix are the same recipe! The Godfather and I tested this recipe for making both sweet and sour cocktails and margaritas, and it worked beautifully. Since this is a nonalcoholic margarita mix, I even used it to make a fun little mocktail for the kids. They loved their “fun drinks,” and they were just a splash of the mix in some fizzy water.
The primary difference between this homemade margarita mix and the one you buy at the store, is that this one tastes SO much better! Because fresh usually does. And you can customize the mix to suit your personal taste. Or even get fancy! Want to swap part or all of the lemon juice to make a blood orange margarita mix? Done. It’s so easy. And since this cocktail mixer isn’t doctored to work for just one recipe, it’s a great addition to a “mix your own” bar at a party.
Why is this recipe written in parts?
Check the recipe notes if you want the measurements in cups. I’m writing it in “parts” for you because I think it makes it easier for you to scale the recipe knowing the ratios. If you just want to make some margarita mix for enjoying at home over the week, you aren’t going to want a BBQ-sized batch. So to spare you the trouble of figuring out the ratio math to scale the recipe on your own, I’m giving you the ratios.
For simplicity though, I wouldn’t recommend going lower than 1/4 cup for the sugar. Because 1/4 cup sugar in 1/2 cup water with 1/2 cup each of lemon and lime juice will give you enough mix to fill a mason jar. That’s about 2-3 drinks depending on how big you make them. Since the mix lasts a week (and can be frozen), this is the smallest possible batch of the margarita mix I’d recommend making.
The reason being that you want enough water to just cover the bottom of a small saucepan so you can dissolve the sugar. Any less and you run the risk of too much water evaporating before your sugar has dissolved. You don’t want to have crystallization in your mix.
How do I use a sweet and sour mix?
I already shared how I use it as a base for a quick little nonalcoholic spritzer – club soda, a bit of the mix, maybe a splash of fruit juice or grenadine. So let’s talk about other options. The most obvious being, the classic margarita! I mean, if you have the best margarita mix, you’re going to make some of the best margaritas!
To make a classic margarita on the rocks, add a shot of tequila and a splash of triple sec (if you want) to a low ball glass filled with ice. Then, fill the glass with your mixer and stir to combine. Super easy! If you’d prefer to make a frozen margarita, place all the ingredients in the blender and pulse until slushy.
In my opinion, the true magic of making a mixer like this in advance is how practical it is for get-togethers! You can make margarita mix up to a week in advance, and then when all your friends are over, mix a pitcher of margs in 2 minutes. You literally just add tequila to a pitcher and top with your mixer. Just don’t add the ice to the pitcher. Fill each glass with ice so you don’t water down the flavor of the mix.
Alternately, you can fill a beverage dispenser with a double batch of the mixer and have club soda, tequila, ice, and garnishes available for guests to build their own! You’d better believe this is going to happen at one of our summer gatherings. I can’t wait! Enjoy, darlings!
- 2 parts fresh lime juice
- 2 parts fresh lemon juice
- 2 parts water
- 1 part granulated sugar (see notes)
- Zest strips from 1 lime
- Zest strips from 1 lemon
- In a small saucepan, combine the water, zest strips, and granulated sugar. Place over medium heat and stir until the sugar has just dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to sit while you juice the lemons and limes (about 5-10 minutes).
- Juice your lemons and limes. Combine the juice in a large mason jar or container.
- Strain the simple syrup into the juice container through a fine-mesh sieve. Stir to combine.
- Cover your margarita mix and refrigerate until chilled, then use to mix the best margaritas!
- Prepared margarita mix will keep up to a week in the refrigerator, or can be frozen up to a month.
- To make a classic margarita, fill a glass with ice, add tequila, mix, stir and enjoy!
- Use a serrated peeler to remove the zest strips from the lime and lemon easily. Try to avoid the pith (white portion) of the peel as it can add a bitter flavor to your mix.
- The below measurements are provided to give you a rough scaling guide to help you decide how much you need to make:
- Small Batch Margarita Mix Recipe: 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup lime juice, 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar. Follow the steps above. Makes a little under 2 cups of mix - enough for 2-3 drinks. For a small batch, don't worry about adding strips of zest to the simple syrup, or just toss in 1-2 strips. There isn't room for more.
- Margarita Mix for a Party: 2 cups lemon juice, 2 cups lime juice, 2 cups water, 1 cup sugar. Follow the above steps. This will make about 6 1/2 cups of mixer, which will provide 8-10 drinks depending on how they're mixed
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