Sour power

By Katherine

These glasses are family heirlooms

Quick, take a peek in your refrigerator. Is there an aging bottle of neon yellow sour mix? Reach for it, go on. Now walk it on over to the sink. That’s right, closer, closer. OK, now remove the cap and tip. That stuff will help clean out your plumbing. Aah, that’s better. Now, let’s make a little simple syrup and squeeze a few lemons and everything will be right with the world.

Brandy Sour

  • 3 drops Angostura bitters
  • 2 ounces lemon juice
  • 1 tsp simple syrup (aka sugar syrup)
  • 3 ounces brandy (to make a whiskey sour use whiskey)

In a shaker with ice, sprinkle bitters, then add juice, liquor and syrup. Shake. Strain into a tumbler with ice. Garnish with a lemon or orange slice and cherry.

To make simple syrup, use equal parts sugar to water. Dissolve in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow to cool before using. Store the leftovers in the refrigerator.

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About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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92 Responses to Sour power

  1. nrhatch says:

    Those look FAB!!! :D

  2. Love that first paragraph!

  3. Lauren says:

    Yes, yes, yes! I dumped sour mix a while back and have been making my own to keep on hand. One part lemon juice, one part lime juice, one part simple syrup. The hubby likes to enjoy a whiskey sour now and then, but now I’m contemplating a brandy sour sometime soon….

    • katherine says:

      That’s such a cool tip Lauren. Right now we have a jar of simple syrup, peppercorn simple syrup and lemon juice (leftover from limoncello) all in the fridge. So I might not do that anytime soon. Oh what the heck, what’s one more?

  4. Kristy says:

    I didn’t even know there was such a thing as neon yellow sour mix! Crazy!

  5. A_Boleyn says:

    Back in the day people had drinks cabinets with things needed to make cocktails. All I have is some bottles scattered in various rooms. No bitters of any kind. I have yet to find a drink recipe posted that I could make without having to go shopping first but I keep hoping. :)

    • katherine says:

      What do you have?

      • A_Boleyn says:

        My alchohol list: Creme de Cassis, Grand Marnier, Kahlua, Jose Cuervo Especial Tequila, Bacardi Gold Rum, Malibu (rum with coconut flavoured liquor), Hiram Walker’s Special Old Rye Whiskey (unopened gifted >15 yrs), Cranberry Mead (melomel) and a couple partial bottles of homemade moonshine.

        Lots of alcohol I know, but other than a Cuba Libre (rum and coke), and some margaritas, I have to idea what to do with the stuff. :)

      • katherine says:

        OK, our next two drink posts are right up your alley. Yes, we plan them ahead! And here’s one for coconut rum: http://rufusguide.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/if-you-like-pina-colodas-youll-like-this-too/ Also the French Martini might work with creme de cassis. http://rufusguide.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/the-french-martini/

      • A_Boleyn says:

        I was hoping to be able to make something tasty without having to go shopping, for more alcohol or other items. For the French Martini I’d have to buy vodka even if I could use the creme de cassis. I’d have to go shopping for the pineapple juice, peach and bananas to make the pina colada. The thought of going shopping so I can have a drink on my own just seems a little sad. :(

        If it wasn’t winter, I COULD make great margaritas with the tequila and Grand Marnier (instead of triple sec) as I have limes in my crisper and use the simple syrup/lemon or lime juice instead of that revolting “sour mix”. :)

    • katherine says:

      We have one coming up that uses two of the ingredients you have and that’s it. But no spoilers!

      • A_Boleyn says:

        I can hardly wait to see the posts. :)

        I’ll have to post my only real “mixed drink” concoction to day so you can snicker. Right after I finish uploading my pictorial story of making cream puffs to flickr.

  6. JamieAnne says:

    Looks like a super tasty drink! Beautiful tablecloth.

  7. Courtney says:

    Lol. It’s down the drain, I promise. :) Yummy!

  8. Asmita says:

    There’s a drink that would make us all happy!

  9. I have a sneaking suspicion the end of the working day for you two is rather a good time to come visiting… knock, knock.

    • katherine says:

      Well the older dog needs his meds, the younger needs food, we have to start dinner, check the mail and something’s always a mess, but hey it’s always nice to come home! Friday night is always fun.

  10. Tandy says:

    I would drink this! PS, you have a typo GARISH instead of GARNISH (hope you don’t mind me pointing it out to you)

  11. Purely.. Kay says:

    I love a tart taste to my drinks.. and if I was a drinker, I truly think this would be my drink of choice.

  12. Like I need another cocktail to love, Katherine! But thanks anyway!

  13. Veronika says:

    I laughed myself silly at the guidelines for the tipping out of the old sour mix, and I don’t even own one – but I imagine my other half would love these!
    Equal part of water and sugar – is that by weight or volume?

  14. BrainRants says:

    Rants’ Liver approves!

  15. Bravo, Katherine! Just the giggle I needed!

  16. aFrankAngle says:

    Oh the blend of tart and sweet!

  17. Karen says:

    I don’t know why people would pay a lot of money for a sour mix full of chemicals when it is so easy to make your own and so much better tasting. Thanks for pointing that out.

    • katherine says:

      They are pricey. I actually cheated and bought a dip at Whole Foods the other day, which I never do. I pointed out to Greg how I could pronounce the ingredients. All real food, a bit shocking. We don’t buy many premade things.

  18. Lisa says:

    That’s funny and I love the heirlooms! (Obviously they should have been mine.) Oh, and what leftovers? These look too good.

  19. These sounds great. :-) Mandy

  20. You make me want to get a shaker and turn our “bar” into a bar.

  21. Not a drinker but this sounds tasty!

  22. ChgoJohn says:

    I do understand the concept of convenience but, c’mon, sour mix? In the time it takes to go to a store and buy some, you can make a batch, following your recipe of course, and have a much tastier cocktail, as a result. And you did make 2 tasty looking cocktails!

    • Do you understand the concept of convenience, Mr. Homemade Pasta, Homemade Goat Cheese, etc, etc.? Perhaps you just don’t tell us what you eat when you are not blogging about wonderful Italian food. Maybe you don’t make your own wine in the basement, or maybe I have not read you long enough to know about that.

      • So I was reading the comments backwards and was wondering what prompted that question and thinking I use boxed pasta all the time. I only do ravis from scratch. Then I saw it was to John. Did you both see Lauren’s suggestion for homemade sour mix? Now I’m off to try John’s goat cheese recipe and check the wine in the cellar!

      • It was meant in fun, Greg — I hope you and John both take it that way. Yes, I saw the homemade sour mix. Good luck with the wine — my Dad made Cabernet once.

      • Oh I know that. It just confused me at first! I am told I never do anything the easy way too. But I do buy ricotta!

  23. zestybeandog says:

    I agree store bout sour mix is baaaaaad! This look great!

  24. Sissi says:

    I have never heard of sour mix (must be available only in the US), but if it’s ready-to-serve cocktail mix I would never buy it. I love this brandy sour recipe! (And I love sour cocktails)

  25. This drink makes me smile…it even looks happy and smiling in those pretty glasses! :)

    • katherine says:

      How sweet! Do you like the label. I meant to turn them backwards and neither of us noticed. Greg takes all the photos.

      • I did notice the Jim Beam etching, but I like it and thought it was intentional to show it! It’s kind of a retro thing that seems to be making a comeback. We see a lot of these pretty and well made “tasting” glasses for various brands in second hand stores these days.

  26. Carolyn Chan says:

    I love sour drinks.this looks so yum!

  27. ceciliag says:

    Katherine you are hilarious!! Pour that nasty stuff away indeed. This sounds much better! c

    • katherine says:

      I am truly hilarious, C. Sometimes people don’t get a particular joke and I repeat it just because surely they must have missed something.

  28. Ha! I poured out some yucky stuff from my fridge right before I moved! I’ll definitely be making my own mix from your recipe.

  29. I think sour mix is just plain foul…I will have to try your “real” version!

  30. Hotly Spiced says:

    That drink sounds so refreshing. I prefer a sour and less sweet drink to something quite sugary, especially on a hot day.

  31. Such a famous drink, and I’ve never tried it! Thanks for the recipe!

  32. I don’t know if I told you guys this before, but in my cocktail class last year, the teacher kept telling me that everything I made had too much lemon in it/was too tart haha. But I love it ;)

  33. spicegirlfla says:

    You’re so funny!! Yes, pour that bottled stuff down the drain!! Good girl!!!

  34. ....RaeDi says:

    Beautiful photo, clean out your plumbing! I love your posts they make me smile!

  35. Joanne says:

    I LOVE “sours.” Sours and mojitos are my kinda drink! I didn’t know they were so easy to do, and those “sour” mixes always scared me LOL.

  36. Christina says:

    I just love the wonderful cocktails you guys post! I could use one of these right now! ;)

  37. If that neon yellow stuff will clean up your plumbing I’m afraid of what it will do to your internal plumbing! lol Another great drink! pucker up! lol

  38. If you can make it yourself, tastier, and probably cheaper too, why bother with the neon yellow stuff? Great recipe!

  39. Love the fresh take on the sour mix!

  40. SimpleP says:

    Sounds like my kind of drink!

  41. Yum! I could go for one of these. You have so many great drinks on here. Makes one want to become an alcoholic! Just teasing but would like to try them all over a period of time.

  42. needtotaste says:

    Yeah! I hate sour mix!

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