Whiskey Sours aren’t difficult cocktails to make. All you need is some simple syrup, fresh lemon juice and whiskey. But we get it; sometimes you don’t have the energy or the time to juice a bunch of lemons and mix up a batch of simple syrup—especially if you’re making cocktails for a crowd. In these instances, it’s perfectly acceptable to use a mix—as long as it’s a good one. Here are the best bottled cocktail mixes you can buy to make Whiskey Sours almost instantly. Just add whiskey.
While Cocktail Crate offers a perfectly delicious Classic Whiskey Sour mix, their Maple Whiskey Sour Mix is the one to buy. Rich with real maple syrup and a touch of bitters, this fall-flavored mixer is best with a darker whiskey like a spicy rye or an amber-hued bourbon that’s seen a lot of time in a barrel. It also works well with spirits like aged rum or good brandy.
To make this mix, Bittermilk first smoked honey over bourbon barrel staves, then mixed in citrus peels, fresh lemon juice and cane sugar. On the first sip you’ll certainly get those creamy, floral honeyed notes. The bright lemon juice comes through, and then comes the smoke—like a summertime barbecue.
If you insist on keeping a standard sour mix in your fridge, make it this one. There’s lots of tart citrus flavors in there (both lemon and lime) with a bright sweetness thanks to organic cane sugar. For our purposes here, it makes for a great Whiskey Sour, especially with a young bourbon or rye, but it can also be used to make Margaritas.
You can mix up a big Whiskey Sour right in the bottle of this brilliant mix. Swig + Swallow sells bottles half-filled with mix, so all you need to do is add spirits, along with perhaps a touch of water, and shake. Then, you can pour out the best, freshest, easiest cocktails ever—each bottle makes 10 cocktails. The Sour is made simply with fresh lemon juice, water and sugar—that’s it. It’s like a professional bartender came to your house and stocked your fridge with mixers.
The next time you’re picking up a spare muffin tin or investing in a stand mixer, grab a bottle of Williams-Sonoma’s tart cocktail mix. Made with yuzu (an aromatic Asian citrus fruit somewhere between a kaffir lime and a grapefruit) and meyer lemon, it’s a crisp, bright, just-sweet-enough mix that’s perfect with lighter whiskeys.