We keep experiencing these little glimpses of spring, which immediately puts me in the mood for summer. Does that make me an over achiever or impatient? Either way, both seasons make me want to sit on my patio, sip something delicious, and revel in my family and friends. I can’t be alone in this – just look at the Mason Jars full of beverages on Pinterest. We’ve all got the itch.
The scratch? My Sweet and Sour Vodka. It’s as light and refreshing as a tart glass of lemonade but has that little somethin-somethin to bring you back down after a long day. It’s. Amazing.
I stopped buying the jug o’ drink mixer at the grocery store years ago. Master of Mixes’ Sweet ‘n Sour has 110 calories and 25 grams of sugar per four-ounce serving. Our recipe has TEN calories and LESS than 1 gram of sugar. That neon yellow color, ridiculous after taste, and undesirable ingredient list left me thirsty for something better.
The answer was in front of me all along – my own lemons and limes squeezed to cocktail-mixing perfection.
The aroma after squeezing two dozen lemons and limes makes the task worth it alone. I’ve tried running the fruit through a juicer before – while quick and effective – the flavor is all wrong. Put some muscle in to it and squeeze the citrus yourself!
The two cups of sugar you might add to this recipe would have wracked up more than 1500 calories! So I used just a cup of Truvia, which adds zero calories and a light sweet taste. It makes a simple syrup as well as granulated sugar, too.
Once the water is added, you get eight cups of fresh, homemade sweet and sour mix that pairs with just about any liquor you want. You can bottle it to save in your own refrigerator to sip here and there. Poured in cheap Ikea clasp bottles or Mason Jars, it makes a wonderful gift for a cocktail-loving friend!
Makes 8 cups; or 16 1/2-cup servings
12 lemons, juiced
12 limes, juiced
1 cup Truvia
5 cups water
1. Juice the lemons and limes, which should result in about 1.5 cups of each. Pour through a mesh strainer in to a large pitcher, removing the seeds and pulp.
2. Bring 3 cups of water to boil and add the Truvia, stirring until dissolved (creating a simple syrup).
3. Pour the simple syrup + 2 cups of cold water in to the pitcher and stir until well combined.
4. Add 1/2 cup of sour mix with 2 ounces of your choice of liquor (vodka, whiskey, and tequila work well), shake over ice, and serve.
We like ours best with vodka – which makes a very simple spiked lemonade. You can garnish with thin slices of lemons or limes and even rim the glass with Truvia. Pool-side, patio, or just a quiet night in, it’s equally refreshing and relaxing.
If you’re making margaritas, this sweet and sour mix replaces high-calorie, high-sugar mixers for a tart drink that pairs perfectly with our Chunky Guacamole. Combine in a blender for the frozen version.
For an old fashioned Whiskey Sour, mix with your choice of bourbon and add a fresh cherry and jalapeno slice for an extra sweet and spicy kick!
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Recipe by Brandi Koskie; Photos by Dana Shultz
February 18th, 2013