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sour and sweet n sour mix about margarita

25 June 2009 1,711 views No Comment

Bartenders don’t differentiate between the three kinds of mix. We simply don’t have the space and use one mix for everything. But for the home bartender; is there really a difference?

Of course, the manufacturing companies want you to believe that margarita mix is only for margaritas, collins/sour mix is only for collins/sour drinks and sweet n sour mix is for, well, everything else. The truth is, regardless of what the label reads there are really only two categories of mixer: sweet n sour and sour.
Whichever bottle you pick up, if you read the ingredients label you see all of them contain water, sugar/high fructose corn syrup or sweetener, natural flavors, citric acid, sodium benzoate, FD&C Yellow, lemon juice and potassium sorbate. The other variants such as sorbitan monosteargate, glycerol ester of wood rosin and polysorbate 60 are all preservatives, emulsifiers and stabilizers which rarely affect the taste.
However, there’s one distinct ingredient in both margarita mix and sweet n sour that isn’t in the collins/sour mixes: lime. But the key ingredient that sets margarita mix apart from regular old sweet n sour mix is FD&C Blue #1 which only affects the color (blue and yellow make green, incase you haven’t figured that out).
For the home bartender who has the luxury of space and time, what it really comes down to is preference. If you’re having a margarita night, margarita mix has that margarita green color designed specifically for margaritas. Sour mix has a zesty tart flavor that can be used for drinks with citrus vodka and squeezes of lemon. When in doubt sweet n sour is the most universal and can be used for anything. Adding a squeeze of lemon or lime will push it into either category.
While most use the generic recipes for their mixes there can be some slight differences in certain brands.   Temperature also affects the taste and despite the high amount of preservatives these mixes can go bad if not stored properly and have been known to explode like a shaken can of soda if kept at too warm of a temperature. For best results refrigerate after opening.
For the home bartender who prefers to use fresh ingredients, here are some easy drink mix recipes to try.

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