Pitcher Cocktails: The (Mixed Citrus) Whisky Sour

With a special super secret sour mix recipe

Whisky Sour Batch Recipe | A Practical Wedding

We all have those drinks that were ruined for us when we first started drinking, and anything-sour is on that list for me. My first years of drinking in bars were in the East Village in New York in the late ’90s, back before New York did anything as bourgeois as, you know, actually card underage drinkers. The standard drinks of those days were Cosmos, Long Island Iced Teas, White Russians, and Whisky Sours. All of those drinks were pretty recklessly gross, but the drinks made with cheap sour mix and well whiskey fell into a particular category of disgusting to my tastebuds. In the years since, as I’ve worked to teach myself more adult drinking, I’ve steered cleared of anything sour.

So imagine my surprise when our production intern Dana presented us with this Whisky Sour recipe that includes not a drop of sour mix. In fact, it’s mostly good bourbon and fresh citrus. This is not what we were drinking in 2001, people, and it’s delicious. It’s also perfect to make for big batch cocktails for your wedding. It’s a classic everyone knows, and you can reinvent it in a way that will blow them away with how damn tasty it is. As discussed in our How To post on big batch wedding cocktails, we’ve provided you with both the recipe for the single drink, the ratio, and a recipe for a hundred cocktails.

And! If you haven’t read our How To post on pitcher cocktails, start there, and return for tasty boozin’.

Whisky Sour Batch Recipe | A Practical Wedding

Here is Dana’s Whisky Sour recipe for making new memories with an old drink:


2 oz whiskey
1 oz sour mix (see below)
.5 oz simple syrup

Whisky Sour Ratio

4 parts whisky, 2 parts sour mix, 1 part simple syrup


200 oz whiskey
100 oz sour mix
50 oz simple syrup

You may need to do some math at the store when you are buying your booze. Unfortunately, some spirits are sold in ounces, others in liters, others in quarts, pints, or gallons. I highly encourage using this smartphone app or this one, or this website for your conversions.

Whisky Sour Batch Recipe | A Practical Wedding


This mix is actually just citrus juice. The secret is out! So, just mix together the juice of any citrus you want. I like a ratio of 2 parts lemon juice, 1 part orange juice, and 1 part lime juice. So, your recipe for a hundred drinks is as follows:

50 oz lemon juice
25 oz orange juice
25 oz lime juice

Grapefruit is also good in there, as is blood orange juice. I’d also recommend making a little extra, so you have enough to adjust for taste. If you’re really into juicing, you can juice these yourself; I like to use Trader Joe’s or Odwalla juice because I’m lazy. Just remember, if your juice has added sugar, taste your batch before adding simple syrup. That’s it! And it really beats the sour mix sold in the mixers aisle at the liquor store.


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