Do It Yourself

Mixers and sweeteners you can make on your own


Everybody's growing their own. There are beehives on Brooklyn rooftops and micro-green gardens in Portland windowsills. Everywhere you turn, things are house cured and handmade; even your mother just opened an Etsy shop. Why not incorporate some of this small batch goodness into your home bar set-up? Sure, you could do that by sticking to goods made in your own zip code, or you could embrace the DIY ethic and concoct your own ingredients altogether.

For your next cocktail hour, skip the bottled ingredients and try your hand at some of these homemade mixers, sweeteners, and liqueurs.

1 cup pomegranate juice
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon drops orange-flower water

1. Warm pomegranate juice in a saucepan over medium heat just until it barely starts to bubble -- do not allow it to boil. Remove from burner.

2. Stir in the sugar until the mixture turns clear.

3. Stir in lemon juice and orange-flower water. Let the syrup cool, then bottle and refrigerate.

Simple Syrup

Combine one cup of water and two cups of sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat to boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and stir until sugar has full dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool, refrigerate in an air-tight container.

Rose Water Syrup

2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Water
1/2 cup Rose water

Brring the water to a boil, add sugar and stir until dissolved. Stir in rose water and remove from heat. Allow the mixture to cool, refrigerate in an air-tight container.

Sour Mix

1 oz Lemon juice
1/2 oz Lime juice
1 oz Sugar
2 oz Water

Combine lemon and lime juice with sugar; stir until full the sugar is fully dissolved and incorporated.

Coffee Liqueur
(aka homemade Kahlua)

4 cups Water
4 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Instant coffee
1 quart vodka
1 vanilla bean, sliced in half.

Place water and sugar in a medium saucepan over high heat, boil until dissolved. Stir in instant coffee. Remove from heat. Add vodka and vanilla bean. Pour into individual bottles and leave in a dark place (a closet works nicely) for three weeks.

Mentioned in this article


  • When making the coffee liqueur, does the "instant coffee" refer to the granules? I assume so but want to make sure it's not prepared (liquid) instant coffee. Really doesn't make it clear.

    Aug 07, 2010 at 6:05 PM

  • Snooth User: CattD
    549492 14

    I would think it is 1/c dried instant coffee. Otherwise it would state 1/2 c prepared instant. What you are looking for is the flavor not to add more liquid. The sugar/water will be hot enough to disolve the instant crystals.

    Aug 08, 2010 at 9:53 AM

  • Snooth User: bianco
    537737 17

    I've never heard of shaking a Tequila Sunrise. I think that part of the Tequila Sunrise "experience" is the separation between the OJ and the Grenadine that make it look like, well a sunrise. Cheers

    Aug 10, 2010 at 6:56 PM

  • Snooth User: CattD
    549492 14

    Bianco, that is correct. The Grenadine is poured in last and will naturally sink to the bottom creating the 'sunrise'.

    Aug 11, 2010 at 10:11 AM

  • Having been a gin drinker for over 50 years, I have discovered 209 Gin made
    in San Francisco. It has a perfect balance and texture that I have been
    seeking. Frankly, it has surpassed all competition. Try it

    Aug 16, 2010 at 3:58 PM

  • Snooth User: CattD
    549492 14

    Citadel Gin is my favorite and a staple in my freezer. It is the smoothest Gin I've tasted and everyone I know is a fan once they've tried it.

    Aug 17, 2010 at 10:38 AM

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