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Origins of Sour Mix

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Robert Hess Posted: 31 Jul 2017 2:11 PM

I'm curious as to the origins of "sour mix". I've found some details that seem to point to Holland House as maybe producing one of the first commercial versions prior to prohibition, and a push to consumers directly following prohibition. But I'd like to get more details.
Does anyone out there have any insights?

According to this "History" page for Holland House, they apparently were selling "Drink Mixers" in 1887, with no further details as to exactly what these mixers were.

http://hollandhouseflavors.com/About/The-Holland-House-History

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Since I completed that elemental mixology class I have been looking at a lot of old cocktail books that are available on EUVS, and one thing I have NOT seen in any of them so far (I do note here, so far) is the ingredient sour mix.  But i have not really looked into the 50's era books, I suspect maybe around that time frame, but that is a totally wild guess.

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Interesting question. I would guess that it was something used in bars before it was regularly used in homes, so it's use would I think predate any mention in home bartending recipe books. Professional bartenders were looking for speed. I'd also think that it was made by the bars before there was a commercial version. 

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