Homemade Sour Mix

Most store-bought sour mix is pretty bad – very artificial and sugary tasting. Bad mix will make a bad drink. No excuse for this when it is so easy to make your own!

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice (it says FRESH – not from a bottle!)
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (see above)

Heat the water until just boiling. Add sugar, and stir until completely dissolved. Remove from heat, and let it cool until you can comfortably submerge your finger in it without screaming (maybe 110-115 F, 43-46 C) – cooler is better. Add lemon and lime juice, and stir until completely combined. Refrigerate immediately – this will keep for several weeks in the fridge.

Notes: You MUST wait until the sugar and water cool before adding the juices; otherwise the juice will start to cook off and the end result will taste bad. Also, please don’t go to the trouble of making this mix from scratch and then use bottled lemon and lime juice! You might as well just buy the bottled mix in a store.

Excellent Jerk Sauce Recipe

OK, lets get it out of the way – insert your standard “jerk sauce” joke here… Feel better now? OK, lets make some sauce!

  • 3 cups coarsely chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • Juice of 1 large lime
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt (or 1 tablespoon Kosher salt)
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 to 4 chopped habanero peppers*

Put all of the above ingredients into a blender or food processor, and blend them until they make a smooth paste.

This marinade is great for pork and chicken. Put the meat in a freezer bag, cover with the marinade, and marinate overnight in the fridge.

I like it best with about 3 lbs of pork shoulder country ribs, and smoked with a medium-small amount of apple wood. But grilling the meat also turns out excellent, especially for chicken.

Most jerk sauce recipes that you will come across use soy sauce as the base (what an authentic Jamaican ingredient!). They taste OK, but they are salty and strong, so you don’t marinate the meat for more than a few hours. However, this recipe is completely vegetable-based, and much milder, so you should plan on marinating the meat for at least 24 hours before cooking.
*I use 2 peppers, without seeds, and it’s nicely hot, but absolutely great. Adjust the amount according to your taste. Cleaning out seeds & ribs will make them much less hot, too. You’ve probably heard this before, but be careful handling habaneros. Wash your hands immediately with soap, don’t touch your eyes after chopping them, and for God’s sake wash your hands BEFORE you go to the bathroom. Ask me how I know this…

Lemon Drop Martini

  • juice of one whole large lemon
  • one shot of triple-sec (Bols if you can get it)
  • three shots of good vodka
  • two packets of sweetener (you can use sugar if you want, but artificial sweetener dissolves better). Shake it a bit to dissolve the sweetener.

Now fill the shaker with ice, and shake like hell! Drink, repeat as needed or until unable to muster the coordination to shake. Make sure not to add ice until the sweetener has dissolved – it will not dissolve very well in cold liquid. Taste the first batch, and add or reduce sweetener from future batches. Some people like them REALLY sweet, and also you sometimes get lemons that are very bitter and need more.