What's the best sweet and sour mix?
i'm sure you'll be hearing this a lot, but it's important: there is no substitute for simple syrup and fresh lemon (or lime) juice. and nothing could be easier or readily available then those ingredients.
if you're getting into bourbon, do bourbon a favor, and don't put anything in it that you wouldn't drink on its own.
I really have to agree with tommy. Commercially bottled sweet-and-sour mix is a Frankenstein mix of chemicals.
Make your own simple syrup from equal parts of sugar and water, then simmer on the stove until dissolved, and then cool. Then mix your simple syrup with equal parts freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice, depending on the recipe, and to your taste.
I also make a "rich syrup," which is twice as much sugar as water. It will change the consistency and texture of your drink, as you use half as much liquid when mixing drinks.
I use rich syrup, when I make a whiskey sour.
Using bottled sweet-and-sour mix, or frozen citrus-ade, in a quality cocktail is akin to pouring you, or your guests, a glass of Kool-Aid or Sunny Delight instead of fresh-squeezed orange juice.