Many Cuban recipes use the juice of sour oranges as an ingredient, such as mojo sauce. Unfortunately, sour oranges are hard to find in the Western USA.

The standard substitutions offered include, depending on the cookbook:

  • a 1:1 ratio of sweet orange and lemon juice
  • a 1:2 ratio of sweet orange and lemon juice
  • a 2:1 ratio of sweet orange and lime juice
  • various combinations of orange juice and vinegar

It occured to me today that Meyer lemons are a cross between mandarin oranges and lemons, and as such might have a flavor close to sour oranges. Questions:

  1. Are Meyer lemons actually close in flavor to sour oranges?
  2. What substitution ratio should I use for meyer lemon juice (plus possibly sweet orange and/or lime juice) to sour orange juice?

Looking for answers with documentation and/or direct experience here, please, rather than guesses. Thanks!

2 Answers 2


Interesting idea. I use Meyer lemons regularly, but wouldn't have thought to substitute them directly for sour oranges. My usual substitution would be more your 2:1 ratio of sweet orange and lime juice (certainly not vinegar, eeeck!). Unless your Meyer lemons are exceptionally sweet, I'd add a bit of sweet orange juice to them.


I have used Meyer lemons in cooking and found that they just don’t have sufficient flavor to justify using Meyers. The end product came out neither sweet nor lemony. There was a lack of flavor.

  • 2
    Welcome! This is useful to know about Meyer lemons. How does this compare to a bitter orange, though? Is it similar enough to be a substitute?
    – Erica
    Dec 19, 2018 at 11:55
  • Well, this not really knowing anything about them :-). Sounds like poor Anne only had some supermarket-shriveled version, rather than the real thing which is indeed sweet but intensely lemony...
    – user57361
    Jan 3, 2019 at 23:41

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