As most Margarita drinkers know, the key to perfecting the cocktail is using high-quality tequila and triple sec, and freshly squeezed lime juice. Only, that reality is now slowly shifting as the number of authentic-tasting Margarita mixes continues to expand with each passing Cinco de Mayo celebration.
Perfect for batching cocktails for a group or when you simply don’t want to spend time squeezing citrus, there are dozens of decent options now available that allow drinkers to “just add tequila.”
Of course, not everything that’s out there will give your local bar a run for its money. So VinePair put them to the test, using each brand’s stated recipe and the same tequila every time to provide consistency.
What exactly were we looking for from the ultimate Marg and, by extension, the best pre-made mix? In a word: balance. The ideal Margarita should toe a precise line between sweet and sour, and offer a generous body and full flavor. Perhaps most important of all, the lime in the cocktail needs to taste freshly squeezed and genuine, regardless of whether that flavor comes from fresh juice, concentrate, or natural flavors.
Fill those ice trays and stock up on tequila: Here are the 12 best Margarita mixes, tasted and ranked.
12. Owls Brew Wicked Margarita
Owl’s Brew offers a left-field option made using a base of green tea, lime, and habanero. Shaken in a two-parts-mixer-to- one-part-tequila ratio, the resulting drink has a distinctive green tea flavor and enjoyable spice. This is not a classic iteration of the cocktail but the complexity is pleasant.
11. Jose Cuervo Classic Margarita Mix
From one of the world’s best-known tequila brands, this Marg lands on the sweeter end of the spectrum and delivers an unexpected if subtle hint of heat. A dash of acidity provides balance, though doesn’t quite capture the true essence of lime.
10. Ficks All Natural Premium Cocktail Mix Margarita
Arriving at 35 calories per 3-ounce serving, this is a decent low-cal option from one of our favorite hard seltzer producers. Its health-conscious credentials mean a certain weight is lost from the cocktail’s body, but a refreshing burst of acidity keeps the experience lively.
9. Hella Cocktail Co. Classic Margarita
With its attractive and inviting aromas, this mix provided the first instance of a Margarita impressing us before we’d even tasted it. The boldness of its aromas continue on the palate, which is full-bodied and concentrated though slightly saccharine.
8. Agalima Organic Margarita Mix
This USDA-certified organic Marg mix delivers depth and full-bodied texture with each sip. The acidity is bright, while the lime flavor tastes fairly authentic. The overall profile skews slightly sweet right at the finish.
7. Tres Agaves Organic Margarita Mix
Another option from a tequila producer, this mix serves an incredibly inviting Marg, even if the cocktail’s profile isn’t 100 percent true to its classic form. It exudes juicy citrus character, capturing both oranges and limes. There’s even a hint of vanilla on the finish.
6. Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Margarita Mix
Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. has all your at-home bar hacks covered, from tonic syrups and olive brine for Dirty Martinis to cocktail cherries for Manhattans. The brand’s Margarita mix is enjoyable and refreshing, and clocks in on the lower end calorie-wise. Once again, this does rob a little weight from its texture, but you’ll hardly notice when gulping them down on a hot summer’s day.
5. Powell & Mahoney Classic Margarita
Made with lime juice, agave, and cane sugar, this mix delivers a fruity, full-flavored Margarita. Its profile will appeal to those who enjoy the cocktail mixed with a healthy dose of sweetness, but it’s not lacking in acidity.
4. Morris Kitchen Citrus Agave Margarita Mixer
This “Citrus Agave” mix does a great job of replicating both the orange essence delivered by triple sec and the zing of fresh lime juice. Those citrus notes are bright on both the nose and palate and lend a refreshing pop to the finish.
3. Stirrings Simple Margarita
Made with key lime concentrate and “triple sec flavor,” this mix serves a few extra layers of flavor and nuance compared to many of its competitors. Vibrant acidity drives the drink throughout, and the cane sugar that provides sweetness arrives in just the right dose.
2. Cocktail Crate Homemade Margarita
Previously impressed by this brand’s Whiskey Sour and Old Fashioned mixers, we were keen to try Cocktail Crate’s Homemade Margarita. It delivers, offering a tart, juicy, and authentic Marg that’s really hard to find any flaws with. It could perhaps enjoy a touch more acidity if we’re splitting hairs, but this mix is better than the vast majority of Margs you’ll receive at a bar.
1. WithCo Agave Margarita
This Margarita arrives with excellent poise and balance. Agave nectar provides a robust, full-bodied core while the lime flavor is racy, zesty, and tastes wonderfully true to form. WithCo advises equal parts (1 ½ ounces each) mixer and tequila, but we also enjoyed dialing up the booze to 2 ounces. This is an excellent mixer that lives up to its sleek branding.