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 14 best Margarita mixes for 2022, tasted and ranked.
14. 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.
13. 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 some of the weight is lost in the cocktail’s body, but a refreshing burst of acidity keeps the experience lively.
12. American Cocktail Co. Smokin’ Margarita
While this mix touts its smoky credentials, it’s more notable for a spicy kick delivered by the chipotle chili powder included in its recipe. That seasoning is visible in the solution, and arrives just as fresh as the tart lime that brings balance. An equal parts ratio is recommended by the brand for mixing with tequila, but we enjoyed it more when we dialed down the quantity of mix a touch.
11. 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 continues on the palate, which is full-bodied and concentrated though slightly saccharine.
10. 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.
9. Cocktail & Sons Margarita All-Natural Mixer
With black peppercorns and a variety of herbs including coriander and sage in this mixer, Cocktail & Sons yields a complex Marg that amplifies the vegetal notes of blanco tequila. Finishing noticeably sweet, a fresh lime garnish helps provide some balance here.
8. Q Spectacular Margarita Mix
While best known for its tonic waters, Q offers a wide range of cocktails mixers, including this Key lime and agave Margarita base. Interestingly, the brand suggests building in a glass with tequila and ice, and stirring, which does remove an extra step of preparation. The final cocktail shows great balance, though the lime does err slightly on the artificial side.
7. 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.
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. Fresh Victor Mexican Lime & Agave
All of Fresh Victor’s mixers are crafted with fresh, lightly pasteurized fruit juice, which results in authentic-tasting, high-quality cocktails. This Margarita is zesty and incredibly well balanced. The only downside is that you need to buy six 16-ounce bottles ($59) when purchasing DTC to unlock free delivery, with cold-packed shipping a requirement to ensure freshness. There’s also a shorter shelf life here compared to other mixes. Yet these are minor nit-picks, and shouldn’t distract from the admirable quality on offer here.
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 -ounce 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.