Tasting Margarita Mixes for National Margarita Day, So You Won't Have To

Categories: Drink This

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Jose Cuervo

First three ingredients: water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid

Most questionable ingredient: SAIB (sucrose acetoisobutyrate)

Jose Cuervo's mix has very little odor and is the color of watered down fresh lime juice, which is weird because there's none in it. Still it has a less aggressive flavor that is pretty agreeable. If you're looking for short cuts on the cheap, this is the way to go. Still, I'm a little intimidated by the idea of eating an acronym.

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Mr & Mrs T

First three ingredients: water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid

Most questionable: metabisulfite

We're back to the neon green color that looks more appropriate for a children's toy than a cocktail. The bathroom cleaner smell I'm not too fond of is present here as well. While the label claims a "made from scratch" taste I'm not able to find it. Instead it tastes like mindless calories. Which brings me to ...

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Skinny Mixes

First three ingredients: filtered water, citric acid, sodium citrate

Most questionable ingredient: sucralose

I thought because the first three ingredients were sugar-free this one might have some attractive tartness to it, but apparently sucralose packs a saccharine punch. This stuff is cloying. And it tastes like Diet Coke smells.

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Lemon juice

First three ingredients: sunshine, good soil and rain clouds

Most questionable ingredient: it's lemon juice.

After tasting so much sweetness, a sip of Myer lemon juice made the back of my mouth lock up in a horrific cramp. Yet even in this state of pain, tasting fresh citrus after multiple shots of sucralose was literally like swallowing sunbeams. The best part is an ounce of lemon juice has seven calories. That's just two more than the skinny stuff.

I like lemons over limes for their reliability. They always yield a ton of juice and the tartness is consistent. Every now and then you can end up with a lime that only offers a modest teaspoon of juice, and then you're stuck doing tequila shots (not that that's a bad thing.)

I know it's more work. I know that sometimes you just want a simple drink. But it doesn't get much more simple that squeezing a lemon. And it's more than worth the effort.

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11 comments
prsdk
prsdk

Don Eduardo, Tres Generations, or Don julio.    Maybe Milagro.


3 parts tequila.

2 limes

2 Splenda

1 Jalepeno sliver

Ice.

Shake.

Serve,

Repeat.

Motherfucking Period.

SteveF
SteveF

Am I reading this right? Lemons...in a margarita? wtf?

beda50
beda50

So what is your recipe for making a pitcher of margaritas, as opposed to one drink at a time?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

When I drink margs made with premix I get massive headaches, but if I use a recipe like the one above, I can go a lot longer drinking them.  And they seem more refreshing on a hot day that way too

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

I have found that it is not a good idea to eat things that do not occur naturally in nature.

A decent margarita does not have sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners other than the sugars in the triple sec or courvosier.

The great majority of modern citrus is marred with overly thick skin, which reduces the ratio of interior fruit to skin.  Try selecting limes with smooth, thin skin and are not as hard as a golf ball.  Smaller limes--NOT key limes--are good.  Key limes work and are cheap but I tend to find a few unusable limes in a bag and they do not seem to last long in the fridge.  If you are making a lot of drinks and can presqueeze, they are an excellent value.

The margarita is an excellent drink and well worth squeezing a few limes.  If lime squeezing is not a viable concession, Central Market carries store squeezed juice.  I am sure others do but I haven't noticed.

scott.reitz
scott.reitz moderator

@beda50 I use 1.25 ounces of tequila to 1 ounce of orange liqueur (bols, Cointreau, etc) to 1.5 ounces of lemon juice. Depending on the size of your pitcher, scale that ratio up appropriately.  

Don't add ice to the pitcher. Use a cocktail shaker and shake each drink to order.

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