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Food: The Best Margarita Mix

Yes, taco-flavored jelly beans are a thing

  Yes, taco-flavored jelly beans are a thing Yes, taco-flavored jelly beans are a thingNew Late Night Taco Truck jelly beans from Brach’s are hitting store shelves now, offering full taco night flavors in the palm of your hand. The jelly beans are meant to offer an entire Mexican-style dining experience, so along with a Beef Taco flavor, you’ll also get Margarita, Salsa, Guacamole, Horchata and Churro.

Tkp Margarita Mix Taste Test Sq © TMB Studio Tkp Margarita Mix Taste Test Sq

Searching for the Best Margarita Mix

Craving margaritas? Us too! That's why our team of Test Kitchen pros (and marg fanatics) had to find the best margarita mix on the store shelves. After all, what's Taco Tuesday (or Wednesday or Thursday...) without a refreshing cocktail?

And, yes, you can absolutely make margaritas from scratch and customize them to your liking. However, if you're hosting a major fiesta or just don't want the fuss of squeezing all those limes, a bottle of mix is your best amigo.

lime margaritas on a board © bhofack2/Getty Images lime margaritas on a board

How We Tested Margarita Mixes

To find the best margarita mix, our Test Kitchen gathered nine popular brands and put them head-to-head in a blind tasting—just like with all our other taste tests.

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Our testers sampled each of these mixes without tequila at first to get a good grasp of the mixes' true flavors. Don't worry—they tested them with tequila as well to see how the flavors mingled.

  • Flavor: While margarita recipes do vary (just look at all these tasty types of margaritas you can try), most rely on a few basic components: lime, simple syrup and occasionally other citrus juices. This fresh lime margarita uses a mix of lime and lemon; it gets a bit of orange from the triple sec as well. A good margarita mix should taste like fresh citrus with some sweetness without being too tart or too sugary.
  • Appearance: A good margarita mix should look appetizing and natural, something like a fresh limeade. Neon greens and other artificial-looking mixes definitely give our pros pause.

Check out which brands topped our list and got our stamp of approval: Test Kitchen-Preferred.

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  The Best Nonalcoholic Tequilas Before bartenders and restaurants began to treat nonalcoholic drinks with the same respect as craft cocktails, the virgin margarita, often just some bottled mix thrown in a blender with ice, was sadly one of the more interesting beverage options for those abstaining from alcohol. But tequila (and its sister spirit, mezcal) can add way more than just a buzz to mixed drinks. The herbal, earthy, spicy, smoky flavor of agave-based spirits brings balance to sour citrus, sweet syrups, and savory tomato juice in margaritas, palomas, Bloody Marias, and other drinks.

Agalima Margarita Mix Via Totalwine.com Ecomm © via merchant Agalima Margarita Mix Via Totalwine.com Ecomm

Best Balanced Margarita Mix

Agalima Margarita Mix

When you think of a margarita, you think of a few basic flavors: citrus, sweet, salt and tequila. Agalima Margarita Mix provides you with the first three; all you need to bring is tequila.

This golden-hued organic margarita mix is made with lime and agave nectar for that tart and sweet combo we all love in a margarita. But Agalima is more than just tart and sweet; this bottled mixer gets the balance of the two just right. According to our Test Kitchen's Mark Neufang, "There's a nice balance of sweet and citrus here and it plays so well with the tequila."

Agalima takes balance to the next level by including a touch of salt. You don't even need to salt the rim of your margarita glass.

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Stirrings Margarita Mix © via merchant Stirrings Margarita Mix

Best Key Lime Margarita Mix

Stirrings Simple Margarita Mix

If you look forward to Key lime season every year, you'll want a margarita made with Stirrings Simple Margarita Mix.

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This mix uses only Key lime juice which imparts a sweet, smooth flavor rather than the acidic and tart taste of traditional Persian limes. Thanks to these limes, the Stirrings mix even has some subtle floral notes which you can get from these limes as well as the paler, yellow color.

Stirrings margarita mix is also infused with triple sec flavor which means when it's time to mix, you only need to grab a bottle of tequila. All you have to do to enjoy a drink with this mix is rim a glass with salt and splash a bit of tequila inside.

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Tres Agaves Margarita Mix Via Totalwine.com Ecomm © via merchant Tres Agaves Margarita Mix Via Totalwine.com Ecomm

Best Sweet Margarita Mix

Tres Agaves Organic Margarita Mix

Prefer a sweeter marg with that salted rim? Try Tres Agaves Organic Margarita Mix.

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While on the sweeter side, this mixer isn't boring and sugary. Instead, Tres Agaves is sweetened with—you guessed it—organic agave nectar. This marg mix has a pleasant, mellow sweetness about it. In fact, Josh Rink in the Test Kitchen compares it to honey.

Paired with tart lime, this bottled beverage works well when shaken up with your favorite tequila. This is precisely the drink you want in hand when relaxing on your patio. Per Mark, "this is a refreshing one to have over ice on a hot summer day."

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Zing Zang Margarita Mix Via Walmart.com Ecomm © via merchant Zing Zang Margarita Mix Via Walmart.com Ecomm

Best Big-Batch Margarita Mix

Zing Zang Margarita Mix

When browsing the mixers section at the grocery store, you'll find that most margarita mixes come in one-liter bottles. If you need to make a bigger batch and don't want to blow your budget, snag a bottle or two of Zing Zang Margarita Mix. This brand comes in 1.75-liter bottles and costs about the same as its smaller cousins.

Zing Zing's mix was subtler than some options but that doesn't mean it lacked flavor. Sipping on this mixer, our team picked up more than just hints of lime. In fact, Zing Zang's margarita mix is formulated with lime, Key lime and grapefruit juice for more complexity.

According to Sarah Fischer in the Test Kitchen, "This one balances really well with tequila—it's easy to sip on." And isn't that exactly what you want when serving up margs at a party?

Looking for Bloody Mary mix? Zing Zang makes one of our Test Kitchen's favorites.

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Check Out More Test Kitchen-Preferred Products

Our Test Kitchen is constantly testing kitchen gadgets, cleaning gear and food looking for brands that deserve the right to be called Test-Kitchen Preferred.

If you're looking to fill your pantry and fridge with the best products, check out these tests:

  • The best tortilla chips
  • The best taco seasoning
  • The best salsa

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The post The Best Margarita Mix appeared first on Taste of Home.

Margarita Tres Leches Cake .
The first time I ever had tres leches cake I felt as if I were in heaven. I have made it at home using several techniques and flavors, and this margarita twist on the classic is my favorite. —Laurie Lufkin, Essex, Massachusetts The post Margarita Tres Leches Cake appeared first on Taste of Home.15 servings

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