margarita mix taste test redo

We Tried 13 Types of Margarita Mix and This Was Our Favorite

Next time you shop for mixers, make it this one.
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With more of us vaccinated and warmer months on the horizon, a reality is steadily approaching  in which we can once more enjoy a brunch with friends or family, complete with refreshing, classic citrus-filled drinks like margaritas. But on the off chance that you want a salt-rimmed drink without having to brave public spaces just yet, you can always sate your margarita cravings with an at-home concoction. And while a hand-made margarita is certainly not the hardest drink to make, it does require fresh limes. 

Luckily, plenty of companies have created premade margarita mixes that can help speed up your cocktail hour. And even if you don't partake in alcohol, you can still make use of margarita mix to make up a number of delicious mocktails. A bit of margarita mix in tea, for example, makes for a delicious but unusual Arnold Palmer, and margarita mix combined with kombucha can also make for a refreshing drink. Even adding a bit of Sprite or Mountain Dew to margarita mix can make for a delicious, tart-filled punch.

In hopes of enhancing your upcoming cocktails, we've rounded up 13 varieties of premade margarita mix, all of which are available online or in stores. So get your ice and shaker ready as we go through our picks, from best to worst. 

Best Margarita Mix at a Glance:

What We Looked For When Ranking Margarita Mixes

Taste: As usual, taste reigns supreme as one our top considerations. For this test, we kept an eye out for tarter varieties of margarita mix along with ones on the sweeter side, since some drinkers may prefer one kind over the other. We also discerned which tasted like they were made from fresh fruit juice from those that tasted more artificial. If you're going to pay for a margarita mix, it might as well taste close to homemade.

Price: No matter how you slice it, buying fresh limes and salt will always be cheaper than buying margarita mix. But if you're going to buy margarita mix, it shouldn't be prohibitively expensive. Most of our mixes were under $10, and a few were $5 or less. 

Sugar Content/Type: We don't have much love lost for high-fructose corn syrup. And besides, cane or agave sugar tend to lend better flavors. For this test, we kept an eye out for which brands included a glut of sugar, and which used processed sugar rather than more natural sweeteners. 

Additional Features: In addition to considering taste, price and sugar content, we also kept an eye out for novelty flavors, low calorie varieties and organic options. 

How We Tested Each Mix

For this test, I poured about an ounce of each margarita mix into a shot glass and drank it. Since I didn't think testing my liver with 13 shots was a wise move, and since I wanted a better idea of what each mix tasted like on its own, I tried the margarita mix plain. 

barsmith triple citrus margrita mix
Credit: Instacart

Best Overall: Barsmith Triple Citrus Margarita Mix

If you're looking for a relatively inexpensive and excellently balanced margarita mix, Barsmith's offering is not a bad way to go. This mix is not overly sweet, but also not terribly tart; basically, it tastes like zingy limeade. It also only has 14 grams of sugar per 2 ounce serving and uses actual cane sugar, benchmarks that a number of their competitors did not meet. While it's not the cheapest mix on the list, Barsmith will provide you with a quality margarita. 

Buy It: $6.99; Instacart

two bottles of margarita mixes side by side on a white background
Credit: Walmart, Target

Runners-Up: Master of Mixes Margarita Mix and Powell & Mahoney's Classic Margarita Mix

Unable to find Barsmith's, but still looking for an all-around crowd pleasing mix? Then keep your eye out for mixes made by Master of Mixes or Powell & Mahoney. Master of Mixes does have a bit more sugar than Barsmith (and, to our disappointment, it also lists high fructose corn syrup among its ingredients). Despite that, both of these mixes tasted close to homemade as can be expected while still offering a relatively low price point. If you can shell out a bit more, definitely reach for Powell & Mahoney's mix, but if Master of Mixes is still your best option, you still won't be disappointed.

Buy It: $5.98; Walmart; $8.99; Target

Best Organic Mix: Agalima Organic Margarita Mix

Of all the mixes we cracked open for this test, Agalima's was the only one to not only meet the organic benchmark, but also to taste essentially homemade. Its ingredient list is also relatively short, and it contains about the same sugar content (using agave syrup) as Powell & Mahoney's or Barsmith's. If you're looking for a sweet, fresh tasting margarita mix and organic ingredients are important to you, then Agalima should be your top pick. 

Buy It: $9.26; HEB

Best Sweet Mix: Tres Agaves Organic Margarita Mix

Like your margaritas a bit more on the sugary side? Then look no further than Tres Agaves. This mix, while on the sweeter side, doesn't have the artificial sugary taste found in their contenders. It also doesn't contain that much actual sugar, comparatively — only 16 grams per two ounces. The agave nectar simply does a great job of carrying those sweeter notes. If you'd like a bit less tart in your drink, then Tres Agaves will do well in your pantry.

Buy It: $8.99; Target

Best Tart Mix : Lefty O'Doul's Authentic Key Lime Margarita Mix

Sour fans, rejoice: there's a mix that might measure up to your exacting standards. Lefty O'Doul's definitely packs a good amount of the striking tartness that key limes are known for, but it's balanced out by a few sweet notes at the end. It has a tad bit more sugar than some of the other picks on our list, but if you're looking for more pucker in your margarita, then this brand should definitely be a priority.

Buy It: $4.98; Walmart

barsmith hatch chile margarita mix
Credit: Target

Most Unique Mix: Barsmith Hatch Chile Margarita Mix

Barsmith's hatch chile mix was a personal favorite of mine in this mix, but it's definitely not for all drinkers. If you don't appreciate a bit of spice with your cocktail, then this won't be the mix for you. But for more adventurous palates, the subtle heat in the hatch chile plays remarkably well off the citrus in the rest of the mix. If you know someone who enjoys their spice, this margarita mix will be a welcome gift. 

Buy It: $6.99; Target 

dr swami bone daddy margarita mix
Credit: Instacart

Best Low Calorie Mix: Dr Swami & Bone Daddy's Low Calorie Margarita Mix

Compared to some of the other mixes we tried, Dr. Swami's admittedly doesn't have the strongest flavor. It does, however, have markedly less sugar — only 7 grams per four ounces, or about a fourth of what other mixes contain. And overall, it tastes a bit like a higher quality limeade. So if you're OK with a bit of sugar but want a margarita with considerably less sugar, Dr. Swami's is a pretty good mix to reach for.

Buy It: $5.99; Total Wine & More

baja bob's margarita mix

Best Sugar-Free Mix: Baja Bob's Original Margarita Mix

Fans of green freeze pops rejoice, because I'm pretty sure I've found the source. Although it bills itself as a margarita mix, Baja Bob's tastes exactly like that frozen summertime treat in its thawed form. That's not a bad thing, unless you're expecting fresh fruit taste from a sugar-free mix. But if you've kept your expectations in check, then this is definitely a delicious mix regardless of whether you need a mix without sugar or not. 

Buy It: $12.79; Amazon 

zing zang and mr and mrs t margarita mixes
Credit: Target, Walmart

Best Budget Mix: Zing Zang Margarita Mix and Mr. & Mrs. T Margarita Mix

Not looking to spend a ton on margarita mix, but still want decent flavor? Zing Zang or Mr. & Mrs. T. are the brands for you. They don't have the fresh juice taste of some of the more expensive brands we've tried during this test, but they do contain around the same sugar content or less, and typically are a few bucks cheaper than their competitors. They'll allow you to serve up a small crowd without going over your budget. 

Buy It: $4.99; Target; $3.38; Walmart