One thing is for sure, if you have a bad mix you will have a bad margarita, no matter how good the tequila. In fact a good mix with a cheap tequila is still better than a mediocre mix with a top shelf tequila.
Without fail, the majority of the margaritas that we sample, are held back because of the mix. Personally I find that a handmade mix with fresh squeezed ingredients has no equal, but in reality if you don't get the right blend, the results can be horrible.
Most of us don't want to bother with devising a perfect margarita mix on our own, as its much more enjoyable to pour a pre-made mix out of a bottle into a glass, then add a shot (or two, or three) of tequila. Quick and easy! But where do you get a great mix?
If you hit the aisles of the supermarket, you might find two or three commercial brands that are ok at best and the results are passable.
I got tired of those and learned to make my own mix from scratch - see my Handmade Margarita page. You could probably take that and improve on it, by adding a dash of orange juice or triple sec. (Please feel free to experiment.) But the downside is the amount of time spent cutting, squeezing and measuring, especially when you are making drinks for multiple people.Well, I think I found the perfect solution - Dos Banderas Margarita Mix. (BTW - This is NOT a paid endorsement.) Derek Shewmom contacted me recently to discuss mixes and of course I went on one of my rants about how a bad mix can destroy a good drink. Derek suggested I try using the Dos Banderas Mix. Turns out his Father-In-Law owns the company, so he has a pretty good insight into the product.
He sent me a sample bottle, and let me tell you I was impressed. It's a huge improvement over those grocery store mixes that taste like a cross between limeade and lemonade. Instead, the Dos Banderas truly has the organic handmade flavor. It's sweetened with agave nectar instead of high-fructose corn syrup, which results in a very balanced taste that isn't too tart or too sweet.
And even more importantly, my wife likes it, which means I no longer have to cut and squeeze limes every time she wants a margarita. (I got her hooked on the handmade stuff.)
Visit their website to order a bottle. You won't be disappointed!
And to all those restaurants and bars who had low ranking margaritas, you need to consider switching your mix over to Dos Banderas as well, then inviting me back in for a re-sample!
In the world of manufactured margarita mixes, this one get a five limer.