The margarita has always held a place in our hearts as an excellent sunny-day drink—mainly because it’s refreshing and super simple to make. Just mix 1.5 ounces of tequila, 1 ounce of Cointreau or Triple Sec, and a squeeze of fresh lime. You can even substitute the orange liqueur for agave nectar to make a drink called “Tommy’s Margarita.”
However, if you’re crafting more than one round of margaritas, you may not have the time or ingredients to make them from scratch. This is where pre-batched margarita mixes come in handy. They typically include everything you need to make the citrusy cocktail (save for the tequila), so you can simply pour, stir, and enjoy.
Whether you're looking for sweet, spicy, or classic, here are the best margarita mixes.
Best Overall: Tres Agave Organic Margarita Mix 1-Liter
Large enough for big batches
Too much liquid for just one or two people
If you love the flavor of fresh ingredients, but don’t want to squeeze enough limes for a crowd, this organic mix has you covered. Tres Agaves leans on simple, gluten-free ingredients, meaning you will actually be able to pronounce what’s on the label. Because of the classic mix, the authentic agave and lime flavors shine when sipped on the rocks.
What also makes this mix great is it uses agave nectar to sweeten. Tequila is an agave-based spirit, so the flavors of concentrated agave syrup pair perfectly in a margarita. Agave nectar also keeps the sugar down: There are only 68 calories and 16 grams of sugar per serving.
Each order includes two 33.8-ounce bottles, which equates to roughly 11 servings per bottle—ideal for big batches. If you don't have others to share it with, keep it in your fridge for margaritas in a pinch. Just shake well before using.
Bottle Size: 33.8 ounces | Calories: 68 per serving | Ingredients: Filtered water, organic agave nectar, organic lime concentrate, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) | Servings Per Bottle: 11
"I've had some pretty horrid, overly tart margaritas in my day, but this mix tastes fresh. It's almost like, I know this isn't necessarily good for me, but it feels like I'm drinking something healthy-ish. Just add a beach at sunset, and you're golden." — Taylor Rock, Associate Editor
Best Spicy: Hella Cocktail Co. Habanero Margarita Mixer
Brings the heat
The level of spice isn’t for everyone
The spicy margarita has quickly become almost as iconic as a standard margarita. There are a number of ways to add a little heat to your drink—simply add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce or infuse tequila with peppers over a matter of days. For an easier route, let Hella Cocktail Co. do all the work. The Brooklyn-based, Black-owned brand features a mix made with filtered water, cane sugar, fresh lime juice, citric acid (to keep the lime juice tasting fresh), a dash of sea salt, and extract from rosemary, orange, and red pepper. A healthy dose of habanero peppers give it a spicy kick. The resulting mixer is bartender-quality: fresh, bright, and tart with just the amount of heat
It’s vegan and gluten-free. If you’re making margaritas for many, keep one bottle of this and one bottle of regular (non-spiced) margarita mix. At 750 milliliters per bottle, this option serves 12 cocktails. Remember to refrigerate after opening.
Bottle Size: 750 milliliters/25 ounces | Calories: 50 per serving | Ingredients: Real lime juice, red pepper extract, habanero peppers, cane sugar | Servings Per Bottle: 12
Best for Slushies: Kelvin Slush Co. Margarita Frozen Cocktail Mix
Specially blended for slushies
Perfect for large batches
Not ideal for drinking on the rocks
Ready to whip out the blender for your next cocktail hour? Kelvin Slush Co.’s margarita mix is specifically crafted for blender drinks, including slushie machines and household blenders. If you don’t have a blender or slushie machine, this mix works just as well in a Vitamix for single servings.
The company knows its slushies. It started slinging them out of Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg food festival before finding enough success to launch a full-fledged mixer company. A big draw of this mix is that you can use it as a base for crafting a range of flavored margaritas. Add fresh strawberries to the blender or throw in a few peppers to make a spicy version.
Each bottle contains 64 ounces of liquid, enough for 37 frozen cocktails or 32 virgin slushies at 12 ounces each. Give the bottle a good shake before opening it.
Bottle Size: 64 ounces | Ingredients: Organic cane sugar, filtered water, organic agave, organic lime juice | Servings Per Bottle: 37
Best Flavored: Owl's Brew Watermelon Margarita Cocktail Mixer
Great for drinkers and non-drinkers
Not a traditional margarita mix
Flavors are subtle
Founded by two cocktail-loving tea experts, Owl’s Brew is one of the more out-of-the-box margarita mixes on the market. Instead of lime juice, it uses freshly brewed organic white tea, watermelon, and pomegranate extract to replicate the easy-drinking flavors of a margarita. Owl’s Brew mix is also excellent with gin or vodka. You can even try making a mocktail by adding sparkling water.
It includes no sugars and is made with only organic tea and botanicals. The combination of botanicals and spices adds depth and complexity to the standard margarita format. Even though they look to more unusual ingredients, Owl’s Brew’s margarita mixers are incredibly refreshing. Each 16-ounce bottle makes eight drinks.
Bottle Size: 16 ounces | Calories: 40 per serving | Ingredients: Organic tea (water, white tea, pomegranate seeds, organic lemon peel), cane sugar, watermelon juice concentrate, lime juice concentrate, malic acid | Servings Per Bottle: 8
Best Canned: Zing Zang Canned All-Natural Margarita Mix
Only enough for one or two drinks tops
Not as sweet as most margaritas
The contents of this tiny can pack quite the punch. Though the can contains just 8 ounces, it features big bursts of citrusy, tart flavors. Zing Zang comes in handy if you’re making margaritas outside, be it camping, a picnic, or at the beach. Just pop open the top, take a sip, and fill it with tequila. If you don’t want to go through the rigmarole of mixing a margarita for one, simply crack the can and pour the contents over rocks with tequila and triple sec. No fuss, no mess, and no worrying about wasting an entire bottle of mix if you can’t drink it in time.
Though these come in convenient, soda-like cans, Zing Zang leans on fresh flavors, blending fresh lime, key limes, and white grapefruit with blue agave nectar (the same type of agave used in tequila) and pure cane sugar.
Bottle Size: 8 ounces | Calories: 90 per serving | Ingredients: Filtered water, pure cane sugar, blue agave nectar, juice blend (water and concentrated juices of lime, key lime, white grapefruit), citric acid, natural flavors, salt | Servings Per Bottle: 2
Best Fresh Ingredients: WithCo Agave Margarita Cocktail Mixer
Great with mezcal
Short shelf life
WithCo’s take on a margarita mix leans into traditional Mexican agave flavorings, combining agave nectar, freshly squeezed lime juice, and orange oil. The uber-fresh recipe is incredibly impressive, especially considering how hard it is to make shelf-stable lime juice. Citrus juice, in particular, expires quickly and does not bottle well, which is why lower-end margarita mixers use "citrus flavors" instead of the real thing. It’s delicious with both tequila and mezcal—fresh, clean, and bright.
Each 16-ounce bottle is crafted without preservatives and additives. To make a cocktail, combine equal parts mixer and tequila or mezcal, garnish with a lime, and sip away. Note that the bottle does expire within four weeks, so if you don’t plan to drink ten cocktails in that time, this may not be for you.
Bottle Size: 16 ounces | Calories: 50 per serving | Ingredients: Agave nectar, fresh lime juice, orange oil, water | Servings Per Bottle: 10
Many margarita mixes on the market can taste overly saccharine. We love the Tres Agaves Organic Margarita Mix (view at Amazon) because it highlights fresh flavors that are great for sipping with or without tequila. If you’re looking for a fiery flavor, we recommend Hella Cocktail Co’s Habanero Margarita Mixer (view at Amazon).
What to Look for in a Margarita Mix
A typical margarita has tequila, an orange liqueur, lime juice, and salt on the rim. In order to make the mixture shelf-stable, many companies add preservatives or sweeteners, ranging from artificial sucralose to natural agave and cane sugar. Artificial sweeteners can make the margarita taste processed and sugary, so always check the label. One of the best parts of this cocktail is its fresh lime flavor, so if you'd like to replicate that in a mix, look for ones that use lime concentrate over lime flavorings.
There's a wide range of different flavors out there, so don't be afraid to experiment. A lime margarita is a classic, but why not try a spicy one with refreshing flavor, like strawberry or watermelon? If you’re serving drinks to others, consider picking up a few different flavor options so there’s something for everyone.
When serving multiple people, larger bottles are best. However, if you're mixing drinks for one or two, buying individual cans or smaller bottles means you won't have to worry about having an open bottle that requires refrigeration or quick consumption before it goes bad. Most margarita mixes are shelf-stable, so keep them in your pantry for when a surprise happy hour pops up.
What's in a margarita mix?
Your standard margarita mix calls for fresh squeezed lime juice and sweetener—usually agave or simple sour. However, fresh lime juice is not shelf-stable, so most bottled and canned margarita mixes get creative with alternative ways to keep the mix tasting fresh. Some use citric acid to replicate bright lime flavors, while others use an extract to add acidic citrus elements. Beyond sweetener and citrus, many margarita mixes feature twists on the classic recipe, including everything from orange blossom to ghost pepper extract.
Does a margarita mix go bad?
Although most margarita mixes are shelf-stable, you need to drink it within a certain time frame after opening. Whether that time is a few days or a few weeks varies per brand. Store your mix in the fridge after opening, and be sure to sip it before it goes south.
How do you make a margarita with a margarita mix?
Every recipe differs slightly, but, typically, all you need to add is the tequila. The standard measurements call for 1.5 ounces of tequila but feel free to amp it up or take it down depending on how you enjoy your drink. We recommend making your margarita the brand’s way once and then tweaking it to taste for future drinks.
How do you make frozen margaritas with margarita mixes?
Just add ice. Measure out your mix, add alcohol and an ample amount of ice (generally 2 cups), and blend until the drink reaches your desired consistency, be it chunky or well pureed.
Does a margarita mix contain alcohol?
No, most margarita mixes do not contain alcohol. This means you can make a margarita exactly to your liking; add mezcal or reach for a bottle of your favorite tequila.
Are margarita mixes gluten-free?
Many commercial margarita mixes are not gluten-free. However, brands like Hella Cocktail Co. and WithCo offer gluten-free options.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Kate Dingwall is a spirits expert and sommelier. She has written for several global magazines and makes a mean margarita.
Berk, Zeki. Shelf Life Of Citrus Products: Packaging And Storage. Citrus Fruit Processing, 2016, pp. 251-259. Elsevier, doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-803133-9.00012-6
Food and Drug Administration. Gluten-free labeling of foods.