I Asked 7 Bartenders To Name the Best Margarita Mix—They All Said the Same Brand

I Asked 7 Bartenders To Name the Best Margarita Mix—They All Said the Same Brand

This margarita mix is causing a buzz, even for the best bartenders out there.

Premade cocktail mixes get a bad rap, often for good reason, and margarita mixes sit at the center of that discussion. They tend to be cloying, offering anything but the refreshing and bright taste I’m after in a margarita. For this reason, I disavowed margarita mixes entirely years ago. I want my margarita to have a perfect balance of sweet, sour, and strong, and I couldn’t replicate that using a mix.

With summer here, there’s nothing like a fresh margarita. There are many twists on the classic, from shaking the margarita with salt in the shaker to jalapeño limeade to my personal favorite watermelon margs, but they often require an arm workout from squeezing so many fresh limes. Those limes are also the reason most mixes are so bad: citrus juice quickly loses its fresh flavor once it's bottled and processed.

Most bartenders I spoke with told me I hadn’t found a satisfactory margarita mix because one doesn’t exist. This sounded like a challenge. I was determined to find a mix that did things differently, and sure enough, when I started asking around, I began hearing the same response, something to the tune of “I never use margarita mix, but this one is different.”

The Panel of Marg Loving Bartenders

The Best Store-Bought Margarita Mix, According to Bartenders

The bartenders I talked to agreed on one thing: most margarita mixes fall short of the mark. So a consensus among cocktail aficionados felt too good to be true. Yet, even among the most discerning palates, there appears to be one mix that rises above the rest: Tommy’s Margarita Mix.

Tommy’s Margarita Mix stems from the beloved Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco. The restaurant has been in the Bermejo family since 1965 and is now globally known for its tequila list, cocktail menu, and, most famously, Tommy’s Margarita. What sets Tommy’s Margarita apart?

Tommy's Margarita is sweetened only with agave nectar and omits orange liqueur. It features 100% agave tequila, free from refined sugars or additives, resulting in a less sweet cocktail.

Originating in the '90s, this drink symbolizes the lighter, fresher approach to food and beverages that emerged in California, an influence that continues to shape today's culinary and bar scenes. The best part? The Bermejo family bottled up the mix so you can get it at home.

The panel's collective nod towards Tommy's Margarita Mix is well-deserved. The mix, a simple concoction of Persian limes, organic agave nectar, and purified water, stands out in a sea of overly engineered alternatives. It even comes in a jalapeño variant for those who dare to add a spicy kick to their drink.

What the Pros Love About This Margarita Mix

Leavitt passionately endorsed Tommy's, sharing, “Tommy’s is elite, and I will die on that hill.” This sentiment was echoed by Morgenthaler, who simply stated, “Tommy’s Margarita Mix is my favorite.”

Meanwhile, Reyes, who generally advocates for freshly made cocktails, admitted, “I tend to stay clear of any premade mix, fresh is ALWAYS best for this application. But if I had to highlight a brand that flies over all the trash out there, it would be Tommy's, definitely." And da Silva adds, “Tommy's Margarita Mix is well made, and the spicy touch is my favorite.”

For good measure, the Las Vegas Tequila Club gave a unanimous “100% Tommy’s” and Soberon adds that while he’s not aware of any good mixes in his home country of Belgium, Tommy’s is his go-to wherever it’s available. Tequila collector Haddad says, “Tommy’s is definitely my pick.” The pros have spoken!

This endorsement speaks volumes, particularly coming from those who live and breathe cocktails. Tommy’s has seemingly cracked the code by keeping its ingredients pure and its process straightforward. The refrigeration requirement for Tommy’s is a testament to its freshness, a rare quality in the world of store-bought mixes. However, as Reyes pointed out, even the best mix cannot fully replicate the freshness of ingredients squeezed just moments before they hit the glass.

How To Use Tommy's Margarita Mix Like the Pros

The mix is easy to use—just combine two ounces of Tommy's Margarita Mix with two ounces of 100 percent agave tequila, add ice, and you're ready to enjoy a bar-quality margarita at home. This simplicity and quality have made Tommy’s the go-to choice, even for those who usually eschew bottled mixes.

So, while the purists might still insist on squeezing their own limes, for those seeking a high-quality, convenient alternative, Tommy’s Margarita Mix has emerged as the surprisingly unanimous choice among top bartenders. It's a testament to the possibility of marrying convenience with quality, without compromising the sacred balance of a perfect margarita.

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.

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