Taste Test: The Best Low-Calorie Margarita Mixes

Taste Test: The Best Low-Calorie Margarita MixesTaste Test: The Best Low-Calorie Margarita MixesTaste Test: The Best Low-Calorie Margarita Mixes

Are low-calorie, store-bought margarita mixes a substitute for the real, high-calorie thing?

By Catherine Coreno and Lisa Cericola

1. The Margarita Mix Taste-Off
Margaritas are the ultimate hot-weather, good-time cocktail. But they also pack a big caloric punch. Depending on the size and ingredients, many top out around 500 calories! It's no wonder low-calorie margarita mixes are popping up in liquor stores everywhere. But do they taste as good as the real thing? To answer that question, about 25 iVillagers participated in a blind tasting of some of the biggest names in margarita mixes, including Skinnygirl, Jose Cuervo, Tommy's, Master of Mixes and Stirrings. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it. In our very unscientific survey, we sampled a range of products: low-cal mixers that contain alcohol, low-cal mixers without alcohol and low-cal, all-natural mixers. Calorie counts ranged from 100 to zero (yes, zero).

When alcohol wasn't already present in the mixers, we added Jose Cuervo Special Gold tequila according to each brand's instructions (to the best of our ability-many drinks were consumed!). We did not add ice, salt, Triple Sec or Cointreau, although some of the manufacturers do recommend that.

2. Tenth Place: Drink Skinny Margarita Mix
Made with fresh juices, Stevia and a touch of agave nectar, Drink Skinny received mixed reviews: "Could be sweeter and it might be a winner," "All lime, no balance," and "Bitter." Many tasters complained of an aftertaste. Drink Skinny has 20 calories (pre-alcohol) in a four-ounce serving. ($14 for a 25.4-ounce bottle, from Drink Skinny)

3. Ninth Place: Baja Bob's Original Sugar-Free Margarita Mix
Bright green in color, Baja Bob's Sugar-Free Margarita Mix is made with Splenda so it has no calories before alcohol is added. Comments included "Tangy as hell, very salty," "Lime lollipop liquified," "Yikes, way too sweet" and "Like Gatorade." ($5.99 for a 32-ounce bottle, from Baja Bob's)

4. Eighth Place: Freshie's

Made with granulated cane sugar, lime, lemon and orange juices and agave nectar, Freshie's received fair reviews: "Pretty tasty, not too sweet or tart," "Tastes like Country Time Lemonade," "Pretty good balance." Several people compared it to Crystal Light and said it was too sweet. Freshie's contains 50 calories in a four-ounce serving (before alcohol). ($6.99 for a 32-ounce bottle, from Freshie's)

Click here to see which mixes made the top 7...

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