I enjoy a good margarita. Take a slice of lime, send it around the rim of a margarita glass to get it wet (water just doesn’t seem to work well, and I can’t bring myself to spit to get it wet), dip the rim of the glass in a plate covered with Kosher salt (a salad plate works good, and it doesn’t have to be a lot of salt, maybe a couple of tablespoons), add ice to the glass, toss the slice of lime in the glass, add about two and half ounces of Jose Cuervo Tequila and almost the same amount of mix. Voila. A margarita. Actually, the directions say one ounce Tequila to one and a half ounces mix, and when you make a genuine (real) margarita you shake it in a shaker. Don’t bother buying the Margarita Salt sold at liquor stores. It’s just Kosher salt. Recently, I tried a King Sooper brand margarita mix called Kroger. I took it back because it was so bad. This was before I started writing for Associated Content.
When the call went out for comparisons, I decided to write about margarita mixes. Well, I couldn’t find the ingredients for the Kroger brand online. I certainly wasn’t going to buy it for a comparison. I already knew it stunk.
I bought Jose Cuervo Tequila, Jose Cuervo margarita mix, Sauza Tequila, and Sauza margarita mix. I also bought Triple Sec and lime juice for a real margarita since that is my standard for taste. Little did I know, or maybe I did, that the taste would vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
I made a margarita with the same brand mix and Tequila and one with the mix and Tequila of each brand (eight drinks). I also made a real margarita with Triple Sec and lime juice. Needless to say, these taste tests ran over a period of two days. Especially when I added the margarita with Triple Sec and lime Juice. And, of course, I had to make normal size drinks. This is when I realized the taste of Triple Sec would affect the taste of the margarita. Who’d have thought?
The Sauza mix made with Jose Cuervo Tequila was not impressive. It didn’t have the crisp citrus taste as a margarita made with the Jose Cuervo mix. The margarita made with Sauza Tequila and mix didn’t make a difference. It still didn’t have that crisp citrus flavor of the Jose Cuervo mix. However, I let out a good Wow! when I tasted it. The margarita made with Sauza Tequila and Jose Cuervo mix was very different from either of the previous drinks. It is apparent that the alcohol used does make a vast difference.
Below are listed the ingredients. For the most part, they are the same. Unfortunately, just like in the manufacturing of all beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages, the quantity of each ingredient is proprietary, which means it’s a company secret.
Jose Cuervo mix: Water, high fructose corn syrup and/or sugar, citric acid, natural flavors, sodium citrate, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (to preserve flavor), cellulose gum, polysorbate 60, gum arabic, glycerol abietate and FD&C Yellow No. 5.
Sauza mix: Water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, sodium citrate, natural flavors (contains Sauza Tequila flavor), sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preservatives), gum Arabic, polysorbate 60, medium chain triglycerides, yellow 5, blue 1.
Jose Cuervo has more flavoring and polysorbate 60 than Sauza. You can tell this by what comes first on the list. Sauza claims that the flavor contains Sauza Tequila flavor as well. What does that mean? How do they get that flavor? Jose Cuervo contains glycerol abietate (every time I searched for that, I came up with French websites), and Sauza has medium chain triglycerides. They are basically the same thing. They contribute to the absorption into the body. I don’t know if it contributes to the alcohol’s absorption as well. Jose Cuervo contains cellulose gum (Sauza does not), which, according to PL Thomas, is a soluble fiber. I don’t know what that is for. Is it their way of contributing to societies intake of fiber? For those of you who are into the science of these ingredients, the links are listed below.
Just because I used two mixes and two Tequilas, I tasted a bit of each. Wow. It explained why I said Wow! when I made a margarita with Sauza Tequila and their mix. Intense is the best way to describe it.
It says a lot that it took me awhile to drink all the beverages made with the Sauza brand, even the real margarita with the Triple Sec I hadn’t used before. However, they weren’t so bad that I tossed them down the drain or took them back to the store for a refund. I’m hoping I can find a recipe to cook with them.
Well, while it wasn’t as bad as the Kroger brand, I won’t be buying the Sauza brand again. The mix or the Tequila. I prefer a real margarita or a true Jose Cuervo margarita made with their Tequila and mix. I need to figure out the brand of Triple Sec I used the first time I made a margarita from scratch. The brand I bought for this comparison wasn’t as good. The biggest problem with a real margarita is that you get double the alcohol because Triple Sec is a liqueur.
My best suggestion is to try different brands of alcohol and mixes. Make note of them. They are all different, and everyone has a preference.
Remember, drink in moderation.