Bottled Margaritas and Lime Tequilas: Are They Any Good?

In preparation for Cinco de Mayo, we try 2 bottled margs and tequila shots; spoiler: we didn't hate them

Would you drink a bottled margarita?

There are tequila and margarita purists out there, who believe that margaritas should only be served fresh and tequila should be enjoyed without the lime and salt. And we have to admit, after drinking the purest form of the margarita, and sipping on a high-end tequila, we'd have to agree. But every now and then a new product hits the market — like a premade margarita or a tequila with lime and salt already added in — and we have to give it a try. In the name of Cinco de Mayo... and work, of course. 

Sauza Tequila recently announced the launch of Sauza Sparkling Margarita in three flavors, Original Lime, Wild Berry, and Mango Peach. And then Hornitos Tequila launched a Lime Shot tequila, an 100 percent agave tequila plata "with natural lime flavor." Naturally, we had to try them both and test them out for Cinco de Mayo. Would we drink them? 

The Sauza Sparkling Margarita was the runaway hit for the office tasters. Although the bubbles threw us off at the first pour, we decided not to hold the bubbles against the drink and gave it a go. And despite the sweetness of the Original Lime flavor, everyone was pleasantly surprised. But the more we drank, the more we realized the caveat to the sparkling marg — it didn't taste much like a marg. Some said it tasted like Fresca, some said it tasted like a melted margarita-flavored Popsicle (wherever those are, we want some). Either way, the sweetness combined with the low ABV (only 9.95 percent) weakened the overall appeal of the margarita. But that doesn't mean the majority of tasters (minus the die-hard whiskey drinkers) wouldn't still want to enjoy it poolside. So margarita purists should most likely keep walking — but then again, we don't expect you to pick up a bottled margarita anyway. Margarita fans who want something light and easy will appreciate the sparkling marg.

As for the Hornitos Lime Shot — well, that one was harder to get on board with. Obviously we had to take it in shot form (so the tasting notes got a bit blurry), but the good news was that it went down easily. We'd guess it had something to do with the slightly lower ABV of the tequila (35.5 percent) that got rid of that dreaded tequila burn we're used to from mixto tequilas. But the aftertaste was what got us: herbal, "medicinal," even wooden notes threw everyone off. Still, after another shot (in the name of work, of course!) the tequila tasted similar to the silver tequilas we had recently tried, as they too had more floral and grassy notes than we would have expected. Would we still prefer to drink tequila with a fresh lime after trying the Hornitos? Maybe — but then again, Hornitos is a smooth enough tequila that doesn't require the sourness of a lime to get rid of that god-awful tequila taste. Overall, if you're looking for a shot-worthy tequila to get on board with this Cinco de Mayo, we can get behind Hornitos. 


So, are we, the margarita and tequila purists, OK with the premade margs and tequila shots? Well, there's a time and a place to enjoy all tequila and margaritas — and we are on board.