Review: Jose Cuervo Low-Cal Margarita/No-Cal Margarita Mixes - Drinkhacker

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Mixers/Non-Alcoholic Rated C- Rated C+ Reviews

Review: Jose Cuervo Low-Cal Margarita/No-Cal Margarita Mixes

Pre-bottled margarita mix is certainly one of the biggest scams perpetrated on the American public since the Flowbee. Really, people, how hard is squeezing out some lime juice and adding a little sweetener, if you’re so inclined?

And yet the just-add-tequila margarita mix remains and, judging by the vast amount of shelf space these mixes command, it remains a top seller.

Now Cuervo is taking things to an extreme: Ripping the calories out of margarita mix with a no-calorie mix and, if you’re too lazy to dump in your own tequila, by offering a sub-100-calorie pre-mixed “Light Margarita” as well.

It’s not our usual bailiwick, but we took a stab at tasting them both.

Jose Cuervo “Zero Calorie” Margarita Mix isn’t terribly surprising: It’s simply a blend of artificial sweetener and some kind of lime essence (sans calories). The flavor is a bit like a diet Sprite that’s gone flat, which could be worse, and if you’re on an extreme diet, well, you probably shouldn’t be drinking margaritas but, if you can’t stop yourself, then I guess this will do in a pinch. Adding tequila (even 100% agave good stuff) actually doesn’t help things at all: It gives the mix a bitter edge and brings out its artificial character. Bottom line: If you want to save calories, skip the mix altogether and just add lime juice the way you’re supposed to. C- / $7 per 1.75-liter bottle

Jose Cuervo Authentic Light Margarita (pictured) – I’m not sure how Cuervo can put the words “authentic” and “light” right next to each other, considering this product certainly has no actual lime juice and is flavored with the same artificial sweetener as the “zero calorie” mix above. This one works better, probably because there is so little alcohol in it. (Cuervo claims it is composed of Cuervo Gold, triple sec, and “a twist of lime.”) And yet somehow this ends up at just 9.95% alcohol. It’s not awful, with real tequila bite, better and more authentic-tasting citrus character, and only a mildly cloying finish. If you need something for a tailgate party in a plastic bottle and there’s a diabetic in the crowd, well, I suppose it will do.* C+ / $15 per 1.75-liter bottle

* Drinkhacker does not offer medical advice and has no idea if this stuff is diabetic-friendly.

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Jose Cuervo Authentic Light Margarita



Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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  1. DrinkGal July 14, 2011

    How does it compare to Skinny Girl Margarita?

  2. Sota327 July 29, 2011

    If you like the regular Quervo mix, but want a ZERO calorie substitute, the Querov zero cal mix is a good choice. Prior to Quervo coming out with its own Zero Cal mix, I was using Baja Bob’s Iwith some fresh lime juice) for years. That did the trick and saved 200 calories per margarita and was good enough for me. The Quervo Zero Cal is much better than Baja Bob’s. Just my opinion. I’ve never tried the Skinny Girl.

  3. Bill October 8, 2011

    Okay, Here’s my recipe. Not as good as the original bu still close.

    2 oz. Jose Cuervo Especial
    4 oz. Jose Cuervo Lignt (0 calorie) Margarita mix
    2-3 tsp. Splenda

    Mix and enjot!

  4. Bill October 8, 2011

    Okay, let’s try this again. Here’s my recipe. It’s not as good as the original but still close.

    2 oz. Jose Cuervo Especial
    4 oz. Jose Cuervo Lignt (0 calorie) Margarita mix
    2-3 tsp. Splenda depending on your personal taste

    Mix and enjoy!

  5. Pat Frerkes May 31, 2015

    I tried the Jose Curervo light margarita mix for the first time with my family. I did add about 5 small fresh limes for every 4 drinks. Everyone loved them and kept asking for more,

  6. Cinthia white July 22, 2015

    How long will Authentic Jose Cuervo® Light Margaritas keep in the refrigerator after opening?

  7. Anonymous April 16, 2016

    Try a floater of Grand Mariner on top…yum!


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