As premade cocktail mixers grow in popularity, it seems that every brand around is trying to make their own spin on them. That’s great, and it gives you, the consumer, a large selection to choose from. However, it can also be a bit overwhelming. What’s the difference between fifteen brands all making their own Margaritas? Is there any difference that you should think of?
Well, as it turns out, there are some key differences, and they can have a big impact on which brand you decide to go with. Let’s take a look at the different “features” of a cocktail mixer to help keep you from having to taste-test everything on the market just to find one you like.
This is a big one. You’re drinking to have fun, but you probably don’t want to get so tipsy that you forget where you’re at, and you also don’t want to feel ripped off by a weak drink.
As a general rule of thumb, 25% to 30% alcohol content is common for mixers. Although, some can get into the 40s, and some are as low as 10%.
When purchasing a premade cocktail mixer, you have to take this into account. You can judge how strong the one you want based on your experience with alcohol. If you regularly have stiff liquor poured on ice, the stronger ones aren’t going to be too much of a difference. However, if you’re the type to get a buzz off a beer, you should stick to the lower end of the spectrum.
Also, the amount of alcohol will affect the taste of the drink. Higher alcohol content will make it far less smooth; if that’s something you care about.
Anyone will agree that there’s a big difference between a top-shelf vodka and a bottom-shelf vodka. The smoothness of the alcohol, and its ability to be consumed without immediately triggering your gag reflex, has a tremendous effect on how enjoyable a mixed drink is.
Many premade cocktail mixers that use quality liquors will brag about that on the can or packaging. They certainly won’t try to hide the fact that they’re using solid mid-range alcohol or top-shelf option. When a company uses cheap alcohol, which definitely shines through in the quality of the mixer, it probably won’t be as boastful. The label might say “2 ounces Vodka Per Can” or something similar.
Before we get into this one, we want you to know there are some affordable cocktail mixers out there that don’t taste horrible at all. Price isn’t necessarily the be-all-end-all of the mixer world.
However, it’s definitely a good indicator of the quality of a mixer.
If a mixer is so cheaply priced that it seems like a steal, without any sort of sale or other reasoning behind it, it’s probably not going to taste great. However, if you go to the other end of the price spectrum, you usually pay for more than you really need to.
Try to stick to the middle of the price spectrum, and you’ll usually find a solid mixer that’s worth every penny.