Does Margarita Mix Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on July 11th, 2022

It’s a day or two after a great party you had (maybe for Cinco de Mayo?). You discover several empty margarita mix buckets or bottles. It’s time to figure out what to do with them. That’s when you start wondering if margarita mix may spoil or how to determine if it’s past its prime. Or how long does it last when you open the bottle?

Fortunately for you (and your bank account), margarita mixes have a somewhat lengthy shelf life. Even those that have been opened keep their freshness for at least a few weeks, but not long enough to endure until the next year’s Cinco de Mayo.

Does Margarita Mix Go Bad?

Margarita mix is just water with a lot of sugar and preservatives. So, is it something that deteriorates quickly? It most certainly is not. However, even though margarita mixes have a long shelf life, they will go bad eventually.

They are unlikely to spoil, but the flavor and quality of the mix will deteriorate over time, especially if it is opened or created.

However, you won’t have to worry since you’ll have plenty of time to prepare some delightful margaritas with the mix before it starts to degrade. However, there is a crucial caveat: you must preserve them correctly!

How Long Does margarita mix Last?

As previously stated, margarita mixtures are fairly shelf-stable. As a result, the likelihood is that your margarita mix will survive considerably longer than the ‘Best Before’ or ‘Best By’ date on the bottle. Although margarita mixes do not inherently deteriorate, they lose flavor and quality.

Store-bought margarita mix (unopened)Best-by date + 1 to 2 months(around 12 to 18 months, in case the bottle doesn’t carry a best-by date)
Store-bought margarita mix (opened)6 to 8 weeks6 to 9 months
Homemade margarita mix1 to 2 weeks

When opened, how long does non-alcoholic margarita mix last?

The precise answer depends on storage circumstances – keep opened margarita mix cold and properly sealed.

When kept in the pantry, an unopened bottle of non-alcoholic margarita mix will last around a year.

How long can you keep an unopened margarita in the fridge?

Unopened bottles of ready-to-drink margaritas can be stored at room temperature for up to two years.

When opened, how long does margarita mix last in the refrigerator?

On the other hand, an opened bottle has a substantially shorter shelf life. It will keep for around 6-9 months if stored in the refrigerator or freezer. However, when stored in the pantry, the shelf life is reduced to a few weeks, if not days.

The same may be said of homemade margarita mix. Furthermore, you’re unlikely to use industrial preservatives in your handmade margarita mixtures. So, be extremely cautious with your homemade mixtures and keep them refrigerated or frozen at all times, as they only last a few weeks.

The shelf life may be much longer if the margarita mix in your cupboard or fridge contains tequila. Also, because alcohol is very shelf-stable and prone to decomposition, margarita mixes, including tequila, are more stable in the pantry than those that do not contain tequila.

Can you freeze a Margarita Mix?

You may have heard of frozen margarita recipes or tried them yourself and enjoyed them. But did you know you could freeze margarita mix?

Freezing margarita mix gives it a dar, chilly atmosphere and consistent temperature, allowing it to preserve its quality and taste for longer.

We recommend chilling your margarita mix in separate containers for each batch of margarita. This way, you won’t have to continually defrost and refreeze the mix, which is not a good idea if you want it to last as long as possible.

The next tip is to freeze your margarita mix in cubes and keep it in a jar. Then, you won’t have to worry about measures and may thaw as many cubes as you wish. Isn’t it incredible?

However, if you don’t want to deal with frozen margarita mix, add the tequila ahead of time. Because alcohol does not freeze in the freezer, the mixture will freeze as a slushie, making it much easier to deal with.

One quick and easy method for you is to combine all of the margarita ingredients, including the tequila, and freeze it for around 24 hours before blending it with some frozen fruits to make a glass of fresh margarita slushie. You may also provide your guests with cool glasses of tasty margarita slushie.

What ingredients are in the margarita mix?

Freshly squeezed lime juice and a sweetener—usually agave or simple sour—are required in your regular margarita mix. Fresh lime juice, on the other hand, is not shelf-stable. Therefore, most bottled and canned margarita mixes get creative with other ways to preserve the mix taste fresh.

Some use citric acid to recreate brilliant lime tastes, while others use an extract to add acidic citrus characteristics. Aside from sugar and citrus, several margarita mixes include modifications to the basic recipe, such as orange blossom and ghost pepper essence.

Is there alcohol/tequila in the margarita mix?

Margarita mix is often alcohol-free. You’ll need to add tequila or whatever booze you choose. If you prefer a ready-to-drink version, opt for margarita rather than margarita mix.

Is it possible for the margarita mix to spoil if left out?

After opening, keep the margarita mix in the refrigerator to retain flavor and taste. That’s why most (if not all) manufacturers recommend keeping it chilled.

If you forget and leave it at room temperature, it will not deteriorate the next day. So it should be OK to leave it out of the fridge for a few weeks.

how to Tell If Your Margarita Mix Is Bad

But how can you know if your margarita mix is spoiled? So, here are some pointers that will come in helpful if you ever find a bottle of months-old margarita mix in your cabinet or fridge.

  1. Take a Quick Sniff

It’s no surprise that margarita mixes smell so good — they’re the right balance of sweet and sour. The sugar and lime in the mixtures do an excellent job. However, if your margarita mix smells excessively sour or odd, you should probably discard it.

  1. Is it still enjoyable to eat?

With or without tequila, the margarita mix feels pleasant and lemony sour. So, before serving margaritas to your guests or creating glass for yourself, taste the margarita mix and decide whether or not it tastes nice. If it does not, you already know what to do!

Conversely, your margarita may taste flat, and you’ll likely realize it didn’t quite strike the spot. If the quality of your margarita is your main priority, you may need to make a quick trip to the shop in such instances.

Alternately, you might try reviving the flavor by adding some fresh lime or lemon juice. You may tinker with the mix because it’s merely a quality problem. If not, go return to plan A and throw them away! Why would someone ruin margaritas with a bad-tasting margarita mix?

  1. Is there any foreign matter in the mixture?

We’ve mentioned it before, but the chances of your margarita mix deteriorating are low. But we can’t rule that out completely. If you notice anything within the bottle, using the mix in your margarita is probably not a smart idea.

how to Store your Margarita Mix

Now that we’ve discussed whether or not margarita mixes go bad, how long they last, and how to determine if they’ve gone bad, let’s speak about how to store them correctly.

  1. Keep your Margarita mix in an airtight container.

It should be said that syrups, liquors, and even mixtures such as margarita mix should always be stored in an airtight container. Moisture not only raises the possibility of contamination (which is quite minimal in margarita mixtures) but also swiftly affects the quality of such mixes.

  1. Sunlight and heat are a no-no!

It is claimed that both heat and sunshine affect the quality and flavor of margarita mixtures. Furthermore, not just keeping but mixing your margaritas in direct sunlight is dangerous.

If you have lime juice on your skin when exposed to UVA rays, you could get phytophotodermatitis, often known as ‘Margarita burn,’ which can lead to second-degree burns.

Even though margaritas are a popular summer drink, they don’t get along with the sun. As a result, keep your margarita mixes in the dark, chilly spot in the pantry. Also, keep in mind that the temperature should be as steady as possible.

  1. Once opened, keep refrigerated.

Unless it contains tequila, an opened bottle of margarita mix must always be refrigerated. Even if the combination contains tequila, it will only extend the shelf life by a few weeks. As a result, the best choice for you is to refrigerate it.

Furthermore, homemade margarita mixes lack preservatives and are not as shelf-stable as store-bought ones. So, if you’ve just created a pitcher of margarita mix, pour it into an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator immediately!

  1. Put the Margarita mix in the freezer.

The margarita mix can be frozen. Furthermore, the frozen margarita mix maintains a consistent temperature, which benefits its quality and flavor.

Is it okay to consume opened margarita mix after the “expiration” date on the bottle?

Yes, the bottle is undamaged as long as it is properly stored. There is no sign of spoilage (see below) – commercially packaged margarita mix will typically carry a “Best By,” “Best if Used By,” “Best Before,” or “Best When Used By” date, but this is not a safety date, but rather the manufacturer’s estimate of how long the margarita mix will remain at peak quality.

The Dangers of Drinking an Old Margarita Mix

We now know that margarita mixes may be consumed much after expiration. So it’s not a huge concern if you’re a few weeks or months past the ‘Best before’ date.

However, because we cannot rule out the possibility of spoiling, margarita mixes over their expiration date should be discarded. Furthermore, expired margarita mixes that exude an off-odor are unlikely to taste well.

So, at the most extreme, your tastes may despise you for tormenting them with a low-quality margarita mix, and your visitors may not be on your side either.


Margarita mixes last a long time, which means they’re beneficial for your money and your mood, at least after creating margaritas. The most crucial step, though, is to keep them properly stored — airtight and away from heat and sunshine.

So, the bottle you just discovered in your cupboard or fridge may still be safe to ingest; you’ll figure it out because we’ve presented you with all the required information.

We’ve told you a lot about margarita mixes, and now we’d want to learn more about you. What’s your go-to margarita recipe?


Editorial Staff

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