Big Sipz Margarita's Food Crime

The Lempert Report
February 24, 2023

This Wednesday is National Margarita Day – so lets celebrate – but heads up - retailer and shopper beware. A bit of history: The earliest occurrence of the famed cocktail was in 1938 by the father of the drink Carlos “Danny” Herrera. He made it in his restaurant located in Baja California, for a famous customer named Marjorie King, a dancer on the hit American theatrical Broadway “Ziegfeld follies” because she was allergic to spirits but not tequila. The margarita he created was triple sec, tequila, and lime juice. Ten years later in 1948, Margarita Sames, of Dallas high society, said she created the drink in her vacation home for her guests in Acapulco, Mexico in 1948. Tommy Hilton of Hilton hotel fame, who was friends with Margarita attended the party, and then brought it back to his hotel chains and put it on the menu. Jose Cuervo, tequila brand, claimed they invented it and was running ad campaigns for the drink in 1945, with the catchphrase, “Margarita: It’s more than a girl’s name.”  Today there are a lot of variations – some people add Cointreau or Grand Marnier, some people prefer blanco or reposado tequila. But basically the recipe is always the same. Tequila, an orange liqueur, and lime juice. That is until now. PThis brand – BIG SIPZ sent me their version of a margarita. And I’m really confused. The larger package makes 3 – 3.7 oz drinks – has 15% alcohol by volume and the ingredients are: malt beverage with natural flavors and certified color – the package front says Margarita Fresh Lime” and retails for $3.99. The 200 ml single serve size is marked as “classic lime” with 16% alcohol by volume and its ingredients are Agave wine (which is made from fermented blue agave and then fortified by blending with blanco tequila - with natural flavors & certified colors with a retail of $2.99. Why not straight tequila that has a much higher alcohol content? And whats with the malt beverage? Remember what happened to wine coolers when they changed from wine to malt. The triple sec? the fresh lime juice? This is no margarita and it is misleading to consumers and a food crime in my book. Retail buyers take a look at the ingredients BEFORE you put it on your shelves.