While the margarita has become a year-round favorite, impending Cinco de Mayo celebrations and warmer temperatures mean that the peak of margarita season is almost here. That means retailers can expect a surge in demand not only for tequila, but for margarita mixes, margarita ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails, and classic margarita ingredients such as triple sec.

“Margaritas are the most popular cocktail in the United States,” says Liz Paquette, Drizly’s head of consumer insights. “Across the board, sales on Drizly have reflected this trend, both in ingredients to mix the cocktail at home as well as in ready-to-drink format.” 

Last year, sales share for RTD margaritas spiked in April and May, peaking in May at 25 percent share of the RTD category. Margarita mix share also reached its highest point in May, accounting for 46 percent share of the mixers, syrups, and bitters category. June, July, and August were the next-strongest sales months, reflecting the margarita’s status as a go-to summertime cocktail.

But what exactly are consumers purchasing when seeking out margaritas? Drizly data illustrates what consumers are reaching for when it comes to crafting margaritas at home and popping ready-to-drink options, from basket pairings to specific SKUs.

Continued Growth for Tequila and Orange Liqueur 

A staple ingredient in mixing margaritas, tequila has seen explosive growth on Drizly in recent years, accelerated by the pandemic-inspired home mixology trend. Tequila has increased its share of the total liquor category annually for the last four years, growing from 10 percent in 2017 to 18 percent in 2021.

Triple sec and other citrus liqueurs such as Cointreau, which feature prominently in home-mixed margaritas, have also seen growth within the broader liqueurs, cordials, and schnapps category. Share has grown from 11 percent of the category in 2017 to 15 percent in 2021. 

“Share peaked in 2020 amidst the pandemic,” says Paquette, “when consumers were spending more time mixing up cocktails at home, without the option to enjoy them at bars and restaurants.” 

Though share has dropped three percentage points in 2021 over the previous year, it remains well above pre-pandemic levels.

Drizly’s Top Tequilas Sold in the Same Basket with Orange Liqueur

  1. Espolòn Tequila Blanco
  2. Casamigos Blanco
  3. Patrón Silver
  4. Jose Cuervo Especial Silver
  5. Don Julio Blanco
  6. Casamigos Reposado
  7. Hornitos Reposado
  8. 1800 Silver
  9. Espolòn Tequila Reposado
  10. Jose Cuervo Especial Gold

Unsurprisingly, margarita-friendly silver/blanco tequilas are a common choice for customers who are also buying orange liqueurs on Drizly, though reposado options are becoming increasingly popular.

Margarita Mixes Lead the Mixers, Syrups, and Bitters Category

As an easier alternative to making cocktails from scratch, margarita mix also has experienced share growth on Drizly over the last five years. Margarita mix is the No. 1 subcategory in the mixers, syrups, and bitters realm, increasing from 31 percent share in 2018 to 35 percent last year. Share declined slightly from its peak in 2020, but remains a percentage point above pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Drizly’s Best-Selling Margarita Mixes, Last 12 Months

  1. Tres Agaves Organic Lime Margarita Mix
  2. Jose Cuervo Classic Lime Original Margarita Mix
  3. Stirrings Margarita Mixer
  4. Agalima Margarita Mix
  5. Master of Mixes Margarita
  6. Zing Zang All Natural Margarita Mix
  7. Tres Agaves Organic Strawberry Daiquiri and Margarita Mix
  8. Jose Cuervo Classic Lime Light Margarita Mix
  9. Jose Cuervo Classic Strawberry Lime Margarita Mix
  10. Mr & Mrs T Margarita Mix

Three of Drizly’s top-selling margarita mixes are labeled as organic or “all natural,” reflecting rising consumer interest in better-for-you beverage options.

Drizly’s Top Tequilas Sold in the Same Basket with Margarita Mix

  1. Espolòn Tequila Blanco
  2. Casamigos Blanco
  3. Jose Cuervo Especial Silver 
  4. Patrón Silver
  5. Jose Cuervo Especial Gold
  6. Hornitos Reposado
  7. 1800 Silver
  8. El Jimador Silver
  9. Don Julio Blanco
  10. Teremana Blanco 

Top markets that over-index on margarita mix sales on Drizly include Denver, Dallas, Los Angeles, Austin, and Tampa Bay. 

RTD Margaritas See Strong Growth

RTD cocktails overall have seen impressive growth within the liquor category on Drizly over recent years, increasing from one percent share in 2019 to four percent in 2021. Margaritas have been the best-selling RTD subcategory for the last five years and currently account for 20 percent share of the category. The number of margarita RTD brands grew 34 percent year-over-year in 2021, with more than 185 brands available on Drizly today.

“Share has shifted over the past few years within the margarita category from multi-serve bottles to single-serve cans,” notes Paquette. This was likely spurred by the pandemic, when safety concerns led consumers to gravitate toward outdoor-friendly, single-serving formats. In 2021, bottled margarita RTDs held 70 percent share versus 28 percent for canned versions. In 2019, share was 90 percent for bottles and eight percent for cans.

Denver, New Jersey, Baltimore, Phoenix, and Atlanta are the top markets that over-index on RTD margaritas.

Drizly’s Best-Selling RTD Margaritas, Last 12 Months

  1. Cutwater Tequila Margarita
  2. Skinnygirl Margarita
  3. On The Rocks Hornitos Margarita Cocktail
  4. On The Rocks Jalapeño Pineapple Margarita Cocktail
  5. 1800 Ultimate Margarita
  6. Jose Cuervo Authentic Lime Margarita
  7. Cutwater Mango Margarita
  8. Jose Cuervo Golden Margarita
  9. Cutwater Strawberry Margarita
  10. Jose Cuervo Classic Strawberry Lime Margarita

In 2019, prior to the RTD boom, Drizly’s top 10 ready-to-drink margarita SKUs included five varieties from Jose Cuervo. Since then, On the Rocks and Cutwater have moved in to occupy five spots on the 2021 list. Positioned at No. 4, On the Rocks’ Jalapeño Pineapple Margarita taps into the trend of enhancing fruity flavors with a spicy kick.

“Combining sweet with spicy is seen throughout the food and beverage industry, but it’s particularly interesting when you can craft that balance in a cocktail,” says Rocco Milano, the cofounder and global ambassador for On the Rocks.

With producers constantly introducing new flavors and innovations, Milano believes that RTD margaritas will continue to find fans in warm-weather months, and beyond. 

“While sipping a margarita poolside in the sun is enjoyable, the simplicity and customization of the margarita makes it adaptable year-round,” he says. “And with the to-go cocktail sector rapidly expanding, consumers are realizing they can enjoy their favorite beverage all the time — not just when they are out at a bar or restaurant.”