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Nov 19, 2008 09:00 PM

Fermented alternative to tequila for margaritas?

Anyone know of a fermented (rather than distilled) alternative to tequila for use in margaritas? A friend of mine has a restaurant - and a beer/wine license - but cannot sell spirits. I've heard of a fermented alternative to vodka - which another restauranteur friend of mine used for bloody marys, but tequila?

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  1. There isn't one. A margarita is made with tequila. Fake tequila? Gross.

    If he does happen to find some weird alternative and start serving them, he better put a disclaimer on the menu and he better be selling them cheaper than the beer and wine. I'd be one pissed off customer if I ordered a margarita and after the first sip, discovered that it was made with some fake-tequila-alternative stuff.

    1. I have had wine based Margaritas before (back in the 80's). Some restaurants were serving them for the same exact reason. It wasn't that uncommon. I think they were pre-mixed, though.

      1 Reply
      1. re: TroyTempest

        Well you can mix anything with anything and call it whatever you want but that doesn't make it a margarita. It's kind of like calling all these mixed drinks "martinis" these days because they are served in a martini glass - they are nothing of the sort. They are simply mixed drinks served in a martini glass.

        Again, margaritas are made with tequila.

        If you want to make it with wine call it a White Winearita or something goofy like that. Do not decieve the customer.

      2. What state are you in? In California, you can serve Soju with a beer and wine license. It doesn't make a great margarita, but it's better than wine.

        When I was in Mexico, we had what they called poor man's margarita. Mexican beer, a shot of lime juice and salt on the rim of the mug.

        2 Replies
        1. re: sku

          I think the "poor man's margarita" was a way of selling a product to Americans that would not know what a Chelada is if they saw it on the menu.

          1. re: HaagenDazs

            Thanks, I knew it had a name. This wasn't on a menu, just how our pals referred to it, though probably for the same reason.

        2. There is a Agave wine from Mexico on the Market it is called Los cabos this same company makes a wine based Vodka,Rum,whiskey and others. To make tequila the agave is fermented ( aka agave wine) before it is distilled to make tequila. So it has a real flavor just at a lower % of alcohol to fit the law of the state. See

          1. I think that as long as the customer knows they're at a joint that only has a wine/beer license, it will not be a surprise that the "margarita" isn't the traditional recipe. There's a place here that only has a wine/beer license, but manages to offer some inventive cocktails nonetheless. Their margarita is made with sake. Menu with drink ingredients here:


            (I'm partial to the Tokyo Manahttan, though.)