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May 13, 2012 06:42 AM

Could something in Margarita's make me unable to sleep ?

Very odd issue has come up. We have started going to a particular restaurant for Margarita night. They use Mayson's concentrate with Triple Sec. It seems that when I go home and go to bed, I am unable to go to sleep, whereas if I just make my own at home with Jose Cuervo and add just tequila, I sleep fine ?

Does anyone have any thoughts as to whether it could be the Mayson's concentrate or the triple sec?

The Mayson's is not as good without the Triple Sec.


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  1. When you say "make [your] own with Jose Cuervo", are you talking about margarita mix? I'm not familiar with Mayson's but if that's also a mix, it's possible that one could contain a problematic chemical that the other doesn't. It could also be the tequila, if you're using a different brand at home, or if the restaurant bar is using a cheap mixto (likely).

    Either way, I recommend that you go back to the basics and make yourself a real, fresh margarita- fresh squeezed lime juice, Cointreau and (100% agave) blanco tequila. You should also be able to order a non-mix margarita at the restaurant, although it will cost more. Mixes contain a ton of weird ingredients (Water, Corn Syrup, Sugar, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate (to Preserve Flavor), Cellulose Gum, Polysorbate 60, Gum Arabic, Glycerol Abietate and Fd&c Yellow No. 5 are the ingredients I found online for Cuervo margarita mix)- none of which actually belong in a margarita, and any of which could be causing your problem.

    Favorite ratios for the fresh margarita vary- here's a thread that discusses it but you'll have to experiment to find the balance you like. Make sure you avoid adding ingredients like sour mix- those could give you the same problem and aren't worth drinking. There are also varying opinions on the best triple sec for margaritas (, I personally use Cointreau since I trust its quality and ingredients, and since it's more versatile than Grand Marnier (also expensive) and others like Creole Shrubb etc. I find it to be worth the money even full price, although I usually buy it on sale. There's a big jump in quality between the cheaper triple secs and Cointreau.

    Hope that helps and that you can circumvent this problem.

    7 Replies
    1. re: tinnywatty

      WOW that is alot of great info. The Maysons is a concentrate 1 liter = 30 drinks, you add tequila and water.

      I will have to take your suggestion and go back to the basics.

      THANKS for the reply

      1. re: debralj

        +1 to tinnywatty. If you're coming off the pre-made mix world, pick a recipe with a lot of triple sec (e.g. Cointreau) or less lime until you get accustomed to what a Margarita should be: a bright, fresh, tart tequila sour with orange. I like them 2:1:1 at this point, but 3:2:1 might be a better transition ratio (tequila, triple sec, lime).

        Ponder this: Do they do this with their burritos, too? 1 part burrito mix, add chicken and water?

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        1. re: EvergreenDan

          +1. I like a 3:2:1 tequila:lime:orange liqueur ratio. ALWAYS use freshly squeezed lime juice. I prefer reposado tequila and Cointreau, but that's just me. I think El Jimador is a pretty good value - it's 100% agave but still pretty cheap.

          1. re: kathleen440

            Yes- I use El Jimador reposado as well- I got it for about $12 on sale. I don't love it, but I'm not really a tequila person and it's inoffensive. I definitely prefer it to a few higher priced 100% agave tequilas I've tried. The 3:2:1 is the ratio I've been using also. It's sweet enough to ease into the transition from mix to fresh, but not overwhelmingly sweet like a mix. In my experience, Cointreau is the component that really differentiates the taste of a mix margarita and a fresh one- totally different from whatever fake orange they use in the mix.

            If you want a little extra sweetness or just for fun, use honey instead of a lime wedge to moisten the rim of the glass, then roll the outside only in coarse sea salt. (You don't want salt on the inside of the rim ever- it will wash back down into the glass.) The honey adheres the salt more firmly, so each sip is less salty, and it also adds a little sweetness to each sip. Agave syrup would probably be more appropriate, if you have it.

            1. re: tinnywatty

              I don't really see what the big deal is about getting salt into the drink - it all ends up together in your mouth, right? Though I guess some people enjoy the crunchy texture of actual salt crystals.

              For a while now I have actually been adding a dash of salt directly to the drink before I stir - it doesn't look as fancy but I think it gives more consistency on a sip-to-sip basis. I remember seeing this advcocated by some cocktail expert a while back though I can't find it now.

              Many people skip the salt entirely, especially in the more traditional margarita pura, but I find the salt taste preferable to offset the tart lime.

              1. re: ncyankee101

                I'm with you ncyankee, but I think the reasoning behind only getting salt on the outside rim is to prevent the massive oversalting that can occur if you just wet the entire rim and then coat it in coarse salt.

                I don't like salted rims on my margaritas because it does always seem like too much salt per sip, but at least it lets the drinker control the amount they are getting to some degree. So your method of adding a (small) pinch of salt directly to the mix sounds better. I'll have to try that next time I whip one up.

                As far as the original question, best guess is some kind of allergic reaction to one of the ingredients in Mayson's. But as everyone said, life's too short for margaritas made from mix, especially if they make it hard to sleep. Leave it to the alcohol to mess with your sleep. :P

                1. re: nickls

                  Yes, salt washing into the drink probably wouldn't be as big a deal if the rim were salted reasonably, but some restaurants and people dunk the rim into a huge mound of salt, so the last quarter of the drink tastes like seawater. Personally, I like the honey because less salt comes off the rim with each sip, and I don't like a ton of salt at a time.