Yes folks, we may have hit a new low as a society. Did you know that they are now serving faux-Margaritas at Taco Bell?
Let's all be brutally honest. For the most part, there are really only two reasons that people eat at Taco Bell:
1. You are poor, and you can get an absurd amount of food on the cheap.
2. You are really stoned or drunk (or both) and it just sounds like a really good idea. (And there are always the times when you are simultaneously poor, stoned, and/or drunk...and again, damned if Taco Bell just doesn't sound good).
I admit it: the only times I eat there are when I am either too poor to afford anything else, or I am drunk and it sounds good (someone else drives, I assure you).
It stands to reason that if you are eating there because it's so cheap, you probably cannot afford to buy the ingredients to mix a real margarita for yourself, nor to go to the bar for one. And why should a little thing like money keep you from the limey goodness of a margarita? Well, once again, Taco Bell has your back. Yes, I realize that there may be adults out there that just want the flavor without the alcohol. But jokes aside, I have a feeling that these drinks will appeal more to 14-year-old girls who order them because it makes them feel sophisticated.
Cost issues notwithstanding, I have to admit that my inner mixologist -- the snooty side of me who is a cocktail snob, and thinks that cocktails or even mocktails should only be made with freshly squeezed juices from actual fruit and not little plastic fruit shaped bottles -- is somewhat horrified at this whole concept. Oh, how I would love to be Audrey Saunders when I grow up...
However, the actual working bartender in me is nudging the mixologist part of me aside with the pointy swizzle stick of reality. Do you love any of the myriad flavored margaritas that are so popular with aging suburban women who like to fancy themselves part of a Sex and The City-style ensemble of friends? (I call those drinks Momgaritas, BTW.) If so, the fact is that you are 99% assured of drinking something that relies heavily on batches of flavored base. Those bases may taste like fruit juices, but they usually aren't. And in the case of virgin margaritas, unless the bar cuts the drink with a bit of lemonade or soda (which I am firmly against), all you are getting is a pre-made sour mix either frozen or over ice. Some places even use the same brands you can buy in the supermarket. So unless your neighborhood bar is owned and operated by dedicated cocktail purists, this prefab stuff is what you're going to get. And as far as the chains go...well, let's put it this way: Your local TGI McFunster's ain't run by cocktail purists. Period. None of the chains ever are.
Anyway...my point to all of this is that even for Taco Bell, it should be pretty hard to screw up a virgin margarita.
So, will I be wasting the day away in Tacobellritaville, sucking down faux-ritas while regretting the three gorditas I probably ate alongside? Erm...probably not.
First off, the color is weird. It's a rather bizarre shade of peachy-green. I could have understood dirty ice, or plain green, or even yellowish green. But peachy? The hell...?
And then there's the flavor. It's like the industrial chemical love child of a lime Otter Pop and floor cleaner. There is nothing remotely margaritalike about it except that it's (unpleasantly) lime flavored. Need I remind you again how hard to is to screw up a virgin margarita? You literally could go to the store, buy the cheapest bottle of sour mix, toss it over some ice in a glass rimmed with table salt, and it would still taste more like a "real" margarita than this did.
Hell, even as a limeade it never really gets past "meh" level.
Is it the worst thing on the Taco Bell menu? No, but it's not good either. Taco Bell also offers a Strawberry Margarita -- and the only difference is that the strawberry version features the strawberry puree-type topping they use on all of the strawberry Frutistas. I skipped it.
I should have skipped this, too.
454 Calories for 16 ounces.
Does not contain alcohol or fruit juice.