Review: SouthNorte Cocktails Margarita, Paloma, Matador, and Mexican Mule
San Diego-based SouthNorte has introduced a line of ready-to-drink cocktails in time for summer, bringing its penchant for Baja-inspired flavors to the craft. We tasted the whole lineup, and found them consistently clean, light, and refreshing, if notably short on tequila flavor.
SouthNorte Margarita – A classic blend of blanco tequila, triple sec, and lime, this lightly effervescent ready-to-drink cocktail delivers a clean, classic margarita profile that’s so subtle you might miss until you’re on your third one. In the wide world of RTD margaritas, this one is so crisp and refreshing that it’s easy to get carried away. The lime profile is soft rather than sharp, and the fizz is so light it fades in the glass. Grab this one if you like your margaritas gentle and clean. 10% abv.
SouthNorte Paloma – Presenting clean, fresh grapefruit flavor, with a light fizz, SouthNorte’s canned Paloma cocktail is a friendly, approachable drink that’s true to the form of what a Paloma should be, at least in flavor if not in color. Almost clear in color, this paloma falls on the sweeter side, low on tartness and even lower on tequila flavor due to its relatively low alcohol content. Paloma enthusiasts might want to add a shot of blanco on top and maybe a splash of pulpy grapefruit juice to embolden the overall presentation, but this easy-drinking cocktail is hard to like straight out of the can. 10% abv.
SouthNorte Matador – Typically a stack of tequila, pineapple juice, lime juice, the matador cocktail is a popular alternative to the tartness of the margarita. SouthNorte’s rendition is a noble rendering of the recipe into canned form. Light, not too sweet, pineapple flavor abounds, with a barely detectable lime backbone. Very fresh in its presentation, the pineapple juice here avoids the cloying profile too often found in canned pineapple drinks. But, as with SouthNorte’s other cocktails, you’ll likely miss the tequila flavor. 10% abv.
SouthNorte Mexican Mule – A blend of ginger beer, mint, lime, a touch of jalapeño, and, let’s face it, just a touch of blanco tequila, the SouthNorte Mexican Mule is another simple, approachable representation of its traditional recipe. As with SouthNorte’s other cocktails, this one shows almost no tequila on the palate, but otherwise presents a well rounded “mule” experience, with robust ginger beer and enough jalapeño to be interesting. 10% abv.
Overall, we enjoyed SouthNorte’s fresh flavor profiles and adherence to the spirit of their recipes. We’d love to see a little more spirit of tequila in the can, though.