Less Caloric, More Revolting Margarita

Skinnygirl Margarita

Skinnygirl Margarita

I Paid: $13.99 for a 750-milliliter bottle (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 1 stars

Marketing: 4 stars

This is beginning to look like a trend. A few weeks ago, we sampled Mommessin's Beaujolais Grande Reserve Red 2006, a wine that comes in an aluminum, chill-activated bottle adorned with a Sex and the City–style iconic cartoon lady. It was terrible. This week, we examine Skinnygirl Margarita in a bottle. The iconic cartoon lady on the label is a little more "sexy librarian" or "sexy intern" than "sexy youngish cougar," but the meaning is similar: This is a libation aimed squarely at the fashionable, aspiring urban female. And, again: It's terrible.

New York Times bestseller and celebrity natural food chef Bethenny Frankel plugs this stuff on the back of the bottle as: "Skinnygirl: the margarita you can trust." The theory, it seems, is that Skinnygirl Margarita gives you a premixed blue agave tequila–based margarita in a bottle, at a winelike 25.4 proof and about 25 calories per ounce. This means we're looking at about 125 calories for a glass of this stuff. That's a savings compared with a conventional restaurant margarita, but a loss versus the roughly 100 calories in a glass of wine. Thus the hypothetical skinny girl should consider sticking to vino.

This decision looks doubly sensible when you try this stuff. It smells like sour mix. It tastes slightly salty—it's eerily like drinking Gatorade with a tequila aftertaste. It resembles a quality margarita in the same way a Ho Ho resembles a homemade birthday cake. It would be fun to know what's actually in this stuff, but the magic of liquor labeling means that all the company needs to disclose is that Skinnygirl involves "blue agave tequila with natural flavors and caramel color added."

Ultimately, the contents are likely to be irrelevant once you've taken a few sips. Farewell, Skinnygirl, hello, Two Buck Chuck. Or, if you're committed to spending dollar for dollar, hello, $14 bottle of unpretentious but delicious wine.

James Norton edits the Upper Midwestern food journal Heavy Table. He's also the coauthor of a book on Wisconsin's master cheesemakers. Follow CHOW on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook.