After a summer of experimenting with my Taylor 430 frozen drink machine, I wanted to share my personal easy mix recipe for margaritas. It always gets praise from my guests and can be made quickly and cheaply (about $5 a gallon, excluding alcohol).
Makes 1 gallon of mix:
2 cans frozen limeade (i.e. minute maid or grocery store brand) - 12oz cans
1 can frozen lemonade 12oz can
6oz lime juice
1/4 cup regular granulated white sugar
up to 1 quart of Tequila
In a large (1.5 gal +) container, empty the 2 cans of limeade and 1 can of lemonade. Using the empty limeade cans, add 7 cans of water.
Add the lime juice. I use bottled 'not from concentrate' lime juice from the organic section of my grocery store to help maximize 'bite' - but I'm too lazy to stand around juicing limes, which would be best. If you must, use 'from concentrate' lime juice, but the idea is to add the tartness you get from fresh juice.
In a microwave safe container (e.g. pyrex cup), microwave for 1 min (or until it boils) the sugar with a small amount of water - just enough to cover the sugar by 1/4 of an inch. After heating, stir with until the sugar dissolves and the liquid is clear. Add the sugar water to the rest of the mix.
At this stage the virgin mix is ready and could be added into the machine's hopper for freezing if desired (e.g. mix of kids and adults).
Alternatively, up to 1 quart of tequila can also be added to the mix - the cheapest 100% agave tequila is what I like, and 1 quart per gallon makes for a stealthy and very strong drink. Adding much more than 1 quart (25% of mix volume) tequila may prevent the mix from freezing. Also, substituting some cointreau for the tequila is also nice - e.g. 70/30 tequila-cointreau split.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I enjoyed creating it! I'd love to hear other recipes if you have them.