Margaritas are the ideal thirst-quenching companion to any Mexican fiesta, but they’re not exactly the most diet-friendly drink option, right?! Fear not, margarita fan! Check out these expert tips for preparing a waistline-friendly version of your favorite tequila-inspired drink.
The skinny (and not-so-skinny) on margaritas
According to Kim Haasarud, mixologist, founder of beverage consultancy Liquid Architecture and author of 101 Margaritas, a regular margarita contains about 330 calories. “If you’re using store-bought margarita mixes, it may be even more than that, since they’re loaded with preservatives and sugar,” she said.
So what’s a girl to do? Haasarud offers these simple suggestions and substitutions for making skinny margaritas:
Keep it natural
“The best margaritas are made with fresh-squeezed lime juice — it’s low in calories and tastes much better,” Haasarud said.
Nix the modifier
Haasarud recommends ditching unnecessary sugar in your margarita by eliminating the modifier (think triple sec). “You can always add a squeeze of fresh orange for a kick of orange flavor.”
In lieu of simple syrup in a margarita, Haasarud suggests using agave nectar. Not only does it have about 20% fewer calories than simple syrup, but it’s also a natural margarita complement since it comes from the same plant used to produce tequila. “I like using it much better than sugar,” Haasarud said.
Look for agave nectar and sugar-free sweeteners (including triple sec flavor) by Monin, available at some grocers and online.
Another sugar substitute Haasarud recommends is Splenda. Grossed out by the aftertaste? Haasarud has a solution. “Add freshly-squeezed lime juice to mask the flavor.”
Now that you know the skinny margarita guidelines, check out this simple and low-calorie skinny margarita recipe from Haasarud:
- 2 ounces silver tequila
- 1 1/2 ounces lime juice (freshly squeezed)
- 1 ounce agave nectar
Total calories: 220 calories
Note: Substitute the agave nectar for sugar-free sweetener (try Splenda or Monin Sugar-Free Triple Sec) for a 140-calorie version of the drink. Not bad!
Skinny Emerald Margarita
Mixologist and Herradura Tequila brand ambassador Mark Drew recommends this light, low-calorie margarita as the perfect cocktail for spring. Check it out!
- 2 ounces Herradura silver tequila
- 1 ounce aloe juice
- 1 ounce cucumber puree
- 1/2 ounce lime juice
- 1/2 ounce agave nectar
- To make the cucumber puree, use either a hand or kitchen blender to reduce the cucumber to a fine pulp.
- Place all ingredients into a Boston shaker and fill with ice.
- Shake vigorously to combine all ingredients.
- Strain into a chilled martini glass.
- Garnish with a thin disc of cucumber.
Read on to discover more diet-friendly cocktail ideas. Plus, find out how to make the perfect low-carb margarita.
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