Skinny Margarita Recipe (No Refined Sugar)

May 29, 2020 (Updated: June 10, 2020) By Aneesha |

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Light, refreshing and so flavorful, this Skinny Margarita is the perfect summer cocktail, without the extra calories. Make it with fresh lime and orange juice, tequila and agave syrup in just a few minutes. One sip of this and I’m pretty sure you’ll never buy a margarita mix again!

An orange skinny margarita cocktail garnished with a lime wheel

Margaritas used to be my hubby’s signature drink when he was in graduate school, and he was famous for it. So much so that he was the designated mixologist for many parties (he still is). I still remember going to parties with his ‘$5 blender’ in tow 🙂

So you can say that I’ve had my fair share of really awesome margaritas, thanks to him!

But, as we grew more calorie and carb conscious, we started experimenting with ingredients. Hubs introduced me to this incredibly tasty cocktail a few years ago. And now, I prefer THIS Skinny Margarita over a traditional one any day!

Reader’s Choice Recipe! I recently posted this margarita on my Instagram stories and got so many recipe requests from readers. So, this one’s for you all- Cheers!

What Exactly is a Skinny Margarita?

As with most things labeled ‘skinny’, Skinny Margarita is a lower calorie version of a traditional Margarita.

It’s a light and refreshing summer cocktail made with four all-natural ingredients (no refined sugar), including fresh lime and orange juice, tequila and agave nectar.

Many people confuse this for a low-carb margarita, but I don’t think this qualifies as one since it has 10 grams of net carbs per drink. If you’re looking for a Low-Carb Margarita recipe, I’ll be posting that soon, so check back in for that!

What’s the Difference Between Regular and Skinny Margarita?

Both types of margaritas are made with tequila, lime juice and some sort of orange-flavor source. Regular Margarita uses an orange liqueur, like Cointreau, Triple sec, or Grand Marnier, while as a Skinny Margarita is sweetened with fresh orange juice and a dash of agave nectar.

Skinny Margarita Calories

This Skinny version has about 136-140 calories per drink (3 oz), versus 215 -220 calories in a regular one. That’s a saving of roughly 80-84 calories. And according to this article by Huffpost, it would take about 18 push-ups to burn those. (I’d rather have the Skinny version than do push-ups :))

These numbers are based on an in-built nutrition calculator app. I recommend consulting your personal nutrition calculator for double checking.

What is the Best Type of Tequila for a Margarita?

A good quality tequila is key to a flavorful margarita, especially if it is served in a classic style – over ice, versus blended.

Silver tequila’ also known as ‘white’, ‘blanco’ or ‘plata’ tequila is ideal for mixed drink like Margaritas since it is made from 100% agave (always check the label) and is considered the purest form of tequila.

It’s a smooth tasting clear spirit since it is mostly un-aged, or minimally aged for a couple of weeks. Some of our preferred brands are 1800 Silver, Patron Silver and Hornitos Plata.

A top shot of a skinny margarita drink with a lime slice floating on top

Ingredient for this Refined Sugar-Free Margarita

Ingredients for making skinny margarita, includingTequila, agave, salt, lime and orange on a gray board
  • Silver Tequila: I use ‘silver tequila’ also known as ‘white’, ‘blanco’ or ‘plata’ tequila, made from 100% agave (always check the label). It is considered ideal for margaritas. Some of my preferred brands are 1800 Select, Patron Silver and Hornitos Plata.
  • Lime juice: Freshly squeezed lime juice is the way to go here. I would not recommend using the bottled concentrated juice here. (Big no-no)
  • Orange juice: Fresh orange juice gives the best results in this recipe. If you end up using juice made from concentrate, just know that the flavors will be slightly different.
  • Agave syrup: Agave syrup is a natural sweetener that doesn’t have an overpowering flavor, which is why it blends in so smoothly in this recipe. Honey is another good alternative, it’ll require more stirring to blend in though.
  • Salt: I love the earthy taste of Pink Himalyan salt in this recipe. It enhances the taste of the citrus really well. Sea salt is another alternative that would work equally well. If you don’t have either, add half the quantity suggested and use regular table salt instead.
  • Garnishes: If you like to garnish the drinks, cut some lime wedges or wheels per glass. You could also use orange slices instead.

Easy Skinny Margarita Recipe from Scratch

  • Add a few cubes of ice to a margarita glass.
  • Add tequila, lime and orange juice, 1 teaspoon of agave syrup and a pinch of salt.
  • Using a spoon or cocktail stirrer, stir 10-12 times (stirring mixes the drink while chilling it). Taste and adjust the sweetness to your liking. Garnish with a lime wheel or wedge and enjoy!
A glass of orange margarita garnished with a lime slice

Making a Pitcher of Skinny Margarita for Cinco de Mayo or any Party

This is one of our favorite drinks to serve at Cinco De Mayo get togethers or any summer BBQ party.

Simply mix all the following ingredients in a pitcher, leaving enough room for ice (to be added later) and stick it in the refrigerator. Don’t add any ice or garnishes yet.

When you’re ready to serve, pour 3-4 large ice cubes in each glass. Stir the drink in the pitcher and pour over the ice. Garnish with a slice or lime or orange and serve chilled.

The following quantity makes 5 drinks (multiply accordingly):

Important Tip: Use a standard liquid measuring cup and tablespoon measure to get the right proportions.

  • 1 cup silver tequila
  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon agave syrup or honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon rock salt

Tips on How to Pick and Juice Limes (and Oranges)

  1. The best way to get the most juice out of your limes and oranges is to start with ripe fruit stored at room temperature. You know the fruit is ripe when it has a slight give if you press it gently.
  2. Gently roll your lime (or orange) on the kitchen counter with the heel of your palm, going back’n’ forth. This helps release the juices.
  3. Slice it in half, width-wise (cutting at the widest part of the fruit). Squeeze by hand, or insert a fork and twist the lime against it, or use a hand-held juicer.

Recipe Tips:

  1. Tequila: A good quality tequila can make or break this drink. I use ‘silver tequila’ also known as ‘white’, ‘blanco’ or ‘plata’ tequila. It is made from 100% agave (always check the label). Some of my preferred brands are 1800 Select, Patron Silver and Hornitos Plata.
  2. Lime Juice:Traditionally the ratio of lime in this drink is the same as tequila. But I find that 1.5 ounce of lime juice makes the drink too tart for my taste and I end up adding more agave to balance that. Reducing that to 1 oz. makes a balanced drink for me. That being said, if you enjoy a more prominent lime flavor in your drink, add 1.5 oz of fresh lime juice (3 tablespoons).
  3. Agave: 1 teaspoon of agave syrup gives this drink a light yet balanced sweetness.  To make it sweeter, add another 1/2-1 teaspoon. 
  4. Fresh orange and lime juice:  Fresh is really the way to go here since orange and lime juice are key ingredients here.  I wouldn’t recommend juice made from concentrate here as that changes the flavor a bit.
  5. Getting the most juice out of lime: Start with limes at room temperature. Roll them on the counter to release those juices.
  6. Chill your glass: Keep your serving glasses in the refrigerator 20 minutes prior to assembling this cocktail. It really enhances the drink.
  7. Salted Rim: Pour a thin layer of sea salt crystals onto a small plate or wide bowl. Rub a lime wedge around the rim of your glass, then dip it into the salt so it sticks. Tap the glass gently to shake off the excess. Continue making your drink.
  8. Stirring: After pouring everything in the glass, stirring 10-12 times not only blends the ingredients, but also chills it for serving. 
Lime slice placed on ice in an orange drink

Popular Low-Carb Cocktails on the Blog

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An orange cocktail garnished with a lime wheel

Skinny Margarita Recipe

Light, refreshing and so flavorful, this Skinny Margarita is the perfect summer cocktail made with all natural ingredients, without the extra calories.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 136kcal

Ingredients

Single Serving

  • 1.5 ounce silver tequila (about 3 tablespoons) (see note 1)
  • 1 ounce lime juice fresh (2 tablespoon/ about 1 lime) (see Note 2)
  • 0.75 ounce orange juice fresh (1.5 tablespoon/ about 1/2 navel orange or 1 cutie)
  • 1 teaspoon agave syrup or honey (see Note 3)
  • 1 pinch sea salt (or regular)

Making a Pitcher (5 drinks)

  • 1 cup silver tequila
  • ¾ cup fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • tablespoon agave syrup or honey
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  • Add a few cubes of ice to a margarita glass. Add tequila, lime and orange juice, 1 teaspoon of agave syrup and a pinch of salt.
  • Using a spoon or cocktail stirrer, stir 10-12 times (stirring mixes the drink while chilling it). Taste and adjust the sweetness to your liking. Garnish with a lime wheel or wedge and enjoy!

Notes & Recipe Tips

  1. Tequila: A good quality tequila can make or break this drink. I use ‘silver tequila’ also known as ‘white’, ‘blanco’ or ‘plata’ tequila. It is made from 100% agave (always check the label). Some of my preferred brands are 1800 Select, Patron Silver and Hornitos Plata.
  2. Lime Juice:Traditionally the ratio of lime in this drink is the same as tequila. But I find that 1.5 ounce of lime juice makes the drink too tart for my taste and I end up adding more agave to balance that. Reducing that to 1 oz. makes a balanced drink for me. That being said, if you enjoy a more prominent lime flavor in your drink, add 1.5 oz of fresh lime juice (3 tablespoons).
  3. Agave: 1 teaspoon of agave syrup gives this drink a light yet balanced sweetness.  To make it sweeter, add another 1/2-1 teaspoon. 
  4. Fresh orange and lime juice:  Fresh is really the way to go here since orange and lime juice are key ingredients here.  I wouldn’t recommend juice made from concentrate here as that changes the flavor a bit.
  5. Getting the most juice out of lime: Start with limes at room temperature. Roll them on the counter to release those juices.
  6. Chill your glass: Keep your serving glasses in the refrigerator 20 minutes prior to assembling this cocktail. It really enhances the drink.
  7. Salted Rim: Pour a thin layer of sea salt crystals onto a small plate or wide bowl. Rub a lime wedge around the rim of your glass, then dip it into the salt so it sticks. Tap the glass gently to shake off the excess. Continue making your drink.
  8. Stirring: After pouring everything in the glass, stirring 10-12 times not only blends the ingredients, but also chills it for serving. 
 
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates based on a built-in calculator.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 136kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 40mg | Potassium: 43mg | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin C: 19mg
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: low calorie margarita, Skinny Margarita, skinny margarita recipe
Did you try this recipe?Mention @SpiceCravings or tag #spicecravings!

HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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