We love margaritas as much as the next person, but traditionally the cocktail can be a bit of a calorie bomb. Many are made with packaged mixers loaded with sugar — especially the frozen ones, which can ring in at over 500 calories. And even if they’re freshly made and served on the rocks, many recipes use either simple syrup or agave for sweetness.
The irony? Tequila is actually one of the healthiest liquors out there. “It has less calories per ounce than vodka, 64 versus 96, and doesn’t spike your blood sugar levels,” explains Timothy Ryll, director of 4C Bar. Another benefit: Unlike vodka and whiskey, tequila is also gluten-free, he adds.
So, it makes sense that skinny margaritas became a thing, which cut down on the sugary additions to keep the cocktail low-cal. The only problem? Many of them lack the flavor you crave from a marg. But not these! Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, check out four tasty new takes on the skinny margarita, all of which couldn’t be easier to recreate at home. Just add chips…and guac.
The Green Beat
One way to make any cocktail a little bit better for you? Add veggies. This margarita-green juice mash-up has got those, plus some fruit for sweetness. While you could blend up the fruits and veg first, muddling and double-straining works just as well.
2 ounces Tequilla San Matias Cristalino
1 ounce Countreau
¼ cup spinach
½ cup pineapple chunks
2 cucumber slices
1 small celery stick
.5 ounce lime juice
Instructions: Muddle all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker thoroughly. Add ice and shake vigorously. Double strain and serve over ice. Garnish with a cucumber ribbon.
This recipe uses Cointreau, which has less calories than other types of triple sec, for just a little bit of sweetness. Finishing it with Topo Chico adds an effervescence, plus the bubbly water is also rich in healthy minerals, such as calcium and magnesium.
2 ounces El Jimador
1 ounce Cointreau
1 ounce Twisted Alchemy lime juice
Instructions: Shake and pour over ice, top with Topo Chico sparkling mineral water and garnish with a lime wheel.
Both tequila and mezcal come from the agave plant, but by law, tequila only has to contain 51 percent agave. The rest can be a blend made from other sugars, which brands aren’t required to specify. On the flip side, mezcal has to be made from 100 percent agave. Point being, with this skinny margarita recipe, there’s no added sugar from the liquor itself, and the mezcal also adds a smoky flavor.
2 ounces. Mezcal El Silencio Espadin
.5 ounce fresh lime juice
2 packets of Stevia
Instructions: Combine all ingredients in shaker and shake over ice. Strain and pour over more ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.