Skinny Margarita

It’s a Monday holiday, and that calls for a Skinny Margarita! In addition to being one of my favorite drink recipes, this simple, four-ingredient cocktail has become one of yours too. I added a fun video for a single serving, but you can easily scale this recipe for a crowd. A few of you (hi Jordan and Jamie!) have even told me that, after you made these Skinny Margaritas once for ladies’ night, your friends started requesting you bring it to every gathering. Cheers. Also, if you have room for one more lady, you know who to call.

If I could only have one cocktail for the rest of my days (a semi-alarming prospect indeed), it would be a fresh margarita. No mixes, bottled juices, or frozen mumbo jumbo here. Give me my rim salted, my ice cubes large and in charge, and an extra splash of tequila for good luck.

When made properly—meaning the recipe ingredients include only fresh juices, liquor, and agave or simple syrup—a margarita is one of the most refreshing, satisfying drinks you’ll taste.

Margaritas make me think of sunny, relaxed afternoons outside, long vacations, and nights out with my sisters. They remind me of Taco Tuesdays (and Taco Thursdays) at our favorite Mexican joint in Milwaukee and beaches where I’d like to dig my toes into the sand. I never tire of those feelings, and I certainly never tire of a well-made margarita.

About This Skinny Margarita

Margarita romance runs in our family. They are one of my mom’s favorite drinks, so when she visited Milwaukee last year, I took her out for Taco Thursday, where she requested a “skinny margarita.”

I’ve witnessed my mom order a skinny margarita at numerous restaurants on numerous occasions, and unless it’s a drink the restaurant already has on its menu, the server usually doesn’t know what she means (and when asked, she isn’t quite sure herself).

For her benefit, our servers’ benefit, and the benefit of margarita drinkers the world over, I did a bit of digging to determine what exactly makes a margarita recipe a skinny margarita recipe.

The results of my salt-rimmed research: a skinny margarita is comprised of fresh lime juice, fresh orange juice (in place of the more calorie-laden triple sec), tequila, and agave nectar. The exact ratio of these four ingredients is at your discretion, though most suggested more lime juice than orange juice, equal parts tequila and lime juice, and 2 teaspoons of agave.

I like my margarita to bite me back a bit, so I lean heavier on the lime juice and lighter on the agave, which this skinny margarita recipe reflects. Please feel free to adjust the recipe to suit your own margarita needs and preferences.

Recipe Adaptations

This Skinny Margarita recipe is also an excellent base for all sorts of adaptations.

  • Skinny Jalapeno Margarita
  • Skinny Blackberry Margarita
  • St. Germain Margarita

Recommended Tools to Make This Margarita Recipe

  • I used a simple citrus juicer like this one for the original recipe photos, but after upgrading to this one, I’m never going back.
  • Cocktail shaker
  • Jigger

5 from 7 votes Leave a Review ” Yield: 1 margarita (can easily be multiplied) Total Time: 5 mins This skinny margarita recipe is incredibly light and refreshing for fewer calories! Made with just fresh lime juice, fresh orange juice, agave, and tequila.


For One, Classic Skinny Margarita:

  • Kosher salt — & lime wedge, to rim the glass
  • 1 1/2 ounces silver tequila — about 3 tablespoons
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice — about 1 large or 1 1/2 small limes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice — about 1/2 medium orange
  • 1 teaspoon light agave nectar — add 2 if you prefer a sweeter margarita
  • Ice

For a Pitcher of Skinny Margaritas (5 Drinks):

  • 8 ounces silver tequila — (1 cup)
  • 8 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice — (1 cup, from about 5 medium/large limes)
  • 4 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice — (1/2 cup, from about 4 medium oranges)
  • 2 tablespoons light agave nectar — or simple syrup, more if you prefer a sweeter margarita


  1. Rim the glass: Pour a thin layer of salt onto a small plate. Rub a lime wedge around the top edge of your glass to moisten it, then dip the glass into the salt so that it sticks, tapping all the way around. Fill the glass with ice and set aside.
  2. For one (or two) drinks: fill a small cocktail shaker with additional ice. Add the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, and agave. Tightly close and shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds (it’s longer than you think). Strain into the rimmed glass over the ice. Enjoy immediately.
  3. For a pitcher: In the bottom of a pitcher, stir together the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, and agave (do not add ice to the pitcher). Serve immediately (prepare the glasses as in Step 1) or place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the pitcher and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Course: Drinks Cuisine: Mexican Keyword: Low Calorie Margarita, Skinny Margarita All text and images © Erin Clarke / Well Plated.

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 margarita) — Calories: 145, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 100mg, Carbohydrates: 12g, Sugar: 8g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Classically delicious and refreshing, the best skinny margaritas are made with just a few simple ingredients, the way a margarita should be! This top-shelf recipe is the only margarita recipe you’ll ever need!

What would a Cinco de Mayo celebration be without margaritas? Here in Texas, Margaritas are almost as important as Lone Star beer and tacos. You just can’t go to a Mexican restaurant without ordering a margarita, and it’s one of the main factors when judging said Mexican restaurant. And when it comes to margaritas, I am VERY picky.

Admittedly, I prefer my margaritas extremely tart. So tart that most people don’t like the way I drink them. I have been known to send margaritas back at restaurants when they come too sweet.

My best bet is always to order a skinny margarita because it’s just tequila, lime, orange liqueur, and agave nectar, then I just tell them no sweetener. Usually, because I tell them no sweetener, and it arrives sickeningly sweet with artificial sweetener. However, this margarita is pleasantly sweet and just perfect whether you like sweet margaritas or not. (Though I still usually leave out half of the sweetener when I make mine.)

If you read my aunt’s post about her Hatch Chile Margaritas, you know that our family has a long history of making and perfecting margaritas, so I’ve got pretty high standards when it comes to this Tex Mex cocktail. It’s got to have fresh-squeezed lime, a high-quality tequila, and be not-too-sweet. And never ever use a mix. Ever.

So imagine my surprise when my sweet dear husband, who after an outing to our favorite Tex Mex joint with the best skinny margaritas, decided to make another margarita on a whim that turned out fantastic! We had to try making them again just to make sure we weren’t mistaken!

And mistaken we were not. He had come up with a fabulously simple margarita using just classic quality ingredients. Not too sweet, no mix, and of course a nice salted rim. How convenient for you, because this is such an easy recipe, just in time for Cinco de Mayo.

Of course, there is a time and place for fancy margs with infused tequila and yummy flavorful twists (ok, most of the time), but for a simple, classic margarita with just a few ingredients, these are the absolute best skinny margaritas!

If you made this recipe, please leave a star rating in the comments!

The Best Skinny Margaritas

Classically delicious and refreshing, the best skinny margaritas are made with just a few simple ingredients, the way a margarita should be! This top-shelf recipe is the only margarita recipe you’ll ever need!

  • Author: Kaleigh
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 margaritas 1x
  • Category: cocktails
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex

Scale 1x2x3x

  • 2 oz Silver tequila
  • 2 oz Fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1.5 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz light agave nectar or simple syrup* (more or less to taste)
  • Ice
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Lime wedges
  1. Use a lime wedge to wet the rims of 2 glasses and dip in salt (optional). Fill glasses with ice.
  2. To make margaritas, add tequila, lime juice, Cointreau and agave nectar or simple syrup to a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into ice-filled glasses.


*To make simple syrup, simmer 1/4 cup sugar + 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan until sugar is dissolved, then remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Keywords: skinny margarita

Up your Cinco de Mayo game with even more yummy Tex Mex! Try hatch chile salsa verde, homemade corn tortillas, skillet fajitas, coconut fish tacos, and of course, guacamole!

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Happy National Tequila Day! Did you know that’s a thing? Yep. I didn’t either, until it randomly showed up on my news feed this morning. It’s great timing, though, because I happen to have a low carb drink recipe with tequila to share today. And, I’m pretty sure this is the best skinny margarita recipe I’ve ever had!

Apparently, there’s actually a separate National Margarita Day in February. Today, it’s all about simply tequila. But if you ask me, a skinny margarita recipe is the best way to use tequila, anyway.

It feels a little strange to be talking about drinking a sugar-free margarita in the middle of a Monday afternoon. I mean, let’s be real. You’re probably not going to be drinking right now.

Most of us are working at this time, including me. That doesn’t mean you can’t save this easy skinny margarita recipe for this weekend. I still thought today is a great day to share it!

How Much Sugar is in a Margarita?

Do you know how much sugar is in a margarita? You might be surprised. Virtually all sweet mixed drinks are incredibly high in sugar, and margaritas are no exception.

The amount of sugar in a regular margarita varies depending on how it’s made. If it’s a margarita from scratch, using tequila, triple sec and lime juice, the sugar will just come from the triple sec. This is the best case scenario, with about 11 grams of sugar in the margarita.

That doesn’t seem too bad, but sometimes this amount can actually be double or more. This is because a large margarita at a restaurant is almost always more than a typical 4 oz serving size.

Even worse, most bars and restaurants make margaritas using a mix. These can vary, but on average, the sugar content per serving is 24 grams! To put that into perspective, a teaspoon of sugar is 4 grams. So, just one serving of margarita mix is equivalent to 6 teaspoons of sugar.

And as mentioned before, a large margarita may be 2, 3, or even 4 times this amount, if not more. I’ve even seen large 32-oz margaritas. That would be a whopping 192 grams of sugar in the whole drink! Another way to put it would be 32 teaspoons of sugar. Can you imagine?!

Clearly, we need some better options. Fortunately, it’s easy to make your own healthy skinny margarita without sugar!

A Healthier Skinny Margarita Recipe

This skinny margarita recipe has only 106 calories, less than 1 gram net carbs, and 0.3 grams of sugar. It only takes a couple minutes to make, using just five ingredients. Can’t get any better than that!

And yet, it tastes absolutely delicious.

I served these low carb paleo margaritas for some friends and they didn’t even know that they were healthy or sugar-free! They agreed with me that these are simply the best skinny margarita version they’ve tried.

There is some controversy about whether alcohol is allowed on a paleo diet. It’s your call, but if you are okay with it, this paleo margarita recipe is as natural as it gets.

Either way, drinking these homemade skinny margaritas is much better option than regular ones that are filled with sugar. Sweet drinks have always been my favorite kind, but the sugar in them is a problem.

And, even if you buy the best skinny margarita mix out there, it will probably be artificially sweetened. The ones I have seen also have preservatives and other artificial ingredients. Not good at all! Sadly, I have yet to find a low sugar margarita at a bar or restaurant, or as a mix.

Sweetener for a Sugar-free Paleo Skinny Margarita

I prefer to avoid all the sugar and artificial sweeteners by making my own low carb drinks instead. Don’t worry, it’s very simple and easy!

This skinny margarita recipe is sweetened with stevia, but even my husband (not a stevia fan!) couldn’t tell. I have tried making it with erythritol before, which works okay, but it doesn’t dissolve very well.

Because of the dissolving issue, a liquid sweetener like stevia or monk fruit works better. And, it’s still completely natural.

For the stevia, there are a couple different options you can use here. The recipe includes a combination of orange extract and liquid stevia to create a healthier, sugar-free version of the typical syrups used in margarita recipes.

If you’d like, you can use orange liquid stevia instead and skip the orange extract.

You can also use liquid monk fruit sweetener instead of stevia.

The reason for the orange stevia or orange extract is to replace the Triple Sec used in traditional margarita recipes. In case you didn’t know, Triple Sec is an orange flavored liqueur. It contains 11 grams of sugar per counce.

For a homemade skinny margarita, it’s best to use a sugar-free alternative.

How To Make a Skinny Margarita

The steps for how to make a skinny margarita are so easy! I can hardly call this a recipe, there really isn’t much to it.

Start with the sugar-free homemade margarita ingredients. Combine tequila, lime juice, orange extract, stevia, and ice cubes in a powerful blender.

Select the ice crush setting on your blender. Or, you can use any setting that is powerful enough to get through the ice. Blend until a slushy texture forms.

Side note here – I recommend a high quality tequila. Even though it’s mixed in, you’ll get a much smoother skinny margarita if the alcohol is not harsh.

Add more ice if needed, to make about 32 fl oz total. This will be equivalent to four 1-cup margaritas. The exact amount of ice will vary because it depends on the size of your ice cubes and how they fit into a measuring cup. Just use your judgement to get the right amount.

Run a slice of lime around the rim of each margarita glass. Dip the rim into a plate or shallow bowl covered in sea salt. Coarse sea salt works very nicely, but any kind you have is fine!

Pour frozen margaritas into the glasses. Don’t forget to garnish with slices of lime!

How To Make Homemade Margaritas on the Rocks

I like my sugar-free margaritas frozen, so that is how this recipe is written. If you like it on the rocks, you can definitely do that, too.

Aside from preferences, a skinny margarita on the rocks is a good option if you blender is not powerful enough to crush ice.

After salting the rim of the margarita glass, place the ice cubes directly inside. Blend the rest of the ingredients (without ice). It will be pretty concentrated this way, so you’ll need to add a few tablespoons of cold water, to taste.

Once combined, pour the skinny margarita over the ice. Again, garnish with lime.

So, now that you know how to make the best skinny margarita, what foods will you serve it with? Some of my favorites are low carb tortilla chips, healthy taco salad and 3-ingredient queso dip. I’d love to hear all about yours!

The Best Skinny Margarita Recipe (Sugar-free Low Carb Paleo Margarita):
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More Low Carb Recipes To Love

The Best Skinny Margarita Recipe – Sugar Free, 5 Minutes

Learn how to make the best skinny margarita recipe. This sugar-free, low carb, paleo margarita is naturally sweetened. Takes only 2 minutes & 5 ingredients! Course Drinks Cuisine Mexican Keyword dairy-free, gluten-free, keto, lime, low carb, margarita, nut-free, paleo, sugar-free, vegetarian Calories 106 kcal Prep Time 2 minutes Total Time 2 minutes Author Maya Krampf from Servings 4 margaritas

Recipe Video

Click or tap on the image below to play the video. It’s the easiest way to learn how to make this recipe!

Click underlined ingredients to buy them!
Please ensure Safari reader mode is OFF to view ingredients.

  • 6 fl oz Tequila (use quality tequila)
  • 1/3 cup Lime juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Orange extract (*optional – see notes)
  • 1 tsp Liquid stevia (*or liquid monk fruit sweetener, or orange liquid stevia – see notes)
  • 5 cup Ice cubes (or more – see instructions)
  • Sea salt (for salted rim)
  • Lime wedges (for garnish)

RECIPE TIPS + VIDEO in the post above, nutrition info + recipe notes below!

Click on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.

  1. Combine all ingredients (except sea salt and lime wedges) in a powerful blender. Blend using the ice crush setting until a slushy texture forms. Add more ice if needed to make about 32 fl oz (a little less than 1 L) total (for four 1-cup margaritas).

  2. Run a slice of lime around the rim of each glass. Dip the rim into a plate or shallow bowl covered in sea salt. Pour frozen margaritas into the glasses and garnish with lime.

Recipe Notes

  • You can omit the orange extract by using orange liquid stevia instead of regular liquid stevia.

Serving size: 1 margarita, or 1/4 of entire recipe

Video Showing How To Make a Skinny Margarita:

Don’t miss the VIDEO above – it’s the easiest way to learn how to make a Skinny Margarita!

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Nutrition Facts Amount per serving. Serving size in recipe notes above. Calories 106 Fat 0.01g Protein 0.1g Total Carbs 1g Net Carbs 0.9g Fiber 0.1g Sugar 0.3g

Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. You can find individual ingredient carb counts we use in the Low Carb & Keto Food List. Carb count excludes sugar alcohols. Net carb count excludes both fiber and sugar alcohols, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.

More Low Carb & Keto Support

If you want to know more about how to start a low carb diet, want to substitute sweeteners, need a food list, or need support, check these guides:

Low Carb & Keto Diet Plan
Starter Guide Sweetener Conversion Calculator Keto Low Carb Macro Calculator Low Carb Keto Food List + Printable PDF

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This Skinny Margarita recipe is made with fresh lime juice, orange juice, tequila and agave nectar for a refreshing, low calorie cocktail! Make one or an entire pitcher for the perfect drink for summer entertaining or celebration like Cinco de Mayo.

Made with only 4 ingredients, this Skinny Margarita recipe is a low-calorie twist on my Classic Margarita Recipe.

Now don’t get me wrong – I love a good regular margarita. But during the warmer months of the year, I’m usually craving something lighter and little more refreshing. That’s where this skinny margarita comes into play.

What is the difference between a skinny margarita and a regular margarita?

A skinny margarita is a low-calorie version of a regular margarita.

Instead of using an orange-liqueur like triple sec, Cointreau or Grand-Marnier, a skinny margarita uses fresh orange juice and a small amount of agave nectar.

The result is about 114 calories for a skinny margarita compared to about 256 calories for a classic margarita.

While there is technically less alcohol in this low-cal version, I think it’s a great option for anyone who is trying to watch what they eat and limit their alcohol intake.

And did I mention the flavor is amazing?! It’s so refreshing and made with a natural sweetener, you just can’t go wrong.

How to make skinny margaritas

  1. Add lime juice, orange juice, tequila and agave nectar to a glass or pitcher. Stir to combine.
  2. Pour skinny margarita into a glass rimmed with salt and filled with ice. Garnish with a lime and orange wedge.

This recipe uses clear silver/blanco tequila. Whichever brand you buy, make sure it’s made from 100% agave.

Silver and blanco tequilas I recommend

  • Espolòn Blanco
  • Olmeca Altos
  • Casa Noble Crystal
  • Patron Silver
  • Casamigos Blanco

More margarita recipes you’ll love

  • Frozen Margarita
  • Spicy Habanero Pineapple Margarita
  • Easy Cranberry Margarita

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! To get more easy Mexican recipes delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for my weekly email newsletter. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

Skinny Margarita Recipe 4.1 from 20 votes PIN RECIPE Author: Isabel Eats PREP TIME: 5 mins TOTAL TIME: 5 mins SERVINGS: 1 drink


For one skinny margarita

  • coarse kosher salt
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 ounces fresh lime juice (about the juice from 1 1/2 limes, or 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 ounce fresh orange juice (about the juice of 1/2 medium orange, or 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 ounce silver tequila (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar

For a pitcher of skinny margaritas (5 drinks)

  • coarse kosher salt
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • ice cubes
  • 3/4 cup + 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about the juice from 7 1/2 limes)
  • 2/3 cup fresh orange juice (about the juice of 2 1/2 medium oranges)
  • 2/3 cup silver tequila
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons agave nectar


  • Pour kosher salt on a small plate. Run a lime wedge around the rim of a 8-ounce glass and dip in salt. Fill the glass with ice.
  • In a cocktail shaker (or pitcher), add lime juice, orange juice, tequila and agave nectar. Shake or stir to combine.
  • Pour skinny margarita into prepared glass and garnish with a lime and orange wedge.


Silver tequilas I recommend: Espolòn Blanco, Olmeca Altos, Casa Noble Crystal, Patron Silver, Casamigos Blanco. Substitute for agave nectar: Simple syrup or honey. Nutrition Facts Skinny Margarita Recipe Amount Per Serving (1 drink) Calories 114 % Daily Value* Fat 0g0% Saturated Fat 0g0% Trans Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 0g Monounsaturated Fat 0g Cholesterol 0mg0% Sodium 3mg0% Potassium 110mg3% Carbohydrates 7g2% Fiber 0g0% Sugar 9g10% Protein 0g0% Vitamin A 50IU1% Vitamin C 31.4mg38% Calcium 10mg1% Iron 0mg0% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below and tag @isabeleats on social media!

What does a Skinny Margarita mean?

Want a fresh, healthy margarita that is low in calories? Learn how to make an easy Skinny Margarita sweetened with agave, low in carbs, and the best, refreshing margarita recipe ever!

Oh Margarita. How I love you so, but never drink you.

Unfortunately I over-analyze our relationship. Should I drink these many calories? Does this mean I shouldn’t eat the ginormous plate of nachos too?

Once you hit my lips, I can’t quit you.

Therefore, margaritas and I only kick it together on the occasions I take a break from overthinking, such vacations or birthdays.

But life’s too short for that. It’s always time to enjoy the best Skinny Margarita recipe.

Basically a Skinny Margarita on the rocks means one that is lower in calories, sugar, carbs, and calories. It’s a lighter, healthier, and fresher version of a classic margarita recipe.

Unfortunately, no, it doesn’t mean you become skinnier while drinking them.

I wish I could make that happen, but we all would become pretty unproductive, now wouldn’t we?

Skinny Margarita Ingredients

Lighter margarita cocktails remove the extra sugary mixers like sour mix or margarita mixes. Instead Skinny Margarita recipes are made up of:

  • Tequila
  • Triple sec or orange liqueur
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Fresh orange juice
  • Agave nectar or simple syrup

Calories in a Skinny Margarita

A Skinny Margarita on the rocks typically has between 130 – 180 calories.

If the sweetener is cut out entirely it will be on the lower end, around 130 calories. Every teaspoon of sweetener, such as agave nectar, adds about 20 calories.

On the other hand, a classic 8 ounce margarita cocktail contains 455 calories and a 12 ounce version has about 680 calories.

How many Carbs in a Skinny Margarita?

This Skinny Margarita recipe nets about 17 grams of carbs compared to a traditional restaurant margarita containing about 50-120 grams of carbohydrates.

If you are on a low carb diet, though, there are ways to decrease the carbs even further:

  • Substitute liquid stevia or liquid monk fruit for the agave. NOTE: It will not be a 1:1 substitution because artificial sweeteners are a lot sweeter. Start with a couple drops and adjust to taste.
  • Instead of triple sec and orange juice, use orange extract. You will need about 1/4 teaspoon, but can increase slightly to taste.

How To Make a Skinny Margarita Cocktail

  1. Use a wedge of lime to go around rim of glasses and dip in course salt. Fill glasses with ice.
  2. Combine margarita ingredients in a cocktail shaker with a few cubes of ice.
  3. Shake well and strain into prepared glass.

Variations for a Skinny Margarita

Just because skinny margaritas are healthier, it doesn’t mean they lack in taste! Try out some of these fun variations:

  • Add club soda for a touch of fizz
  • Shake ingredients with a couple slices of jalapeno for a spicy kick
  • Muddle fresh fruit, such as blackberries or strawberries at the bottom of the glass for a fruit margarita
  • For a more tart drink, leave out the fresh orange juice and cut back on sweetener
  • Try fresh herbs, such as basil or cilantro, shaken with the ingredients. The herbs also go well with fruit additions.
  • For a frozen skinny margarita, blend all the ingredients with 1/2 cup FROZEN fruit and a few ice cubes.

Skinny Margarita Pitcher

A pitcher of margaritas contains about 11 drinks, or about 6 cups (48 ounces). To juice large amounts of citrus I use this citrus press. However, this is a more affordable option.

  • 2 cups tequila
  • 1 1/4 cup lime juice (about 10-14 limes)
  • 2/3 cup oj (about 3-4 oranges)
  • 2/3 cup triple sec
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar or simple syrup

Place all ingredients in a large pitcher, mix well, and add ice. Serve with glasses of ice, rimmed with salt, and additional lime wedges.

Other Favorite Mexican Dishes and Drinks:

  • Tamale Pie – Layers of seasoned beef or chicken, cornbread, and melted gooey cheese.
  • Broiled Grapefruit Margarita – The smokey tanginess of brûléed ruby red grapefruit juice pairs perfectly with tequila, orange triple sec, and fresh lime juice.
  • Mexican Chicken Casserole – Combines the best parts of taco night into one easy, hearty, flavorful dish with chicken, rice, cheese, and tortilla chips.
  • Mexican Fish – Easy fish recipe is bursting with robust flavors, but quickly comes together in 30 minutes and uses only one pot.


And let’s be friends on Pinterest! I’m always sharing great recipes!

Want a fresh, healthy margarita that is low in calories? Learn how to make an easy Skinny Margarita sweetened with agave, low in carbs, and the best, refreshing margarita recipe ever! 3.8 from 10 votes Pin Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes Servings: 1 Author: Melissa Erdelac

  • 1 1/2 ounce tequila
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice, about 1 lime
  • 1 /2 ounce fresh orange juice, about 1/2 orange
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar or simple syrup
  • 1/2 ounce triple sec
  • course salt
  • If you like a salt-rimmed glass, use a lime slice to wipe around the top of the glass and then turn over onto a plate filled with course salt. Fill glass with ice.
  • Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and add a few cubes of ice. Shake vigorously and strain into prepared glass. Garnish glass with lime slice.


Tried this recipe?Mention @mamagourmand or tag #mamagourmand! Variations for a Skinny Margarita

  • Add club soda for a touch of fizz
  • Shake ingredients with a couple slices of jalapeno for a spicy kick
  • Muddle fresh fruit, such as blackberries or strawberries at the bottom of the glass for a fruit margarita
  • For a more tart drink, leave out the fresh orange juice and cut back on sweetener
  • Try fresh herbs, such as basil or cilantro, shaken with the ingredients. The herbs also go well with fruit additions.
  • For a frozen skinny margarita, blend all the ingredients with 1/2 cup FROZEN fruit and a few ice cubes.

Skinny Margarita Pitcher A pitcher of margaritas contains about 11 drinks, or about 6 cups (48 ounces). To juice large amounts of citrus I use this citrus press. However, this is a more affordable option.

  • 2 cups tequila
  • 1 1/4 cup lime juice (about 10-14 limes)
  • 2/3 cup oj (about 3-4 oranges)
  • 2/3 cup triple sec
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar or simple syrup

Place all ingredients in a large pitcher, mix well, and add ice. Serve with glasses of ice, rimmed with salt, and additional lime wedges. Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Sodium: 10mg | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin C: 8.5mg | Iron: 0.5mg

Did you make this recipe? Tag @mamagourmand on Instagram and hashtag #mamagourmand. I love to see your creations!


Items used to make this recipe:

Citrus Juicer Small Juicer Cocktail Shaker

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Dave’s skinny margarita recipe from last week’s Cooking with Liz was a HIT. I wanted to share the recipe here in case you want to refer back to it. I am not a huge liquor fan but when I do drink it it is usually always tequila. Margaritas are my jam but I hate when they are too sweet. That’s why I prefer to use fresh citrus and soda instead of any sort of mix. But I promise with this recipe you won’t miss the extra sugar. They’re fresh and delicious and pair perfectly with my easy weeknight enchiladas and taco dip!

Skinny Margarita Recipe


  • good tequila (I love Casamigos Reposado)
  • flavored soda (we use grapefruit or lime LaCroix)
  • fresh juice from 1 lime
  • fresh juice from 1 lemon
  • fresh juice from 1 orange
  • Trader Joe’s chili lime seasoning, or we also love Casamigos Salt Rimmer if you want to get extra festive!
  • optional sliced jalapeño if you like a little extra spice


Pour some TJ’s chili lime seasoning or salt rimmer onto a plate. Grab your favorite cocktail glass (love these ones, too!), take a lime wedge and wet the rim and then coat the rim in the seasoning/salt! Add ice to your glass and fill with 1-2 oz of tequila. Fill your glass 3/4 of the way with soda water. Use equal parts lime juice and lemon juice* followed by a splash of fresh orange juice. *the more citrus you use the better! Enjoy!

It feels silly even giving you this recipe because it is so easy but trust me, it’s delish! I don’t have exact measurements of each item, just taste as you go and see what you’re missing. You can even add some sliced jalapeño for a little spice!

9 Good Substitutes for Triple Sec

Cocktails are the mood setters for any party. It can be of any magnitude, but the celebration remains incomplete without the drinks pouring on the glasses. Cocktails are supposed to be sweet, flavored and colorful. This article aims to substitute Triple sec, one of the most widely used flavoring agents in cocktails.

The power of three!

The word sec refers to ‘distilled’, and the word triple is certainly ‘three’. Therefore, your Triple Sec is triple-distilled.

For all those who are big fans of orange flavor, can always grab some taste of it in drinks like Triple Sec. Triple Sec is a drink which is made out of the peels of sweet and bitter oranges. The name Triple sec means, ‘triple distilled’. It is a transparent liqueur. For over a century this liqueur has been in use as a popular ingredient with many mixed drinks. It is available in both varieties of alcoholic and non-alcoholic variants. Some of the brands also have a soothing golden color, while others may be colorless too. This orange spirit is used in many recipes as a flavoring agent. Usually, it has milder alcohol content as compared to other orange-flavored spirits. For others who are not too fond of Triple Sec, but want that orangy twist can still have it without having Triple Sec as an ingredient. Follow this article further to have some good substitutes of Triple Sec which you can club with your drink recipes.

Substitutes for Triple Sec

Can Cointreau substitute for Triple Sec? To answer this, we must at once know what it is. Cointreau is an orange flavored drink that can be relished without any add-on, or can be mixed with many other alcoholic drinks to get that orange taste. It is a French drink and can be obtained from the peels of sweet and bitter oranges which are sun-dried to give it its signature taste and flavor. The alcohol content in it is as high as 40%. The maiden bottle of this wonder orange drink was sold in 1875, since then, the recipe to make this drink has been a secret by the French family who first produced it. Other companies who produce the drink, produce replicas. In many popular drinks like Gold Margaritas, Cointreau is a better substitute over Triple Sec. However, Triple sec is used overtly because of its low price over Cointreau. There are many recipes of drinks such as Sangria where Triple sec can be substituted by the more classic and superior taste of Cointreau.

Time to be in for a twist! Curaçao is yet another orange-flavored drink. But where is the twist here? Well, the twist is this orange flavored drink so widely used in flavoring drinks is essentially obtained from a fruit called Laraha which is so bitter that it was considered inedible, until its fragrance was discovered from the dried peels of the fruit. Since then it is being extensively used in the manufacture of this orange drink. This gives the exuberant blue color to many popular cocktails. These oranges are grown on the Caribbean island. The other color variants are green orange, sometimes even transparent. This happens to be complementing the Cosmopolitan drink quite well.

Grand Marnier
This is yet another smooth alternative to Triple sec which can be used at ease to make margaritas. It is a French orange liqueur. This is the source for many people’s favorite Grand Mimosa. It also has its roots in France. It is based on the brandy, Cognac. Therefore it is a tasty combination of good brandy and the hint of orange. The color is bright orange. It can become a good option for those who want to go for low sweetness, in contrast to Triple sec which is high on sweetness. It’s a good choice to drink it smooth. It has a darker shade than Triple sec.

Okay, now you need to be sure of the items where you want to substitute Triple sec with Brandy. If you are going to add brandy instead of Triple sec in those wonderful cocktails with orange flavor and some sweetness, then hold on! This is not a great option. It is bitter and thus will mar the taste. But if you have some good cooking on your mind, then go ahead with replacing Triple sec with Brandy. To be more particular, it can be added to baking recipes.

It’s a fruity drink, you can’t get enough of. It’s sweet, red, aromatic and hence a good substitute for Triple sec. The red color is from the rich and ripe pomegranates. It is majorly used for coloring and due to the sweetness it imparts to the drink, it’s one of the most widely used syrup in drinks. It also serves the purpose of non-alcoholic drinkers. It can be mingled with lemonade and you can get that breath of fresh air after a long tiring day at work. It can also be used sparingly on fruit salads and even with flesh, like they do in Chinese cuisines. Some also prefer it in beverages such as tea. It is also known to accompany well with items like ice creams, breads topped with cheese.

It is another commendable substitute for Triple sec, which is made of cherries, which abound in Croatia. It used to be a good syrup that was added to the classic cocktails in the bygone era. However, it can very well fit into the glass of the modern, more contemporary cocktails as well. It is perfect for those who detest the overtly sweet taste of Triple sec. You can easily recognize these bottles as they come coated with straw.

Orange extract, oil, and zest
When cooking, you can always opt for orange juice, or orange marmalade, or simply orange extract in place of the alcoholic Triple Sec, when you need that tinge of non-alcoholic orange dash in the food. If you are worried about the increased amounts of calorie intake, then you have a low-calorie substitute as the orange extract. This can be used in cocktail recipes and also in cooking. Orange extract is nothing but pure extracts of oranges, dissolved in alcohol base. It goes well with cakes and desserts. Another viable option is the orange oil that is procured from the used peels of oranges after the juice is extracted from them. It is highly priced and the method of extraction is tedious. The oil is used in small amounts in baking cakes, making orange juice and also in marinades. It is essentially a flavor enhancer. Orange zest is also good enough to serve the purpose.

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Ask 10 people of legal drinking age if they like Margaritas, and expect to get a shiny dime in return.

Margaritas have been the most popular cocktail in the U.S. for two consecutive years, according to Nielsen data. Tequila sales across the United States are up 9.9 percent. And the 1971 invention of frozen Margs most certainly laid the groundwork for today’s Frosé and Pinot Freezio; it also transformed a fledgling Texas family dining restaurant, Chili’s, into a national chain raking in $3.42 billion a year.

A classic Margarita requires just three ingredients: tequila, lime juice, and triple sec. The simplicity of that rubric leaves little room for error, yet ample space for innovation. Thus, the proliferation of alternatively strange and sublime Margarita variations in prepackaged mixers or creative bars.

The key to making praise-worthy Margaritas at home is attention to detail.

“As a three-ingredient cocktail, each component plays a central role,” Jim Kearns, bar director and managing partner, The Happiest Hour and Slowly Shirley in NYC, says. “With so few ingredients, any attempt to cut corners will stand out.”

We asked Kearns and other bartenders across the country for their tips. Here are six dos and don’ts for mastering Margaritas.

What To Do When Making Margaritas

1. Juice Your Own Limes.

We spoke to seven bartenders about making great Margaritas, and every one stressed the importance of freshly squeezed lime juice.

“I’d much rather drink a Margarita made with cheap tequila and fresh lime juice, than one made with premium liquor and store-bought sour mix,” Aren Bellendo, lead bartender at SideDoor and Lawry’s in Chicago, says.

Pre-made mixes and bottled juices have varying amounts of sugar that will throw off your cocktail’s sweet-sour balance. Stick with natural ingredients like homemade juice, however, and you will know exactly how much sweetness you need to add to offset the tart citrus.

2. Use the Best Tequila You Can Afford.

You might have a cheap bottle of tequila lying around, or see one on triple-markdown at your local package store. It’s tempting to throw that into a cocktail and hope that the other ingredients will hide its flaws.

Resist this urge. Because there are so few components in a Margarita, each one matters. If you use low-quality tequila with off flavors or a boozy aftertaste, your cocktail will have those exact same flaws.

“Only 100 percent Weber blue agave tequila should be used, ever, for anything,” Kearns says. His favorite tequilas for making Margaritas include Siete Leguas, Siembra Azul, Cabeza, and Pueblo Viejo Blanco. We also like Casa Noble Crystal and these six others.

(If you don’t have the time or budget for a new bottle of tequila, remember the previous tip about the merit of freshly squeezed limes. Whole fruit is typically less expensive than prepared juices or mixers, too.)

3. Know Your Ratios.

One common Margarita mistake is over-sweetening the cocktail, according to Kenneth McCoy, chief creative officer of Public House Collective, a hospitality group in NYC. “You want the lime to come through and have a subtle bite to it, not to feel like you are drinking a Slurpee from 7-Eleven,” he says.

The best way to make a perfectly sweet-sour Margarita is to know your ratios.

“The ratios are everything,” Amanda Swanson, agave sommelier at Añejo in NYC, says. “From there you can adjust to your own personal taste.”

Our classic Margarita recipe calls for 1 ¾ parts tequila to 1 part lime juice to ¾ part orange liqueur. If you prefer a sweeter drink, swap out half the liqueur for agave nectar. Still too tart? Continue adding agave and reducing other ingredients until you’ve hit your perfect balance.

Bartenders often prefer agave nectar over simple syrup for this purpose, saying it provides a smoother, subtler sweetness.

4. Orange You Glad You Bought Liqueur?

The easiest ingredient to overlook is the orange liqueur. Triple sec seems like a weird thing to buy for just one cocktail, right? Can’t you just add a splash of orange juice or something?

Not if you want a well-balanced drink. Triple sec, a term used interchangeably with curaçao, is a type of orange liqueur that provides fruity flavors as well as sweet and bitter notes — all of which are essential for a well-made Margarita. Popular labels include Cointreau, Combier, Pierre Ferrand Curaçao, and Grand Marnier.

Swanson likes to use Cointreau in her Margaritas because it’s made with bitter orange peels, so she finds it “drier than many brands of triple sec, and considerably less sweet than brandy-based Grand Marnier,” she says.

Kearns opts for Cointreau or Combier, the 1834 orange liqueur that purports to be the world’s first triple sec. David Mor, beverage manager at Cindy’s in Chicago, prefers Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao in his Margaritas.

“The most important thing there is to avoid anything that is simply called ‘Triple Sec,’” Kearns says. “This was a marketing statement devised by Cointreau at one point in its long history, and knock-off brands latched onto it.” Consider yourself warned.

What to Avoid When Making Margaritas

1. Don’t Salt the Entire Rim.

Like your Margaritas with salt? Season away, but take care when rimming the glass. Excess flakes will inevitably fall into your cocktail, throwing off its flavors and balance.

Cocktailers like industry legend Dale DeGroff advise salting a segment of the glass rim instead of its entirety. It prevents your drink from ever getting too saline, and gives you the option of taking a sip with or without a mouthful of salt.

“Generally speaking, if we do a rim we do half a rim,” Don Lee, partner, Existing Conditions in NYC, says. “That way everyone has the option.” Make sure you are only salting the outside of the rim of the glass, too, Lee says.

2. Skip the Lime Garnish.

You probably have one or two extra limes lying around after making all that lovely fresh juice. Don’t slice them into wedges to use as garnishes, no matter how natural that seems.

Why? Because your drink is perfectly balanced at this point. By adding a lime wedge, you are inviting someone to squeeze it into their drink. That will “throw off the citric balance of the cocktail,” Mor says. Instead, he suggests expressing an orange peel on top, giving the drink a citrusy aroma without the threat of more acid. Margaritas, like most things in life, are all about balance.

The Best (3-Ingredient!) Margarita Recipe for Cinco de Mayo

Getty Images/Julien McRoberts

Repeat after me: One, two, four. 1-2-4: Memorize that ratio, and you’ve got the very best margarita recipe—agave nectar, lime juice, and tequila—at your disposal at all times. It’s called a Tommy’s Margarita, it involves only three ingredients, and it is divine.

Though it’s a beloved recipe in the cocktail community, purists will quibble about even calling Tommy’s a margarita. “There’s no Triple Sec or Cointreau in there!” Psshht. What it is is delicious, insanely simple, and a delight. The brainchild of San Francisco bartender Julio Bermejo, who concocted it more than two decades ago in an attempt to avoid triple sec’s overwhelming flavor, it has silky texture and a flavor that is a hymn to the blue agave plant at the heart of the drink. (Both agave nectar and pure tequila are made from the plant.) Think: lightly sweet balanced with pure sour, plus a seductive hit of tequila.

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Fresh lime juice, agave nectar, and a solid, 100-percent agave tequila are the keys to this recipe. I’ve shaken bunches of these up at parties, squeezing all the juice in advance, and everyone marveled that it was among the best margaritas they’d had. There’s something about removing that orange flavor of Cointreau or Triple Sec from the equation that just works, and cutting sugar out of the equation makes your bar cleaner, to boot.

Related: How to Make Strawberry Margarita Shots

So if you don’t have one, buy a hand juicer on the cheap, and look for pure, 100-percent agave tequila as opposed to mixto (which is not made from pure agave) tequila. Espolòn makes excellent blanco and reposado tequilas that retail for about $23 in pricey Brooklyn, New York. Blanco is the typical go-to for upscale margs, but I am also a fan of reposado, which has been aged in oak for two months to a year and thus lends an almost smoky, buttery undertone to the cocktail. As for agave nectar, I am less fussy than I once was, and currently use Domino’s $3 organic blue agave “amber” nectar in iced coffee and margs alike.

You can salt your glass, if you like, but I suggest you follow this smart GQ writer’s advice and try it at least once neat—without ice. The only challenge will be sipping slowly.

Tommy’s Margarita

  • 2 ounces 100% agave tequila
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce agave nectar
  • Salt (optional)

Rim cold glass with wet lip with salt, if desired. Shake ingredients with ice until very cold and strain into a chilled cocktail or Old Fashioned glass.

Alex Van Buren is a food and travel writer living in Brooklyn, New York whose work has appeared in, Bon Appétit, Travel & Leisure, New York Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, and Epicurious. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @alexvanburen.

Recipe for skinny margarita

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