A skinny margarita has less alcohol than a regular margarita. Instead of Gran Marnier, Cointreau, or triple sec, a skinny margarita substitutes some of the liquor ingredients with fresh orange juice or agave nectar. The drink is called a “skinny margarita” because it has less calories than a regular margarita.
Imagine an alcoholic beverage that made you thinner when you drank it? The skinny margarita isn’t that, but at least you know that when you drink one, you’re consuming less sugar.
It would be impossible to celebrate Cinco de Mayo without margaritas. In Texas, the margarita may as well be the unofficial beverage of the Lone Star State. A Tex-Mex restaurant wouldn’t be complete without a selection of top-shelf margaritas on their menu.
Now, there’s something you should know about me. I am particular when it comes to margaritas. At a restaurant, I won’t hesitate to send a margarita back if it isn’t made to my liking. The problem I encounter is when a margarita is too sweet. Perhaps it’s rude, but I can't help it. I’m a margarita perfectionist.
Skinny margarita ingredients include: fresh squeezed lime juice, a top-shelf tequila, and fresh juice. As a rule of thumb, never rely on skinny margarita mix.
Here is my favorite skinny margarita recipe:
The recipe is simple to make. Four ingredients are required. It’s not too sweet or tart. It will be the only skinny margarita recipe you’ll ever need.
What Makes A Skinny Margarita?
Admittedly, these are not 'skinny' in the sense they are low calorie or any of that nonsense. I've found that at most Mexican restaurants, 'skinny margarita' refers to the way this one is made - with fresh lime juice and agave nectar - rather than with a mix.
Although sometimes skinny can mean that it's made with artificial sweeteners to lower the sugar content. That is not this recipe.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST SKINNY MARGARITAS
Skinny margaritas are easy to make.
- First, squeeze limes. Use a citrus reamer or hand press. (If you're making a lot, KitchenAid also makes a citrus juicer attachment for the stand mixer that I impulse bought on sale for such occasions.)
- If you want a salt rim, run a lime wedge over the rim of your glass, then turn it upside down onto a plate of salt. Next, fill your glass with ice.
- Add lime juice, tequila, and agave nectar to a shaker filled with ice (or if you're making many drinks, use a pitcher with no ice).
- Shake or stir, then pour into your ice-filled glass and enjoy.
Tips For Making (And Drinking) Margaritas
- It's best to use lime juice that has been freshly squeezed the day you make the skinny margs. Lime juice loses its flavor when it isn’t fresh, so don't prepare your margarita mix too far in advance.
- With cocktails this simple, quality ingredients are important. Use a top-shelf tequila and triple sec.
- Adjust the amount of tequila and sweetener to fit your taste. I prefer tart margaritas, so I use half of the agave nectar. If you prefer a sweeter drink, you might increase it. If the amount of tequila is too strong for you, decrease it a little bit. Or dilute it with a splash of soda on the top.
- These margaritas are strong. And they taste very good. So pace yourself. And alternate with water. They will knock you on your ass if you drink too many.
What If I Don't Have Agave Nectar?
Agave nectar in cocktails is great because it mixes well without any extra steps. You can use simple syrup. To make it, just simmer equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved. Cool the simple syrup completely before using it.
MAKING PITCHER MARGARITAS
Hosting a party? Start with a pitcher of margaritas. First, you'll need limes. To convert this to a pitcher recipe, just replace 'oz' with 'cups'.
- Mix 2 cups tequila, 2 cups lime juice, 1 cup agave nectar or simple syrup. One pitcher will make 8-10 drinks. Repeat as needed.
Main Types Of Tequila
Many people don’t realize how special tequila is. The alcohol doesn’t have just one flavor or style.
Here are the different tequilas and their unique qualities.
- Blanco tequila - The Spanish word for “white” is “blanco,” otherwise referred to as “silver tequila,” is clear instead of brown, like popular tequila.
- Anejo tequila – The Spanish word for “vintage” is “anejo.” The tequila is aged in oak barrels between one and four years.
- Joven tequila - The Spanish word for “young” is “joven.” The tequila is white and blended with aged tequila.
- Gold tequila is an “Abocado,” a tequila that has not rested in wood but has added color, oak natural extract, glycerin, and sugar syrup so it looks like it has.
- Reposado tequila - The Spanish word for “calm” is “reposado.” The tequila is aged in oak barrels between two months and up until a few days shy of one year.
- Cristalino tequila – The Spanish word for “crystalline” is “cristalino.” The tequila is aged and then filtered again, which removes its color. It’s a clear sipping tequila, with aged characteristics.
More Margarita Recipes You'll Love
- Blood Orange Margaritas
- Top Shelf Hatch Chile Margaritas
- Apple Cider Margaritas
- Cilantro Lemongrass Margaritas
A standard four ounce margarita on the rocks has 250 calories. Frozen margaritas have 500 calories because of their sugar content. Skinny margaritas have the lowest calories because they require less alcohol.
Vodka is a popular substitute for tequila when making margaritas. For example, a vodkarita is a margarita with vodka instead of tequila. What’s nice about vodka is how it doesn’t have a scent. Tequila has a strong aroma. People know when you’ve been drinking tequila because your breath will smell. With vodka, you won’t have that problem.
Skinny Margarita Conclusion
A skinny margarita is low in calories. If you’re on a diet and craving a margarita, try a skinny margarita. The drink also has less alcohol, which makes it easier to consume.
The margarita has a Spanish name, but it may as well be the national alcoholic drink of America.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating in the comments!Print
The BEST Skinny Margaritas
The BEST skinny margaritas are classic, delicious, refreshing, and 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!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 2 margaritas 1x
- Category: cocktails
- Method: no cook
- Cuisine: Tex-Mex
For 2 drinks:
- 2 oz silver tequila
- 2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1.5 oz Cointreau
- 0.5 oz light agave nectar (or 1 oz simple syrup), more or less to taste
- Coarse sea salt
- Lime wedges
For a pitcher (8-10 drinks):
- 2 cups silver tequila
- 2 cups freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1.5 cups Cointreau
- ½ cup light agave nectar or 1 cup simple syrup
- Use a lime wedge to wet the rims of 2 glasses and dip in salt (optional). Fill glasses with ice.
- 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 a pitcher, simply stir all of the ingredients in a pitcher (with no ice) and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- To make simple syrup, simmer equal parts sugar and water in a small saucepan until sugar is dissolved, then remove from heat and cool to room temperature. For 2 oz of simple syrup, use ¼ cup each. For pitcher recipe, use 1 cup each.
- It's best to use lime juice that has been freshly squeezed the day you are making margs. The juice looses it's flavor after sitting a while, so don't do it too far in advance.
- With cocktails this simple, quality ingredients are important. Use a good tequila and triple sec. (I usually use 1800 Silver and Cointreau).
- Adjust the amount of tequila and sweetener to fit your taste. I prefer tart margaritas, so I usually use half of the agave nectar. If you prefer a sweeter drink, you might increase it. If the amount of tequila is too strong for you, decrease it a little bit. Or dilute it with a splash of soda on the top.
- These margaritas are strong. And they taste very good. So pace yourself. (AKA, please drink responsibly.)
Keywords: skinny margaritas, the best margaritas, classic margaritas, healthy margarita recipe, margarita recipe with fresh lime juice
Big fan. Not too sweet at all, just perfect!
This is the absolute best margarita recipe ever! I’m a bit of a margarita snob and these margaritas beat any I’ve made OR HAD! Whenever we have friends over, my husband wants me to make these to share and there has never been a time where my friends haven’t said they were the best and always ask me for the recipe. I would love it if you had a strawberry margarita on the rocks recipe using fresh strawberries. I’ve searched your recipes and couldn’t find one. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this recipe. Easy and delicious!
Thank you so much for your comment - you made my day! I will work on a strawberry version! 🙂
I would love that Kaleigh - thank you!
Sara Nolen says
WOW I am so glad I found this recipe!! I absolutely hate margs that are too sweet, and this one was exactly what I was looking for. I have made this several times for friends and family, and everyone has LOVED it! Thank you!
I'm so glad you like the recipe, Sara!
Pleb Bartender says
Wtf? This is not a skinny margarita. This is how all non-dive restaurants and bars make normal margs. Skinny denotes no sugar, agave or cointreau.
Thank you for your very kind comment! If you had read the post, you'd know that I made note of such already.
I use this margarita recipe on repeat. Simple and strong.
Just how we like them! 🙂 Thanks for leaving a review, Kristina!
Do you know an estimated amount of calories one drink would have? And can you explain more regarding how the drink would differ if using agave nectar vs homemade simple syrup? Do you feel agave nectar tastes better or is healthier vs simple syrup in the drink?
Thanks! This sounds delicious!!
Hi TJ, I don't provide nutrition info for my recipes, but there are several free online calculators you can use. The taste is similar with simple syrup and agave, and it doesn't make a big difference health-wise. I just prefer agave because it's so easy (no extra step of making the simple syrup). But if you don't have agave, simple syrup is great too!
Bob Ginther says
Too much sugar for me. Costco did not have Cointreux. First batch two Diet Seven Ups, 6 oz Kirkland Anejo Tequila, Four large limes, and one good size blood orange. My wife quite happy with Mothers Day experiment. Did not use simple syrup I made for drinks. My son said he would prefer it with a little simple syrup. I wish I had more blood oranges. Only regular for next batch. The blood orange made the drink pink. Hatch chili one looks interesting
Suzanne Frankenfeld says
We loved your skinny margaritas!! I do have a question, though, how is your recipe skinny? When i looked at the sugar in agave, it was more that simple syrup.
I’m so glad you liked them! They aren’t actually ‘skinny’, but that is the term most restaurants now use to describe margaritas made this way (lime juice and agave nectar instead of a mix), so that’s what I called them!
Candice @ Whole Health Hacks says
Love this! I skipped the margs on Cinco de Mayo this year but this recipe has me thinking I need one asap 🙂
Kaleigh M says
Thanks, Candice! I hope you love it! 🙂