A skinny margarita is a lightened-up version of the popular cocktail. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) FoodData Central, 1.5 fluid ounces of 80 proof distilled liquor contains 97 calories. Adding all the other ingredients makes it worse for your diet.
What is A Skinny Margarita?
A skinny margarita is a spin on the traditional version. Several variations exist, but they all aim to be "healthier" in that they don't have as many calories or as much sugar. If you're looking for a keto margarita, skinny margaritas are the ideal choice.
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According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), a traditional lime-flavored margarita is made with 1 fluid ounce of an orange liqueur, 1.5 fluid ounces of tequila and ½ fluid ounce of lime juice. A calorie calculator from NIAAA indicates that a 4-ounce margarita contains 168 calories.
In a skinny margarita, tequila remains the star of the drink, but that's where the similarities end. According to National Public Radio (NPR), many recipes use agave syrup because it is a natural sugar substitute made from the juice of the agave plant. It has a low glycemic index and is sweeter than sugar, so you don't need as much for your drink.
Some variations skip agave syrup and opt for a simple syrup made with water and a no-calorie sweetener such as stevia or Splenda. Some use orange juice in place of the orange liqueur. You may even find recipes that don't use orange at all. They may even skip the citrus juices in favor of fresh lime and orange. A keto margarita does not use agave nectar.
Skinny Margarita Nutrition Facts
Skinny margarita nutrition facts vary based on how you choose to make the drink. Using agave syrup will add more calories and carbs compared to using a calorie-free sweetener. Using orange juice will add more calories than adding orange zest. The carbs in a margarita will also vary based on whether you make your own mix with fresh juice or buy a pre-made product.
The USDA indicates there are 274 calories in an 8-ounce margarita on the rocks, with 36 grams of carbohydrates and 36 grams of sugar. According to the American Heart Association, women shouldn't consume more than 6 teaspoons of sugar a day, and men shouldn't consume more than 9 teaspoons. A single margarita has about 7 teaspoons of sugar. All the carbs in a margarita come from sugar.
According to the USDA, a skinny margarita made with club soda or seltzer, lime juice, orange zest, stevia and 1.5 fluid ounces of tequila will come to about 126 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrates. This recipe cuts both the calories and carbs in a margarita in half.
Ordering a Skinny Margarita
If you are watching your waistline, or just don't want to drink too many calories, you can order a skinny margarita or a keto margarita from just about any bar in town. If there isn't already one on the menu, ask for tequila and club soda with a splash of orange juice or triple sec and extra lime wedges. Make sure they skip the agave syrup and sweet and sour mix, as these are loaded with sugar.
If you want to make your own skinny margaritas at home, you can buy a pre-made margarita mix that has everything you need except the tequila. If you do this, however, make sure you pay close attention to the product label. Look for options that are low in carbs or sugar-free to ensure you're getting the best possible skinny margarita. Blend it with ice to make a frozen version, or serve over ice if you prefer your margarita on the rocks.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture FoodData Central: "Tequila"
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: "Cocktail Content Calculator"
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: "Alcohol Calorie Calculator"
- National Public Radio: "A Toast to Fresh, Festive Cocktails"
- U.S. Department of Agriculture FoodData Central: "Margarita"
- American Heart Association: "Added Sugars"
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: "Total Nutrients in Alcoholic Beverage Distilled, All, (80 Proof), Sweetener from Stevia Leaf, Lime Juice and Club Soda"