Skinny Margarita

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano
5 from 1 vote

If you want to make a lighter cocktail, this Skinny Margarita recipe has you covered! With just a few simple ingredients, this drink is as easy to make as it is delicious.

Skinny Margarita Recipe

Sip on this Skinny Margarita recipe to beat the heat! Made with tequila, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar, this lighter cocktail is a guilt-free way to enjoy your summer.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

156 kl

Ingredients

  • oz Tequila
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • ½ oz agave nectar
  • ½ oz orange juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime wheel or wedge, for garnish, optional
  • Salt, for rimming the glass, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Old Fashioned Glass or Margarita Glass
  • Lime Squeezer

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill your glass with ice cubes.
  • Add Agave Nectar: Measure and pour ½ oz agave nectar into the shaker.
  • Add Orange juice: Pour ½ oz orange juice into the shaker.
  • Add Lime Juice: Squeeze some limes to get 1 oz fresh lime juice and add it to the shaker.
  • Add Tequila: Pour 1½ oz Tequila into the cocktail shaker.
  • Shake Well: Cap the shaker and shake vigorously for about 15-20 seconds.
  • Prep Glass: If you like a salted rim, empty your old fashioned, run a lime wedge around the rim of your glass and dip it into salt.
  • Strain and Serve: Strain the mixture into your prepared glass.
  • Garnish: Place a lime wheel or wedge into the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Tequila: If you're out of tequila, you can use mezcal for a smokier flavor. I've also used vodka, but it does change the drink's character.
  • Lime Juice: I've used bottled lime juice in a pinch, but fresh is always best. Lemon juice can also work, but expect a different citrus profile.
  • Agave Nectar: Honey or simple syrup can replace agave nectar. Honey adds a floral note, while simple syrup is more neutral.

Making a Pitcher of Skinny Margarita:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 12 oz of tequila, 8 oz of lime juice, 4 oz of orange juice and 4 oz of agave nectar.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the tequila, lime juice, and agave nectar. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into ice-filled glasses, garnish with a lime wheel or wedge, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Tequila Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic tequila substitute or coconut water for a tropical twist.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes and follow the original steps to enjoy a non-alcoholic Skinny Margarita.

Making it Vegan:

  • Agave Nectar: Good news! The original recipe is vegan, using agave nectar instead of honey or other animal-derived sweeteners. Just ensure your tequila is vegan-friendly, as some brands use animal products in filtration.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
156
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.1
g
0
%
Sodium
 
2
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
15
g
5
%
Fiber
 
0.2
g
1
%
Sugar
 
11
g
12
%
Potassium
 
63
mg
2
%
Protein
 
0.2
g
0
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.02
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
0.01
g
Vitamin A
 
43
IU
1
%
Vitamin C
 
18
mg
22
%
Calcium
 
6
mg
1
%
Iron
 
0.1
mg
1
%

 

Skinny Margarita Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
5 from 1 vote
Jump to Video
Sip on this Skinny Margarita recipe to beat the heat! Made with tequila, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar, this lighter cocktail is a guilt-free way to enjoy your summer.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 156

Ingredients
 

  • oz Tequila
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • ½ oz agave nectar
  • ½ oz orange juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime wheel or wedge - for garnish, optional
  • Salt - for rimming the glass, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Old Fashioned Glass or Margarita Glass
  • Lime Squeezer

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill your glass with ice cubes.
  • Add Agave Nectar: Measure and pour ½ oz agave nectar into the shaker.
  • Add Orange juice: Pour ½ oz orange juice into the shaker.
  • Add Lime Juice: Squeeze some limes to get 1 oz fresh lime juice and add it to the shaker.
  • Add Tequila: Pour 1½ oz Tequila into the cocktail shaker.
  • Shake Well: Cap the shaker and shake vigorously for about 15-20 seconds.
  • Prep Glass: If you like a salted rim, empty your old fashioned, run a lime wedge around the rim of your glass and dip it into salt.
  • Strain and Serve: Strain the mixture into your prepared glass.
  • Garnish: Place a lime wheel or wedge into the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Tequila: If you're out of tequila, you can use mezcal for a smokier flavor. I've also used vodka, but it does change the drink's character.
  • Lime Juice: I've used bottled lime juice in a pinch, but fresh is always best. Lemon juice can also work, but expect a different citrus profile.
  • Agave Nectar: Honey or simple syrup can replace agave nectar. Honey adds a floral note, while simple syrup is more neutral.

Making a Pitcher of Skinny Margarita:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 12 oz of tequila, 8 oz of lime juice, 4 oz of orange juice and 4 oz of agave nectar.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the tequila, lime juice, and agave nectar. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into ice-filled glasses, garnish with a lime wheel or wedge, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Tequila Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic tequila substitute or coconut water for a tropical twist.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes and follow the original steps to enjoy a non-alcoholic Skinny Margarita.

Making it Vegan:

  • Agave Nectar: Good news! The original recipe is vegan, using agave nectar instead of honey or other animal-derived sweeteners. Just ensure your tequila is vegan-friendly, as some brands use animal products in filtration.

What is a Skinny Margarita?

A Skinny Margarita is a lighter version of the classic Margarita cocktail, known for its reduced calorie count. It swaps out high-sugar mixers for simple, natural ingredients like fresh lime juice and agave nectar. The drink maintains the essence of the traditional Margarita while offering a guilt-free option.

A side shot of a Skinny Margarita cocktail in an old fashioned glass on a coaster placed on a wooden table with a white cloth under the coaster and a lime wedge on one side

Skinny Margarita – The Ingredients

For mixing a Skinny Margarita, procure the following ingredients:

  • Tequila: Provides the base spirit and kick to the cocktail.
  • Fresh Lime Juice: Adds natural citrus flavor and acidity.
  • Orange juice: Adds freshness and aroma to the drink.
  • Agave Nectar: Sweetens the drink without adding processed sugars.
  • Ice Cubes: Chills the cocktail for a refreshing experience.
  • Lime Wheel or Wedge: Serves as a garnish and adds a touch of visual appeal.
  • Salt: Optional for rimming the glass; enhances the overall flavor profile.

Lime juice, orange juice, Tequila, agave nectar, an orange and a lime laid out on a white bar table

How do you make a Skinny Margarita?

Navigate the making of a Skinny Margarita with our detailed step-by-step guide:

1
<p>Fill your chosen glass with ice cubes to prepare it for the cocktail.</p>

Fill your chosen glass with ice cubes to prepare it for the cocktail.

2
<p>Measure and pour ½ oz of agave nectar into the cocktail shaker.</p>

Measure and pour ½ oz of agave nectar into the cocktail shaker.

3
<p>Add ½ oz of orange juice to the mix.</p>

Add ½ oz of orange juice to the mix.

4
<p>Add 1 oz of lime juice into the shaker.</p>

Add 1 oz of lime juice into the shaker.

5
<p>Pour 1½ oz of tequila into the shaker.</p>

Pour 1½ oz of tequila into the shaker.

6
<p>Fill the shaker with ice cubes.</p>

Fill the shaker with ice cubes.

7
<p>Cap the shaker and shake it vigorously for 15 to 20 seconds.</p>

Cap the shaker and shake it vigorously for 15 to 20 seconds.

8
<p>If you prefer a salted rim, empty your chosen glass, run a lime wedge around the rim, and then, dip the wet rim into salt.</p>

If you prefer a salted rim, empty your chosen glass, run a lime wedge around the rim, and then, dip the wet rim into salt.

9
<p>Fill the glass with fresh ice cubes, uncap the shaker and strain the liquid into your prepared glass over the fresh ice.</p>

Fill the glass with fresh ice cubes, uncap the shaker and strain the liquid into your prepared glass over the fresh ice.

10
<p>Garnish the drink by placing a lime wheel or wedge into the glass.</p>

Garnish the drink by placing a lime wheel or wedge into the glass.

What is the difference between a Regular Margarita and a Skinny Margarita?

A Margarita traditionally uses a combination of tequila, lime juice, and Cointreau or triple sec, often with added sugar or simple syrup. On the other hand, a Skinny Margarita opts for agave nectar instead of high-sugar mixers or syrups. This substitution makes the Skinny Margarita a lower-calorie option. While both drinks use lime juice, the Skinny Margarita emphasizes fresh lime juice over pre-made mixes to keep sugar content low. Both drinks can be served in similar glassware and with similar garnishes, but the Skinny Margarita aims to offer a guilt-free experience without sacrificing flavor.

Premixed Skinny Margarita

Grabbing a pre-mixed Skinny Margarita can be a convenient option if you need more time or ingredients. Brands like Skinnygirl offer a ready-to-drink version that stays true to the low-calorie, low-sugar ethos of a homemade Skinny Margarita. Another solid pick is Cutwater Spirits, which offers a canned Skinny Margarita made with real tequila and natural flavors. It’s a bit more tart but still hits the spot. However, if I had to pick a favorite, I’d go with Williams Sonoma’s Skinny Margarita mix. Just add tequila, and you’re good to go. It’s made with organic agave nectar and real lime juice, giving you a close-to-homemade taste without the fuss of squeezing limes and measuring sweeteners.

A Skinny Margarita cocktail, shot from above, in an old fashioned glass on a white marmol table surrounded by lime juice, orange juice, Tequila, agave nectar, an orange and a lime

Variations

Seeking distinctive and unique twists? We’ve got several that we adore:

  • Spicy Jalapeño: This brings a bold heat by infusing tequila with sliced jalapeños, perfect for those who enjoy a fiery touch with their sweetness. The jalapeños provide an exciting zing that I find invigorating; it’s a thrilling jolt to the senses.
  • Cucumber Mint: This melds muddled cucumber and fresh mint leaves for a cool, herbal refreshment, ideally suited for warm days. The cucumber offers a crisp, clean taste while the mint introduces a soothing freshness. I love how it feels like a revitalizing escape in a glass.
  • Strawberry Basil: This combines muddled strawberries and basil leaves, creating a fruity and aromatic indulgence. The strawberries give a juicy sweetness, and the basil adds a surprising twist. The combination of sweet and aromatic in this one is particularly enticing to me.
  • Coconut Lime: This replaces lime juice with coconut water for a tropical twist while maintaining a light profile. The coconut water introduces a sweet, nutty flavor that is both exotic and refreshing.
  • Blood Orange: This is made with blood orange juice, giving a rich color and a sweeter, more robust citrus flavor. The deeper hue and richer taste make it visually and flavorfully appealing.
  • Pineapple Sage: This pairs pineapple juice with sage leaves, striking a balance between sweet and earthy tones. The pineapple provides a tropical sweetness, and the sage adds an earthy, intriguing note.
  • Blackberry Thyme: This incorporates muddled blackberries and thyme, blending tartness with a subtle earthy flavor. The blackberries offer a tangy bite, and the thyme brings an unexpected, savory twist.
  • Grapefruit Rosemary: This uses grapefruit juice and a sprig of rosemary, creating a tangy and aromatic experience. The grapefruit’s bitterness and the rosemary’s woodsy aroma form a unique and satisfying combination.
  • Mango Chili: This combines mango puree with a hint of chili powder, offering a sweet heat. The mango is lush and sweet, while the chili powder adds a gentle warmth. I’m particularly drawn to the sweet-spicy interplay here; it’s both comforting and exhilarating.
  • Pomegranate Ginger: This features pomegranate juice and a touch of ginger, making for a tart and spicy mix. The pomegranate offers a tangy sharpness, and the ginger contributes a warming kick.
  • Lavender Lemon: This swaps lime juice for lemon and adds lavender syrup, resulting in a floral and zesty fusion. The lavender’s floral notes and the lemon’s tartness create a calming yet invigorating blend.
  • Kiwi Mint: This includes muddled kiwi and mint, offering a tangy and refreshing taste. The kiwi adds a tropical flavor, and the mint keeps it cool and fresh.
  • Watermelon Mint: This uses watermelon juice and mint leaves, creating a hydrating and refreshing choice. The watermelon provides natural sweetness, reducing the need for added sugars.
  • Blueberry Lemon: This features blueberry puree and lemon juice, giving a tart and fruity alternative. The blueberries bring a sweet-tart flavor, and the lemon brightens the overall taste.
  • Peach Vanilla: This combines peach puree with a hint of vanilla extract, making for a sweet and aromatic concoction. The vanilla’s subtle complexity wonderfully complements the peach’s natural sweetness. I adore the smooth, fragrant quality of this mix; it’s like a summery dessert in a glass.

A side shot of a Skinny Margarita cocktail in an old fashioned glass on a coaster placed on a wooden table with a white cloth under the coaster and a lime wedge on one side

History and Origins

The Skinny Margarita became a lighter alternative to the classic Margarita, which traditionally includes tequila, lime juice, and Cointreau or triple sec, often with added sugar or simple syrup. The quest for a lower-calorie, lower-sugar option led to the creation of the Skinny Margarita. This version replaces high-sugar mixers and syrups with natural sweeteners like agave nectar and uses orange juice instead of orange liqueur.

Bethenny Frankel, a reality TV star and entrepreneur, often receives credit for popularizing the Skinny Margarita. She introduced it as part of her “Skinnygirl” brand, focusing on lower-calorie food and drink options. Since then, the Skinny Margarita has become a staple on cocktail menus, especially in health-conscious circles and among those looking to enjoy a cocktail without the guilt of extra calories.

While the classic Margarita has roots in Mexican culture, the Skinny Margarita is more of an American innovation, reflecting the country’s growing health and wellness trends.

A Skinny Margarita cocktail, shot from above, in an old fashioned glass on a coaster placed on a wooden table with a white cloth under the coaster and a lime wedge on one side.

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FAQ

How many calories are in a Skinny Margarita?
A typical Skinny Margarita contains around 150 calories, depending on the specific ingredients used.
How strong is a Skinny Margarita?
The strength of a Skinny Margarita usually hovers around 20-25% ABV (Alcohol by Volume), or 40-50 proof, primarily determined by the tequila used.
What type of alcohol is used in a Skinny Margarita?
Tequila is the primary alcohol used in a Skinny Margarita.
In which glass is a Skinny Margarita typically served?
A Skinny Margarita is usually served in an Old Fashioned or Margarita glass.
What does a Skinny Margarita taste like?
The Skinny Margarita offers a balanced flavor profile, combining the sweetness of agave nectar with the tartness of fresh lime juice, all grounded by the kick of tequila.
What is the ratio of ingredients in a Skinny Margarita?
The typical ratio is 3 parts tequila to 2 parts lime juice to 1 part agave nectar and orange juice.
How is a Skinny Margarita served in terms of ice?
A Skinny Margarita is usually served over ice or "on the rocks".

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