Sugar-Free Margarita

Total Time 10 min
Prep 10 min, Cook 0 min
Yield 1 Margarita (169 calories)

This sugar-free margarita cocktail recipe is made with tequila, lime juice, and orange extract instead of the traditional Triple Sec or Cointreau orange liqueurs which have high concentrations of sugar. You can add a small amount of agave syrup should you wish, but note that the recipe will no longer be sugar-free. Try tasting your cocktail before adding agave syrup; you may not miss the extra sweetness!

Margaritas can be served straight up, on the rocks, or blended into a slushy consistency with crushed ice for a frozen margarita. You can coat the glass rim with coarse salt, if you prefer, and garnish with a lime wedge.

Ingredients

  • 1 jigger (1 1/2 ounces) tequila
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange extract
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon agave syrup
  • Ice
  • Optional: Margarita salt or kosher salt
  • Optional: Lime wedge for garnish

Preparation

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine tequila, lime juice, water, orange extract, agave syrup, if using, and a small handful of ice. Shake until well blended. Alternatively, you can mix ingredients in a blender until slushy.
  2. If desired, wet the rim of a margarita or martini glass with lime juice or plain water and dip it into a small plate of margarita or kosher salt.
  3. Pour mixture from shaker into glass, either over ice or straight up. If blended, pour straight into glass.

    A Note About Agave

    Although agave syrup has become a popular alternative to sugar, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing it as a substitute. In terms of calories, per tablespoon sugar has 40 calories whereas agave syrup has 60 calories. However, agave syrup is much sweeter than sugar so you don't need to use as much. Agave syrup is high in fructose but low on the glycemic index, making it a better choice than sugar for those people with diabetes (although there is not a lot of research to back this up).

    Another natural sweetener to consider is stevia—it comes in both granulated and liquid form. Stevia is very sweet but practically calorie-free. The taste can differ from brand to brand so you may want to try a few to find the stevia that you prefer. Studies have shown that it can lower blood pressure and lower blood sugar levels. 

    Reduced-Sugar Cocktail Recipes

    Just because you are trying to cut back on the sugar doesn't mean you have to cut back on the cocktails!

    There are some simple ways to turn your favorite drinks into a sugar-free delight, like a cosmopolitan cocktail or whiskey sour. Or try this take on a Pimm's Cup which is made with vodka, lemon juice, agave syrup, and fresh cucumber.

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