Looking For A Healthy Alternative to the Margarita?
Look no further! In this blog, we will be going over some of the most mouthwatering and delicious margarita alternative tequila cocktails you won’t want to miss out on.
We should all be concerned about our health, but that shouldn’t stop us from indulging in our favorite classic tequila cocktail, especially if there is a healthier version.
Though we always advocate for moderation, we see no reason why a fruit-based tequila cocktail can’t also include additional ingredients that make you feel good and alive.
Are margarita’s healthy?
With summer at our doorstep, margaritas are perfect for cooling down with friends while relaxing on the beach or by your backyard pool. Unfortunately, margarites often have many empty calories, which can lead to weight gain. Some margaritas contain up to 300 grams of sugar! This has been proven to cause serious health problems such as diabetes and obesity.
A classic margarita is traditionally made with three ingredients – tequila, fresh lime juice, orange liqueur, then add ice and shake together in a cocktail shaker to combine the ingredients.
Then it’s strained into a salt-rimmed glass or blended over ice before serving. Margaritas can be served straight up or on the rocks by themselves and mixed with various fruit juices like pineapple, watermelon, strawberry, or mango to create many flavor variations.
If we look at the health value of the base ingredients in the margarita, we can see that they are all relatively healthy.
The margarita uses lime juice, a good source of vitamin C and B vitamins like thiamin and niacin. The orange liqueur also adds more Vitamin C.
A salt rim can be good for your health since salt is an essential nutrient for the human body to function.
Tequila, when you drink in moderation, is also one of the healthier choices of spirit. It is low in calories and has no carbohydrates or sugar.
As you can see, the classic margarita is easy to make and could be considered relatively healthy for tequila cocktails. Still, there are many ways one could create a healthier alternative.
Time to make margarita tequila cocktails healthier.
Now we will look at some ingredients you can add to your classic margarita tequila cocktails to create a healthier alternative.
Agave nectar is a naturally sweet syrup made from blue agave, which is used to make tequila. It’s sweeter than honey and contains no fat, sugar, or calories. Making margaritas with this sweet syrup is an excellent alternative to margarita mixes often loaded with artificial sugars.
According to WebMD, the health benefits of agave nectar include:
- Helps your metabolism. Vitamin B6 is in agave. It helps your body break down food. It is especially good at breaking down proteins and carbohydrates.
- It may help with depression. A new study found that people who have a higher level of Vitamin K in their bodies are less likely to be depressed. The study also found that folate, which is also in agave syrup, can help ease symptoms of depression.
- Good for the heart. Vitamin B6 also keeps homocysteine levels low, which is good because it protects you from heart disease and stroke.
The margaritas made from agave nectar are surprisingly delicious, tangy, refreshing, and a great alternative to margarita mixes! Also, try using it as a healthier alternative to simple syrup to add a little sweet flavor to your next margarita.
Fresh Lime Juice Wedge
Citrus fruits like limes have loads of vitamin C, which can help protect against colds. A freshly squeezed lime wedge will always be far superior to its bottled counterpart in taste and nutritional value.
Fresh Mint Leaves
Mint leaves provide a refreshing flavor and offer some health benefits, including easing indigestion and helping control blood pressure.
Fresh mint can be used in your cocktail as a garnish to give it that finishing aesthetic appeal or muddled in the cup to lend your cocktail a much mintier flavor.
Freshly Squeezed fruit juices
Freshly squeezed fruit juices can be healthier than margarita mixes as they contain none of the high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners that many canned or processed fruits may have added to them.
There are also many nutrients that fresh-squeezed fruits can add, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Make sure whatever juice you use is fresh-squeezed – not from concentrate; this ensures that all vitamins are preserved!
A margarita made with fresh-squeezed orange juice has a whopping 101% of your daily value of vitamin C. In comparison, the average margarita mix has no vitamin C at all.
Those who are calorie conscious will be happy to know that most fruit juices contain significantly fewer calories per ounce than many margaritas mixes do. For example, cranberry juice and grapefruit juice both fall under 15 cal/ounce, while margarita mixes may range from 25-60 cal/ounce depending on what’s in them.
In addition, margarita recipes that use fresh-squeezed orange juice usually include limes and salt, which provide more than their fair share of natural minerals such as calcium, potassium, copper, magnesium, in addition to being good sources of vitamin C.
What is the difference between a skinny margarita and a regular margarita?
The main difference between a skinny margarita and a regular margarita is the number of calories. Remember, the calorie content of margaritas varies from 25-60 cal/ounce depending on what’s in them.
Well, if you’re trying to watch your weight or simply want to cut back on a few excess indulgencesmaking each week, margaritas can present an issue as they vary substantially in caloric content.
The good news is there is a way around this – make yourself a skinny margarita. To make this slimmed-down version of the margarita is quite simple. All you need to create this delicious drink is four ingredients.
Wrangle up some fresh lime juice, orange juice to be used in place of higher-calorie triple sec, silver tequila, and agave syrup.
If you like your tequila cocktails to be more sweet, go heavier on the sweetener. If you prefer sour and tart tequila cocktails, then mix with a higher ratio of lime juice.
Combine your ingredients in a shaker, add ice, shake it up, and pour it into a chilled glass with a salt rim for the perfect refreshing summer drink.
Or mix it up in a blender with ice to make it frozen to cool you off on a hot summer day. It is one of the best tequila cocktails for health-conscious tequila lovers and calorie counters.
You can create this classic skinny margarita with many other ingredients to make this drink suit your taste for those of you who enjoy mixing it up and experimenting with different tequila recipes and flavors.
Try adding a few slices of muddled jalapeno for a spicy kick. If you like the Paloma cocktail, then add grapefruit juice or grapefruit soda. To make it fizz, you might add some club soda to the recipe.
Ditch the pre-mix!
The best thing you can do to make your margarita healthy is not an ingredient that you can add, but instead, you take away, and that is premade margarita mixes. Premade margarita mixes are full of unnecessary sugar, and with margaritas being a sweet drink anyway, the last thing you want to do is add more sugar.
Pre-made mixes are also unhealthy because they are loaded with unhealthy ingredients, such as high-fructose corn sweetener sweeteners linked to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
If you’re looking for something healthy, the best alternative for a margarita would be fresh lime juice or limes and pure cane sugar (to sweeten).
An Old Fashioned is an excellent choice if you want a healthier tequila cocktail.
An Old Fashioned is made with bourbon, sugar, and bitters.
The margarita is a cocktail made from tequila, triple sec, or other orange liqueur such as Cointreau, lime juice, and ice. It’s often served in a salt-rimmed glass or margarita glass.
You can use this cocktail to make any type of sour – like an apple martini (apple cider + vodka) or champagne (champagne + prosecco).
The only difference is that you use less liquid since their flavoring agent already sweetens these drinks: fruit juices/cider+vodka; sparkling wines+seco wine, and more.
If you want to make it healthier, you can substitute sugar for spirulina, stevia, or your favorite alternative.
You can make a Tequila Sunrise healthy with this recipe.
Our tequila sunrise consists of a few ingredients:
- silver tequila
- orange juice
- pink grapefruit juice
- salt-rimmed glass
- lime wedge (optional)
- Honey, simple syrup, or margarita mix for sweetener
- raw, local honey to taste
- water if need be to thin out the consistency a little bit.
P.S. we love using Lakewood Organic Pure Orange Juice and Santa Cruz Pure Lime Juice (if you can’t get freshly squeezed limes).
We hope you try to make this delicious Tequila Sunrise recipe!
Want to spice it up?
You can also add other herbs and spices like ginger, peppermint, or cinnamon extract, which mimic flavors in margaritas.
It is best practice to use raw organic ingredients when you make your mixes, but it’s unnecessary for this recipe.
One tablespoon of sugar is about equal to one teaspoon of honey. Hence, if you want a sweeter margarita without adding more sweetness from something artificial, then just substitute some of the honey for sugar.
Have fun with it!
You can also experiment with different juices such as grapefruit juice, orange, or lemon and add a bit of lime juice if you want to make it more margarita-like. Sometimes, we add simple syrup or 2 ounces of club soda if we want something a little more sweet or a fizzy cocktail!
If you’re looking for healthy tequila cocktails that don’t taste like they are from a health food store, then this is the perfect recipe!
A Masterclass for the Soul
We connected with Beverage Director for The Madera Group Global in Los Angeles, Charity Jonhston, who wanted to put together a Masterclass for her friends to educate the group on making tequila drinks with a healthier appeal.
Charity, a native of Los Angeles, has been instrumental in the rise of tequila and mezcal in the Southland.
She leaves a mark wherever you can find her cocktails, most recently, even to-go. The agave-based recipes she created were filled with flavor and displayed meticulous presentation.
What About Spirulina – 5 great benefits!
Charity has always believed that any opportunity to drink is also an opportunity to introduce health benefits and tips to the consumer. For this recipe, she introduced Spirulina used as a binding agent and for its excellent health benefits. Why?
- Spirulina adds often needed balance from its briny notes, similar to a saline solution.
- It is particularly rich in minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium;
- It is a complete protein and a source of healthy fats.
- The blue-green algae’s color comes from chlorophyll, a detoxifier found in all green plants.
- The blue comes from phycocyanin, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant that is also known to increase the growth of stem cells.
Spirulina is no stranger to cocktail recipes, and it’s a commonly used ingredient among juicers and has been for ages. Be sure to watch for quality when purchasing as there are many brands of Spirulina out there, but not all Spirulina should be created equally!
Relying on The Senses to Get it Right Every Time
If you’re making 10-15 drinks per hour, you probably shouldn’t have a taste of every single one. You must rely on tact and visual cues instead, which takes a lot of practice. Such as ice pebbles becoming less noticeable while dilution accelerates without chilling further. Sound can even tell you when a drink is ready.
“I can almost hear it when dilution needs to stop.” – Charity Johnston – Beverage Director.
Tools of the Trade
A muddler, a cocktail shaker, tongs, and a jigger. Are all these things really necessary? Maybe not, but having the right tools will help with the efficiency and consistency of flavors. When prepared with the right tools, the outcome should be easier to attain.
Some of these tools require practice and have their share of quirks. Bartenders develop a sense of comfort with these tools, often learning when and how to demand more from each instrument.
What makes a good cook, bartender or craftswoman, is an obsession with detail and a deep connection to the senses. Charity is continuously looking for innovative barware that can help her staff replicate her recipes every time, with minimal variability.
Off Script: A choice for Cucumber, Reposado Tequila, and Amaro
In movies, often, actors go off-script to produce the best results. Think of drink recipes as a script. Most people think clear tequila is a requirement for a margarita, but we also love Reposado as it can provide an extra layer of depth to a simple drink recipe.
Charity loves working with Casa Mexico Tequila from the highlands of Jalisco. American oak aging adds depth to Casa Mexico Tequila, making for the best margaritas!
Cucumbers tend to be earthy, refreshing, and delicious with highland tequila. Tequila from Los Altos benefits from a richer soil and a green-grass exuberance, and in the Tequila Valley yields more earthy and floral sensations.
This recipe also opens up the possibility to include an Amaro (a type of fortified wine) to the drink instead of commonly used Triple Sec or other orange liqueurs. Amaro, meaning bitter, makes the cocktail a little more refreshing and earthy.
Fun Fact: Amaro was once used for medicinal purposes.
Thirsty yet? Here is the recipe for one if you’re just in the mood for a quick and refreshing drink.
The Spirulina Margarita
Yield Makes two servings
- 4 oz. Casa Mexico Silver Tequila
- 1 ounce agave syrup
- 1.5- 2 ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice (for reference, one lime will yield 1 ounce)
- 1 ounce Amaro
- 0.5 ounces Spirulina
- 1/4 cup chopped cucumber
- Add cucumber to the shaker and muddle.
- Fill shaker with ice and the rest of the ingredients, and shake until thoroughly chilled, about 15 seconds (the bottom of a metal shaker should frost over).
- Fill two highball glasses with fresh ice and strain margarita into both glasses. Garnish with sun-dried, gold-dusted lime wedges (or lime juice) if desired and serve.
- Use Spirulina for additional health benefits.
- Fresh Limes generally yield 1 ounce per lime.
- Choosing fresh and organic is always better.
- A Blanco Tequila lets you know how great the distiller is because there are no oak flavors or aging to hide behind. Instead, it’s just the flavor of agave, freshly distilled.
- Reposado and silver tequila are perfect for margaritas and other mixed drinks, as the slight amount of aging rounds and softens the flavor.
What can I use instead of Triple Sec for margaritas?
There are a few alternatives to Triple Sec that you can use for your margarita. A few includes:
Cointreau is a golden color that makes margaritas taste sweeter. Also, Cointreau contains the highest amount of alcohol- 35% per bottle.
Grand Marnier offers a rich and delicate orange flavor to margaritas with its signature French liqueur, which tastes like oranges and vanilla. It also has an extremely high alcohol content- 34%. **
Combining One Part Orange Juice With Two Parts Triple Sec or Cointreau Is A Great Substitute For Margarita Mixers. With these substitutions, your margaritas will be lower in calories as well!
Just like in a skinny margarita, orange juice is a low-calorie alternative for Triple Sec.
What can I order instead of a margarita?
If you’re looking to order a cocktail out at dinner or a party, you might be wondering what you can order instead of a margarita if you are health conscious. Luckily, margaritas are one of the easiest cocktails to substitute.
A few margarita substitutes can be made with items on hand in nearly any home or restaurant.
For example, instead of tequila, you could use vodka; instead of Triple Sec, you could add some orange juice and grenadine; finally, for lime wedges, you might want to garnish with lemon slices. If your alternative margarita doesn’t taste as good as a traditional margarita, then try adding more ingredients until it tastes better!
Suppose you’re looking for a healthier drink that has tequila instead of a margarita. In that case, a few options are the Paloma, a margarita with Pomegranate, or a margarita made with grapefruit juice.
Not feeling creative? You can’t go wrong with tequila/lime juice!
You can leave out the margarita mix for this recipe! If you don’t have that many ingredients at home or you want the absolute “healthiest” option to drink tequila, taking a shot of tequila with a lime wedge is the most surefire way to go.
All you have to do is pour a shot or 1.5 ounces of tequila in a glass with ice and squeeze half of the fresh lime and voila! Not much of a recipe, is it? If you get tired of taking tequila shots, add 2 ounces of club soda or simple syrup into a small glass to give it more depth. If you need a simple syrup alternative, we recommend agave nectar.
We hope you’re ready to make your healthy margarita or cocktail!
In this post, we’ve explored some of the reasons why tequila is one of the healthiest spirits around. We’ve also shown you how to make a fun, delicious, and healthy margarita, as well as other cocktails with ingredients that are easy to find at your local grocery store! If you’re ready to try our tequila, head over to our store.