Real Food Margarita Recipe (With Delicious Low-Sugar Variations)

how to make a healthy margarita

Just holding a glass of margarita instantly transports me to long summer days by the beach. We can of course debate whether alcohol is a healthy choice at all, but my bigger concern is that mixed drinks often hide a mountain of added sugar! This reinvention of the classic margarita recipe skips the sugary pre-made mixes and focuses on flavors from fresh lime juice and even whole fruits.

Whether you’re celebrating Cinco de Mayo or just sipping a summer cocktail with your feet in the kiddie pool, this real food margarita recipe (virgin or otherwise) tastes so much better than a pre-made mix and is better for you.

A Simple Margarita Recipe for Summer

Pre-made margarita mixes are usually a hodgepodge of sugars, dyes, and other additives. (Just look at the shocking electric green color for proof.) In fact, the base usually contains bloat-inducing corn syrup, with no real fruit to be found!

The flavors of a classic margarita are just about as simple as it gets: lime and tequila. The other two variations below build on the classic margarita by adding fresh fruit like pineapple, strawberries, and grapefruit.

Tip: Before juicing, roll your limes on the counter with just a bit of pressure to encourage the juices to flow. Then, slice them in half and pop them into a hand juicer.

Which Tequila to Use

When it comes to choosing your tequila, keep it pure. Pure agave tequila is made entirely from agave without dyes or other additives. A big bonus—no grains are involved in the process, making it friendly for grain-free diets. Look for a label touting “100% agave.” This version of tequila is free of carbs, low in calories, and full of flavor.

The classic margarita here features regular dark tequila, while the other two fruity margaritas feature tequila blanco, which is clear. You can swap these out depending on your preference.

Natural Sweeteners

Even most fresh-made margarita recipes include a bit of refined sugar. If you’re craving that extra kick of sweet, try a bit of agave syrup or nectar as your simple syrup. It’s a natural alternative to refined sugar. The natural agave flavor works perfectly with the pure agave tequila. Just one teaspoon will go a long way.

If you’re really trying to stay low sugar, a drop or two of your favorite natural sugar alternative will also do the trick. I use liquid stevia.

Virgin Variations

If alcohol isn’t part of your diet plan or you want to make the kids a fun “mocktail,” these frozen treats can still be a fun poolside option. Simply skip the tequila for a splash of apple cider vinegar to keep that acidic punch.

Frozen or on the Rocks?

Blenders don’t only make smoothies in this house! I’m a sucker for a frozen margarita, as you’ll notice in the recipes below. If you’re more of an on-the-rocks person, you can easily adapt these recipes.

For the classic, simply shake the tequila and lime juice in a shaker with the ice rather than blending. For the fruity margaritas, juice the fruit first and then shake it with tequila, lime juice, and ice.

No matter your preference, make serve any of these margarita recipes with a platter of low-carb fish tacos and you’re all set for a guilt-free summer get together.

how to make a healthy margarita
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Classic Margarita Recipe

A reinvention of the classic margarita recipe with low-sugar options and only fresh real food ingredients
Course Beverage
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 serving
Calories 39kcal
Author Katie Wells

Ingredients

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Or, leave out the ice and serve over ice cubes for a margarita on the rocks.
  • Spread the salt out in a shallow bowl. Wet the rim of your serving glass and gently press it into the salt.
  • Pour your margarita into the glass. Garnish with a lime wedge and enjoy!

Notes

  • Skip the tequila and add a splash of apple cider vinegar for a tasty mocktail version. Want more healthy mocktail ideas? This is a great round-up.
  • See the variations below for a pineapple or strawberry version!

Nutrition

Calories: 39kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Potassium: 33mg | Vitamin C: 10.3%

Healthy Margarita Variations

If you’re not a fan of the traditional lime flavored margarita, these recipe variations might be more to your liking!

Pineapple Margarita

Blend up frozen pineapple with tequila and lime juice for an icy treat on a hot day.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz tequila blanco (100% agave)
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1/4 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/4 cup ice
  • 1 tsp liquid stevia (optional)
  • salt, for garnish
  • pineapple slice or lime wedge, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.
  2. Spread the salt out in a shallow bowl. Wet the rim of your serving glass and gently press it for a salted rim.
  3. Pour your margarita into the glass. Garnish with a pineapple or lime wedge, and enjoy!

Strawberry Grapefruit Margarita

Take your strawberry margarita to the next level with zingy, refreshing grapefruit juice.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz tequila blanco (100% agave)
  • 1 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1/4 cup strawberries
  • 1/4 cup ice
  • 1 tsp liquid stevia (optional)
  • salt, for garnish
  • strawberry or grapefruit wedge, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.
  2. Spread the salt out in a shallow bowl. Wet the rim of your serving glass and gently press it into the salt.
  3. Pour your margarita into the glass. Garnish with a strawberry, grapefruit wedge, or lime wheel and enjoy!

Note: To double, quadruple, or otherwise multiply these recipes, simply keep the ratio of parts tequila to parts juice and sweeten to taste.

Do you have a favorite margarita recipe? What’s your secret to the perfect margarita? I’m willing to try it!

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