Perfecting the Art of the Skinny Margarita

Who doesn’t love a good margarita in the summertime? And yet, most of the ones you get at the bar have enough sugar to put you in a diabetic coma after only a few drinks. Why waste the calories when there’s a better way?

Anyone else severely disappointed by the “skinny margarita” option? Whether it comes out of a “skinny bitch” bottle or it’s just over-hyped agave nectar (most of which is neither natural, agave or low-glycemic) or just watered down margarita – my most common experience – yes, even at “good” tequila bars. There has to be a better way!

There are so many recipes out there, but this is one of the best ones that we at Intox-Detox have ever found. And depending on your devotion to being truly sugar-free, you can go a couple of different ways, but don’t worry we’ve got you covered. Below are all the details you need to adapt this recipe EXACTLY to your tastes and preferences.

I promise that I thoroughly tested this recipe to make sure that it was solid. I take this VERY SERIOUSLY. It’s my full-time job! It took a little adjusting, but this was the result we came up with….

Here at Intox-Detox, we like to keep the sugar to an absolute minimum. It’s not ENTIRELY for vanity. It’s no secret that refined sugar is terrible for you. However, because it causes an inflammatory response in the body, plain old WHITE SUGAR can make your hangovers worse too. Not to mention that a high-refined sugar diet is WORSE for your liver than drinking moderately, according to the latest research.

And sugar doesn’t just make your cells inflamed, it tends to do the same around your waist!

We’ll save our sugar intake for fun treats like the occasional cookie or piece of birthday cake. Here’s what you need to pick up to perfect this recipe:


  • Kosher or coarse Sea Salt
  • 1 3/4 – 2 ounces Espolon silver tequila
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce Trop 50 orange juice or fresh-squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons Madhava Agave Five or 1-2 tablespoons Truvia simple syrup (see additional recipe below)
  • 1 lime wedge for garnish


Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and all ingredients. Apply the lid and shake for 30 to 45 seconds. Strain or poor into your chosen glass (pre-rimmed with salt if you choose).


  1. Tequila – We absolutely love Espolon; I’d go so far as to say that it’s better than Patron and at a fraction of the (usually about $23-25 for 750 ml) cost. Whatever tequila you choose, just make sure that it’s 100% Agave. You might prefer reposado or anejo, but quality isn’t all about price. And bad tequila will require more packs of Intox-Detox!
  2. Sweetener – Some people don’t dig the so-called “after taste” of Truvia. In that case, you can opt for fresh-squeezed OJ, rather than Trop 50 and use the agave nectar. That will add a little more sugar and calories, but what good is a calorie-free drink that you don’t enjoy? In the past, we have gotten lazy and opted for the Master of Mixes Lite, which is virtually sugar-free, but not nearly as good as either of these fresher options. If you go that route, you won’t need fresh juices or sweeteners and you should mix at a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio, tequila to margarita mix.
  3. Truvia Simple Syrup – We typically follow the wisdom of Zevia. If you don’t know about them, please check them out. They make sugar-free sodas in a rainbow of flavors, which are all incredible for making low-calorie cocktails. These are soft drinks that you can enjoy or even serve to your children with a clear conscience. Recently they have removed the artificial colors from their soda products. Zevia blends erythritol (natural fruit sugar alcohol found in grapes), stevia and monk fruit extract, which is a great sugar-free blend to mimic the taste of sugar. To make the simple syrup combine 1/2 cup warm/hot water with 3 1/2 tablespoons of Truvia spoonable sweetener. If you only have the Truvia packs, you need 12 of them for this recipe. Shake or stir until all the granules have dissolved. However, we recommend using 6 packs of Monk fruit extract and 6 packs of Truvia. You might also look into Truvia’s new Nectar product, which blends honey and stevia.  We found that it doesn’t mix easily and tends to aggregate at the bottom of the shaker, but the taste is very nice. It’s not completely sugar-free and you might use half of above recommendation because it is VERY SWEET.
  4. Madhava Agave Five – This sweetener surprised us. It’s also not sugar-free, but pretty low calorie. It’s agave nectar that has monk fruit and stevia added to cut the calories. And it mixes beautifully. While it adds a few extra calories, this was our favorite sweetener from the “experiment”.
  5. To Taste… – It’s hard to say exactly what you will like. Personally, I like a strong drink where I can taste the tequila. If you don’t, you might cut this back to 1 and 1/2 ounces of tequila. I also like a “fresh” drink. Exactly what that means is hard to define and probably depends a lot upon your taste buds. I don’t mind something a little sour and I absolutely hate the hyper-sweet concoctions that pass for margaritas at most places. So you can tweak this too. Try different sweeteners, as suggested, or add an extra 1/2 ounce if needed. Or cut it if you find it too sweet. This recipe is a great starting place with ingredients that both taste good and spare the sugars and calories. Not to mention that natural compounds in fresh orange and lime, erythritol, REAL agave nectar and monk fruit contain potent antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that may also help avoid the hangover.

Want to Make a Whole Pitcher for the Party?

To make about 6 – 8-oz drinks or approximately 45 ounces, use the following:

  • 2 and 1/2 cups of tequila
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice (15 limes worth)
  • 1 and 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed OJ (5 medium oranges) or Trop 50
  • 6 tablespoons of Madhava Agave Five OR Truvia simple syrup

NUTRITION FACTS:  1 Margarita with Madhava Agave 5 nectar and Trop 50…

  • Calories: 166
  • Carbs: 7 grams
  • Sugar: 4 grams

Enjoy and don’t forget to take your Intox-Detox!

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