Skinny Margaritas with Agave and Fresh Orange Juice

Lighten up a classic with this recipe for skinny margaritas – an easy, at-home cocktail with fresh orange and lime juice, a little agave syrup, and no liquor other than the tequila.

Or, for your next variation, try this blackberry lime margarita!

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Two cocktail glasses filled with skinny margaritas and garnished with fresh lime.

A confession: although I’m a reasonably confident home cook, I can struggle when it comes to home bartending. I suspect it comes simply from a lack of practice and familiarity, but I don’t feel always feel so sure of myself mixing flavors, trying new techniques, or experimenting in general. For that reason, when it’s time to mix drinks, I rely mostly on classics.

And there is no drink more classic than the margarita!

A Little Margarita History

Margaritas are not only classic, they’re crazy popular – in the top 10 drinks most-commonly ordered at bars around the world, apparently. And you can hardly miss the countless variations around the internet and on restaurant menus – every fruity, fizzy, and frozen combination you can imagine, mixed with tequila (or not!) and called a margarita for fun.

My modest research to find out where margaritas originated suggests it’s, well, a little fuzzy. No major surprise there. Was it for the sake of a showgirl who was purportedly allergic to all booze except tequila? No one knows. Several other origin stories point to various events in Texas. Again, no surprise. Bottom line, the drink’s origins are murky at best.

What does seem clearly agreed upon is that a truly classic margarita consists of tequila, an orange liqueur, such as triple sec, and lime juice. Now, I have to admit, I sometimes find this combo a little heavy, almost cloying. Plus, summer is coming – why not lighten up where you can? 🙂

Close-up of a cocktail glass filled with a skinny margarita.

Now admittedly skinny margarita recipes are a dime a dozen on the internet, as well, so I’m sharing this somewhat selfishly, because this is my absolute favorite way to make a margarita at home, and I never want to forget the ratios. Ever!

How To Make Skinny Margaritas At Home, Step-by-Step

One of the main reasons I sometimes shy away from making cocktails at home is the perception that it is somehow complicated or takes too much time, especially if I’m already entertaining or preparing an involved meal. Fortunately, though, making these simple skinny margaritas could not be easier. Even with squeezing the juice yourself, you’ll have a drink in hand in 10 minutes flat!

First, prep your glasses. If you don’t make cocktails often, this step may feel fancy, but it’s so easy! Cut a little wedge from a lime, slice it open, and run the wedge partway around the rim of each glass. Now dip the glass in a shallow plate filled with coarse salt. Kosher salt or coarse sea salt work fine. The salt will adhere to the lime juice, giving your glass that iconic rim.

A cocktail glass being rimmed with salt.

It’s more traditional to rub the wedge completely around the glass, but I prefer doing it only 1/2 or 3/4 of the way. This gives you, or your lucky margarita recipient, the option of how much salt to get in each sip!

Now just fill each glass with a few cubes of ice, and prep the rest of your ingredients. A simple manual juicer makes quick work of juicing an orange and a couple of limes. (I have and love one like this, but have been considering investing in this one, as well – under $20 and the reviews are so good!)

Cut oranges and limes on a cutting board, ready to be juiced for skinny margaritas.

Now it’s a simple matter of adding the juices, tequila, and a little agave syrup to a cocktail shaker – all over more ice. You want these to be ice cold when served! Shake it up for at least 30 seconds – count, or time yourself. It’s longer than you think!

Then pour over the ice in your prepared glasses, and .. that’s it! Enjoy!

Two cocktail glasses filled with skinny margaritas and garnished with fresh lime.

I will definitely be making a batch of these for Cinco de Mayo, but I strongly suspect they’ll be on repeat all summer long! And if you’re eyeing them to go with a Mexican night on your table, here are a few more ideas.

More Mexican and Tex-Mex Inspired Recipes:

If you’ve tried these skinny margaritas or any other recipe on the blog, please remember to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing from you, and other readers will benefit from your experience!

Close-up of a cocktail glass filled with a skinny margarita.

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Skinny Margaritas

Prep

Total

Yield 2 drinks

Lighten up a classic with this recipe for skinny margaritas - an easy, at-home cocktail with fresh orange and lime juice, a little agave syrup, and no liquor other than the tequila.

Ingredients

  • coarse salt, lime wedges, ice
  • 2.5 ounces silver tequila
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons agave syrup

Instructions

  1. Pour a thin layer of salt onto a small plate. Rub a cut lime wedge around the top edge of each glass, then gently press the glass into the salt so that it sticks. (I love to rub the lime only 1/2-3/4 of the way around, so you can control how much salt you get with each sip!) Fill glasses with ice and set aside.
  2. Fill a small cocktail shaker with additional ice. Add the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, and agave. Tightly close and shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds. Strain over ice into the rimmed glasses. Enjoy!

Courses Drinks

Cuisine Mexican

Before You Go…

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A recipe for skinny margaritas that features fresh orange juice, lime juice, agave syrup, and, of course, silver tequila. The classic Mexican cocktail, lightened up for summer, and easy to make at home! #cocktails #margaritas #cincodemayo

15 Comments

  • Reply
    Katherine
    May 8, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    Wow, these look so gorgeous. I think I’ll add these to a Sunday brunch I’m hosting. I’ll let you know how fast it goes!

    • Reply
      Monica | Nourish and Fete
      May 10, 2018 at 7:33 am

      Yum, that’s going to be a fabulous brunch! I am actually about to try making them in a pitcher for the first time myself for a party this Saturday – I can’t wait!

  • Reply
    Ben Myhre
    May 8, 2018 at 10:04 am

    It could be a skinny drink. I also think it could be a drink with really great ingredients. This looks great!

  • Reply
    Carrie
    May 8, 2018 at 9:09 am

    Beautiful photos, I can just imagine sipping on this when the sun is shining, YUM!

  • Reply
    Rachel
    May 7, 2018 at 5:33 am

    This looks fantastic! I’ve always made my margaritas with Triple Sec, but I love the idea of substituting it with orange juice. Margaritas are so yummy that I always want a second, so a little less alcohol per glass is definitely a good thing!

  • Reply
    Cleo @journeytothegarden
    May 7, 2018 at 2:56 am

    These look so refreshing and delicious! I’ve been looking for some summer Inspo and these are perfect! I can’t wait to try these out at our next summer party!

  • Reply
    Sara
    May 7, 2018 at 2:43 am

    I love margaritas, and I love oranges… so I have to try this recipe soon! Maybe next weekend!

  • Reply
    Katie Crenshaw | A Fork's Tale
    May 7, 2018 at 1:00 am

    A Skinny Margarita? I am in! Give me a guiltless drink and the party is on! I love this recipe.

  • Reply
    Heather
    May 6, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    oooo… I love skinny boozy drinks! Perfectly simple recipe and so refreshing for warm summer days.

  • Reply
    Jessica (Swanky Recipes)
    May 6, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    I can never pass up a margarita, especially for Cinco de Mayo! These are also perfect for beach days and I’ll be making a pitcher of these for Flordia next month!

  • Reply
    Paige
    May 6, 2018 at 11:14 pm

    Well this certainly looks refreshing and I love the idea of using fresh ingredients for home made cocktails. Yum!

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    May 6, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Hmmm, this post made me suddenly thirsty! It looks so lovely and refreshing. I’ll probably turn this into a “mocktail” as I’m still nursing my son.

  • Reply
    lauren
    May 6, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    I can NOT wait to have a margarita once this baby comes! Love this lightened up version of the classic. I’ll have to try your cocktail version with the sparkling water in the meantime.

  • Reply
    Sam | Ahead of Thyme
    May 6, 2018 at 2:32 am

    This looks so refreshing! Too bad I don’t drink. How would it taste without the alcohol?

    • Reply
      Monica | Nourish and Fete
      May 6, 2018 at 6:55 am

      Thanks, Sam! These also make a really delicious “mocktail” if you sub some sparkling water, either plain or lime flavored!

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