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.
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? 🙂
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.
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! (affiliate links)
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!
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:
- Mexican Chocolate Cake
- Paloma Cupcakes (cocktail-inspired!)
- Easy Flour Tortillas From Scratch
- Crispy Spiced Chickpea Tacos
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas
- Perfect Guacamole
- How To Make Homemade Pico de Gallo
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!
- coarse salt, lime wedges, ice, for serving
- 2.5 ounces silver tequila
- 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 2 teaspoons agave syrup
- 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.
- 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!