Sugar-Free Margarita




Introduction: Sugar-Free Margarita

This skinny Margarita recipe is both sugar-free and as low-carb as it gets!  It tastes so great, you'll never go back, and your friends will never know you're actually serving them something healthier than a traditional Margarita. 

Most liqueurs and cordial are very high in sugar and relatively low in alcohol content compared to regular spirits.  Triple sec alone has 10.9 grams of sugar per 1 fl oz!   By substituting agave syrup* for sugar and orange extract for triple sec, you can greatly reduce the GI and carb count of this classic cocktail.  Your taste buds won't know you've cut out all that sugar, but your body will thank you for it (as much as it could thank you for adding alcohol to your system. . . ).

Enjoy this recipe responsibly.  It's a potent elixir that you're sure to want more of!

* agave nectar consists primarily of fructose and glucose, and has a much lower glycemic load than table sugar (sucrose).  Because it is much sweeter than sucrose, much less is needed.  It should, in fact, be considered optional in this recipe altogether!

Step 1: Ingredients

I wanted to make the measurements for this as easy as possible.  By using the cap from my cocktail shaker as a measure, I've provided a basic ratio of ingredients:
  • 1 jigger of tequila
  • 1/2 jigger of lime juice - bottled has slightly fewer carbs, and is handy when the limes at your shop don't look so hot, but otherwise, fresh limes are way tastier
  • 1 jigger of water
  • A splash of orange extract
  • 1 Tablespoon agave nectar (optional)
  • Ice
  • Salt - optional

Step 2: Combine Ingredients

I used a shaker to do this, since it came with its own convenient measuring cap.  However, any sort of glass or pitcher (if you wanted to scale up the measurements) will do.

Add ice to your vessel.

Add all liquids to the ice.

Shake shake shake, Senora!

Step 3: Salt Your Glass

I prefer my margaritas on the rocks, no salt.  But if you're a salt or blended lover, well, that's pretty easy to accommodate. 

An easy way to salt your glass is to spread salt on a plate, wet the rim of your glass, and dip the rim in the salt.  Que facil!

If you want it blended. . . I shouldn't have to tell you this part. . . use a blender instead of a shaker.  

Step 4: Pour and Enjoy (responsibly of Course!)

Enjoy!  I recommend making up a pitcher to share with friends.  I guarantee you, they'll be begging for the recipe.



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18 Discussions

ok, i just have to post again how much i love this recipe! thanks again, scoochmaroo

Water in my Margarita ????…
A true margarita is so easy to make :
1/3 tequila
1/3 Triple sec (or Cointreau if you're on the posh side … )
1/3 lime juice
plus salt around the outer rim of the glass.

Now there is a philosophy here : either you enjoy life and indulge in carbohydrates with the minor health inconveniences such as heart ailments and a shorter life.
Or you decide to live an long and miserable healthy life with no pleasure.
You can also please yourself both with carbohydrates and sweating them off the day after at the gym, therefore keeping your mind too busy when indulging both pleasures in life to think of what you risk when crossing the street, taking the plane or having the bad luck of having a bit going the wrong tube during your next meal.

So please enjoy a real Margarita the right way as it helps looking at the bright side of life !…

2 replies

I think you're kind of missing the point here. This is for diabetics who cannot drink normal drinks.

I would have agreed with you until just recently when I was told I was pre-diabetic. Diabetes isn't anything to mess around with!

Sounds like you could be headed that way too but I hope not for your sake.

This sounds great. My wife likes it if I just sub Splenda for triple sec, then 1 part lime (fresh squeezed) to 1 1/2 tequila.
My basic is 1,2,3 margarita where:
1 part triple sec -cheaper tasts better
2 parts lime juice - the most important part, it always runs out first so measure!
3 parts tequila - not cheap and not expensive, I'm tending more towards sliver but usually go with reposado.
Mix and put on ice.
Like using agave to hold the salt on the rim.

This looks good but I go with a totally no carb/no sugar option. If you get the Cal-O-Rita or Cal-O-Berry from and you use everclear instead of tequila then there are zero net carbs and it is a totally natural and sugarfree mix. Taste awesome also.

I also want to point out that I've made something similar with Splenda, and it's worked out nicely for me. Of course, your choice of sugar substitute is up to you. :)

Triple sec is a liquor made from orange and other things (such as Cointreau) : I'll try your recipe just to ceonfirm my idea that the real recipe remains triple-sec : I'm very very picky on margaritas !!!…
Wish me luck !…

I'm not sure where you would buy it outside a restaurant supply store, but Monin makes a sugar free orange flavor syrup that you could use instead of the orange extract and the agave nectar.. It will give your drink a slight "artificial sugar" kind of taste, but most people don't notice it. This is the link to buy it online.. it's called sugar free triple sec, but it has no alcohol in it, so please don't buy it assuming that it does :)

I like the look of this... do I go shopping tomorrow?


Thanks for the recipe Smooch.  Alcohol will mess up a diabetic's blood sugar whether the drink is made with or without any added sugars.  At least with this recipe you get a fresher drink VS the premixed chemical additives stuff in the bottle.  Great idea to use orange extract : )  Sadly Cinco de Mayo has passed for this year, but I still think I'll add this to my recipe collection as a margarita on a hot summer day is always cooling.  I prefer mine blended VS on the rocks.  I'll have to share this with my brother as he's doing the South Beach diet to lose weight.

1 reply

As a Type I diabetic - alcohol itself has a far lower impact on bloodsugar (in fact frequently it will DROP bloodsugar) than the massive amounts of sugar in mixed drinks.  For example, in my case, the alcohol/sugar balance in wine is typically such that it's almost neutral bloodsugar-wise.

I've gotta try this recipe soon!

I agree also Agave does contain sugar.. Stevia doesn't contain any calories but does give you a sugar taste especially in cold drinks (Doesn't work at all that well when heated though). If you can find Stevia might be a good alternative :)

 I have to say here, that I had tried to make a low carb margarita with agave as well and when I drank it and tested my blood sugars with my glucometer  I always got unacceptably high spikes. I use liquid sucralose instead. Not natural, but a better choice for those who need to avoid carbs..

There is organic and raw agave, that is not an industrial by-product. But as was noted, agave is not perfect either. Additionally, diabetics should avoid it until more information is available, judging from some research I have seen.

Agave nectar is sugar, it is fructose. It is not sugar free, or carbhydrate free. It is typically a highly refined waste product from tequila processing. Some is not, but food safety and health regulation is not the clearest in Mexico. You can assume that the teaspoon you used has at least 8 grams of carbs, and 30 calories.

1 reply