How to Make a Skinny Margarita

Learn how to make a skinny margarita with plenty of fresh flavor—and fewer calories than the original cocktail.

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Even though they taste so good, margaritas have a reputation of being not so good for you. The classic cocktail is packed with alcohol, sugar and, often, extra-large serving sizes—especially if you’re ordering one alongside some fantastic Mexican food.

But don’t fret. You can make a skinny cocktail that tastes just as good as the original!

Blogger Melissa Erdelac of MamaGourmand shares a skinny margarita recipe that’s served on the rocks, but we’ll show you how to turn it into a frozen margarita, too. The trick to both? Skip the sugary mixers and focus on fresh, all-natural ingredients.

What Makes a Margarita Skinny?

Melissa’s skinny margarita recipe is considered “skinny” because it’s lower in calories, sugars and carbs than traditional margarita recipes. Melissa points out that the typical 8-ounce restaurant margarita has about 450 calories when it’s served on the rocks. This version is only 130 to 180 calories, depending on if you add any sweetener. Whoa! This light libation also has around 17 grams of carbs—which is less than half of the amount in the classic house margarita.

How to Make a Skinny Margarita at Home

Skinny Margarita 2 1200x800courtesy mama gourmand


  • 1 1/2 ounces high-quality tequila
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 1/2 ounce fresh orange juice (about 1/2 orange)
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar or simple syrup
  • 1/2 ounce triple sec or orange liqueur
  • Coarse salt


Step 1: Coat the rim with salt

Skinny Margaritacourtesy mama gourmand

If you prefer a salt-rimmed glass, use a wedge of lime to moisten the rim of the glass, then dip into a plate filled with coarse salt. Fill your glass with ice.

Step 2: Shake and pour

Skinny Margarita courtesy mama gourmand

Combine margarita ingredients in a cocktail shaker with a few cubes of ice. Shake well and strain into the prepared margarita glass. Garnish with a lime slice and enjoy!

Tips for Making a Skinny Margarita

We asked one of our Test Kitchen’s cocktail aficionados, James Schend, to weigh in on how to make the best margarita. Here are a few pointers he swears by to upgrade your skinny sipper:

  • When juicing limes or oranges, roll them on the counter while firmly pressing down. This helps get the most juice out of them. You can also microwave them for about 10 seconds to get the most juice.
  • If you don’t have any salt on hand—or you feel like trying something new—try lining the rim with sugar or Tajin seasoning, or even a little ground chile powder for a kick!
  • There is nothing better than freshly squeezed juice, but that can be a pain if you’re making a big batch of margaritas. To spread out the prep time, juice an hour or two before you plan to serve and keep the juice in the fridge until you need it. You could also prepare your skinny margaritas ahead of time and store in a pitcher in the fridge.

Skinny Margarita Variations

Make it even healthier

For a skinnier version of the same recipe, swap the triple sec and orange juice for 1/4 teaspoon of orange extract instead. You can also substitute the agave nectar with liquid stevia. Just remember that it will not be a 1-to-1 substitution because artificial sweeteners are much sweeter. Try starting with a few drops and adjust to taste.

Make it frozen

In the mood for a frozen skinny margarita instead? Blend all the ingredients with 1/2 cup of the frozen fruit of your choice and a few ice cubes.

Mix it up

Shake up your cocktail game with these fun margarita upgrades:

  • Shake ingredients with a couple slices of jalapeño to add a spicy kick.
  • Muddle fresh fruit, such as blackberries or strawberries, at the bottom of the glass for a fruit-flavored margarita.
  • Try fresh herbs, such as basil or cilantro, shaken with the ingredients. The herbs also go well with fruit additions.

Ready to experiment even more? Learn how to make margaritas three different ways.

Serve with Light Mexican-Inspired Dishes
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Lauren Naru
Lauren Naru writes about gift guides, sales, and must-have items for the kitchen and home. She loves a good deal is and is always on the hunt for super-savings and products that solve cooking problems. In her spare time, you’ll find her creating custom cookies for friends and family. Lauren lives and works in New York's Hudson Valley region.
Christina Herbst
Christina is a Social Media Editor for Taste of Home. She enjoys trying out local restaurants and coffeehouses and adding copious amounts of garlic and cheese to any recipe she can get her hands on. In her free time, you can find her hunting down one-of-a-kind furniture pieces at thrift and vintage stores and DIYing trendy home decor crafts.