This 3 ingredient Skinny Margarita is made with fresh lime and orange juice, and tequila for the most refreshing healthier margarita! This margarita recipe is a low-calorie option to the classic margarita and is made with simple, fresh ingredients - as it should be!
Something about living in Southern California that leans itself to margaritas year-round. Is it the palm trees, constant warm weather and ocean breeze?
Why this recipe works
Not only have I made this margarita recipe so many times I can’t count (it must be in the hundreds), but it’s been tested, loved and approved by many friends and family.
If that’s not enough proof for you, this skinny margarita recipe is:
- Simple and fresh (and few!) ingredients.
- Low calorie without sacrificing the flavor.
- Honestly better than a classic margarita, as it’s more tart and fresh than using orange liqueur!
- Lower in alcohol, meaning you can enjoy more!
What is a Skinny Margarita?
A skinny margarita is a low-calorie version of the typical margarita.
A traditional margarita consists of fresh-squeezed lime juice, orange liquor (cointreau, triple sec, or grand marnier) and tequila. A skinny margarita replaces the orange liquor with fresh squeezed orange juice.
There are three main kinds of tequila: blanco, reposado, and añejo. Of those, there are two types of tequila to use in a margarita: reposado or blanco. Because reposado tequila is aged longer than blanco, it adds an extra dynamic flavor. However, blanco tequila is also ideal because it has a light flavor. Either are a great option and depend on your taste preference and what is available.
Añejo tequila is best for sipping neat, and extra añejo is for special occasions (at least at my home!). I would refrain from using this kind of tequila when making any type of tequila mixed drink.
Substitute for: mezcal for a mezcal margarita, or vodka for a vodka margarita.
Fresh limes are absolutely essential for any margarita and add that tartness. I do not recommend using store-bought lime juice for margaritas since they have such few ingredients.
Substitute for: lemons, but it will be a tad sweeter.
To make this cocktail what it is, you need fresh oranges. Use any type of orange, you can even use blood oranges!
Substitute for: orange liqueur - like Cointreau, Grand Marnier or triple sec.
Step One: Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
The first step to making the perfect skinny margarita is to squeeze the limes and oranges to create fresh juice. Add these juices to the cocktail shaker - I always add the cheapest ingredients first in case I mess up!
Next, add the tequila. I recommend using blanco or reposado tequila depending on your preferences!
Finally, add ice into the cocktail shaker. This helps instantly cool the ingredients when you shake it!
Step Two: Shake!
While you can make a margarita by just adding all ingredients into a glass filled with ice, the proper technique is to use a cocktail shaker when combining alcohol with any type of fruit juice.
So, to combine the ingredients, you’re going to shake the cocktail shaker for about 15-seconds. The shaker should feel frozen to the touch.
Step Three: Strain and enjoy!
Finally, you strain your margarita into a glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a fresh lime or orange wedge and enjoy immediately!
How to add a salt rim
A salt rim is by no means an essential for a margarita, but highly recommended! To make a salt rim, you’ll need: margarita salt, 1 lime wedge, and a small plate.
Pour the margarita salt onto the small plate. (I always like to add equal parts Tajín and margarita salt, but that’s not necessary!) Slice a small slit into the lime wedge halfway through.
Place the slit in the lime wedge onto the rim of your margarita glass (prior to pouring the cocktail in). Slide the lime wedge around the rim in a circle to cover the entire glass.
Gently dip the glass into the margarita salt on the plate, and turn the glass in a full circle to ensure the salt sticks. Place upright and continue with making the skinny margarita!
This skinny margarita recipe is the foundation for making any flavored drink!
Fruity: To make any version of this recipe with fruit, muddle a handful of that fruit in the cocktail shaker before adding orange and lime juice.
Spicy: Check out my spicy skinny margarita recipe, where you just muddle fresh jalapeños in the cocktail shaker prior to adding the other ingredients.
Frozen: Add ice and all other ingredients into a high-powered blender. Blend until smooth and serve in glasses. To create a fruity frozen margarita, check out my frozen blackberry margarita.
Quality tequila: Don’t underestimate a quality tequila for making any tequila cocktail. Because this margarita recipe has such few ingredients, there’s not much to mask a low-quality tequila. I personally swear by Don Julio Blanco or Casamigos Blanco tequilas when purchasing for myself. This is not the time to use your top-shelf añejo tequila (like a Don Julio 1942), a blanco or reposado tequila in the $30-45 range is a great start.
Salt rim: A salt rim is by no means a necessity, but it definitely is a must in my books! I find the salt is a great balance with the natural sweetness of the juices. You can always add chili lime seasoning, lime zest, or orange zest into your margarita salt to add extra flavor!
Frozen margarita: If you want to turn this skinny margarita into a frozen version instead of on the rocks, simply add all ingredients into a high-powered blender with 1-1.5 cups of ice. Blend until smooth and serve in glasses.
An even lighter cocktail: To create an even lighter cocktail, try topping off the drink with sparkling mineral water (a Lime Topo Chico would be my choice!). To do this, make sure you use a high-ball glass instead of a shorter old fashioned glass.
A skinny margarita is basically a low-calorie version of a classic margarita. It typically swaps orange juice for orange liqueur and does not include a sweetener.
They call it a skinny margarita because it’s a lighter, skinnier version of a traditional margarita.
Absolutely! Just double, triple, quadruple (etc.) the recipe for however many servings you need! Then stir and serve from the pitcher into a glass filled with ice. Just remember that shaking the cocktail one-by-one does combine the flavors a little bit better.
- Skinny Jalapeno Margarita
- Skinny Cranberry Margarita
- Sangria Margarita
- Frozen Blackberry Margaritas
- Ranch Water Cocktail
If you try this recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below so I know what you think! Follow Elise Tries to Cook on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, and Subscribe via email to receive the latest recipes!
3 Ingredient Skinny Margarita
- Cocktail Shaker
- 2 ounces Lime Juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 ounces orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 ounces Tequila
Salt-Tajín Rim (optional)
- Margarita Salt
- 1 Lime Wedge with a slice halfway
- If doing a salt rim, add prior to making cocktail.
First, add lime juice and orange juice into cocktail shaker.2 ounces Lime Juice, freshly squeezed, 2 ounces orange juice, freshly squeezed
Add the tequila and fresh ice cubes.2 ounces Tequila
- Shake for 15-seconds, until fully combined and cold to the touch.
- Strain into a cup filled with ice and garnish with fresh lime or orange wedge.