Skinny Margaritas

Skinny margaritas made with fresh lime juice, orange juice, tequila, and a touch of agave are seriously the best margaritas around - skinny or not!

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These lightened up margaritas made with just four simple ingredients are refreshing, bright, and exactly what you want in a balanced margarita. 

When it comes to cocktails, margaritas are always high on the list with the punch of lime juice, orange, and tequila. However, I hardly ever order them in restaurants because I hate the taste of sour mix and premade margarita mixes.

If I am going to have a margarita, I want the real thing and it absolutely must have fresh juice. The other thing I have learned making countless batches of margaritas is that I am not a big fan of orange liquor in my margaritas. I prefer the taste and sweetness of fresh orange juice. Plus it's cheaper. 

Two other things I love in a margarita - balance and bubbles. The balance part if why I like to include equal parts of orange and lime juice. If you prefer a more lime-centered margarita, use a little less orange juice, about two tablespoons.

Now the bubbles. I like to add a splash of seltzer to my margaritas. This adds some bubbles and also makes for a bigger drink. Win-win.  

Last thing, I almost didn't call this a skinny margarita, because although it is lower calorie and cleaner than most margaritas, it's actually just my preferred recipe for a margarita. I love the bite of the limes, the sweetness from the orange juice, and the fact that there is no cloying sweetness. This is just the best way to make margaritas. 

Homemade skinny margaritas made with fresh orange juice, lime juice, and tequila in a glass with a salt rim.

Recipe Ideas and Margarita Flavor Ideas

As soon as you start thinking about margaritas, you probably start thinking about all the different flavor combinations you want to try out. 

  • Fruit: These can easily be transformed into fruit flavored margaritas using strawberries, raspberries, mango, pineapple, peaches, watermelon, and more. For a quick and more rustic prep, just muddle the fruit in the bottom the shaker before adding the other ingredients. For a smoother option, blend the fruit into a puree before adding it to the shaker. 
  • Spicy: For a spicy margarita, muddle a few slices of jalapeno in the bottom of the shaker before adding the other ingredients. Then garnish with a few extra pieces of sliced jalapeno. 
  • Fresh herbs: Adding some fresh herbs to a margarita can be really delicious. Consider rosemary, thyme, cilantro, or basil. Simply muddle the fresh herbs with the lime juice in the shaker. Then add the other ingredients and shake. Garnish with extra fresh herbs.
  • Frozen: To turn this into a frozen margarita, simply blend it with some ice - about 1/4 cup per serving to make sure it doesn't get watered down.
  • Frozen fruit: For the best frozen fruit margarita that isn't watered down, simply mix the margarita recipe below with a 1/2 cup of frozen fruit (per serving) in a blender. This works best when you prepare a few servings at a time. 
  • Spiced rims: There are so many different ways to coat your margarita rim to create fun flavor combinations. Our favorite is using Tajin, a Mexican chili lime seasoning.  You could also use the Trader Joe's chili lime seasoning mix. Another option is to make your own flavored salt rim by adding citrus zest, dried herbs, or other spices to your salt rim.

How to make a pitcher of skinny margaritas?

Once you starting making these lightened up margaritas, you'll want to make them by the batch for a fun Taco night or get together. This recipe will make about 8 drinks. 

  • 1.5 cups tequila ounces tequila
  • 8 large limes, juiced (about 1.5 cups)
  • 4 oranges, juiced (about 1.5 cups)
  • 2.5 tbsp agave

Since you can't really shake drinks by the pitcher, I like to mix this in advance and chill in the fridge if I have time. That way the ice cubes don't water down the drink. Then simply set up your salted glasses, add ice, and you are ready to go.  

If you are serving these with seltzer water, add it just before serving or place it on the side for those who want to use it. 

Can I make these in advance?

If you plan to make these for a crowd, you can combine the lime juice, orange juice, tequila, and agave up to 4 hours in advance and place it in the fridge to chill. Then just give it a good stir before serving.

If you plan on making these a few days in advance, you can mix the lime juice, orange juice, and agave. Then when ready to serve add the tequila and shake or stir. 

If you are adding seltzer water, add it right before serving so it is nice and bubbly.

Fresh margaritas with lime juice, orange juice, tequila, and a salted rim in two glasses.

Why add seltzer water?

Seltzer isn't a traditional ingredient in margaritas but as someone who appreciates having a bigger drink, I love adding some lime, lemon, or grapefruit flavored seltzer to my margaritas. Not only does it double the size of the drink, but it also adds some delicious bubbles.  

If you decide to add bubbles to your drink, you can start small and just add a splash or some people like to use a tall glass and fill it with seltzer. You can always squeeze in an extra lime if needed. 

One quick note: If you add seltzer, especially a large amount, it will dilute the other flavors of the drink so it won't taste as much like a standard margarita. 

What can I use instead of agave?

Since tequila is made from agave, I like to compliment that flavor by using agave as the sweetener. However, you could also use honey, maple syrup, or simple syrup. 

The Recipe
Skinny margaritas in a glass with a salted rim, fresh limes, and orange juice.

Skinny Margaritas

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  • 1.5 ounces tequila
  • 1 large lime, juice (about 3 tbsp)
  • 1/2 orange, juice (about 3 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp agave (adjust to preference)
  • 4 tbsp seltzer water (optional, but makes a bigger drink)

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For a salted rim: Spread the salt on a small plate, a little bigger than your glass. Run a slice of lime around the edge of the glass and then dip the glass into the salt, rotating as needed to cover the edges of the glass. Fill the glass with ice.


Add ice to a cocktail shaker (or a jar with a lid if you don't have a cocktail shaker). Add the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, and agave. Shake for 20-30 seconds. Strain into your glass with ice. Top it sparkling water if desired. I like to use lime, lemon, or grapefruit flavored seltzer.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1/2 cup (plus ice)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 175
Calories from Fat 2
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
Saturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 7mg
Total Carbohydrate 21g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 13g
Protein 1g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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