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A Healthier Margarita

A healthier margaritaHappy National Margarita Day! Did you know that I worked in a restaurant that specialized in margaritas for 8 years? You gotta do what you gotta do when you’re in nutrition school for ages but I’m thankful for what it taught me: never use that crappy bottled margarita mix. I’m here to tell you how to make a healthier margarita.

Ingredient list in a typical mix?: Water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, natural flavors, sodium citrate, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, cellulose gum, polysorbate 60, FD&C Yellows. Basically, corn syrup with some additives, preservatives, and food dye.

Skinny margaritas aren’t better: water, citric acid, natural flavor, sodium citrate, potassium benzoate, potassium sorbate, sucralose, gum Arabic, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucrose Acetate Isobutryrate, Yellow #5. These have the same additives and coloring but contain less calories because they’re using sugar alcohol like sucralose that doesn’t get digested by the body BUT can cause GI distress in some people. You can do better with a healthier margarita.

Yes, margaritas are calorie bombs. If you don’t supersize it and go beyond 8 ounces, you’re still looking at about 250 calories per margarita. On a day like today, National Margarita Day, it’s easy to order more than one. That adds up fast, especially if you’re eating chips and guac so these meals can become a challenge if you’re working on weight or blood sugar management.

A Healthier Margarita: never use that bottled margarita mix again on #nationalmargaritaday Click To Tweet

Not that making a margarita lighter or with better ingredients makes it innately “healthy”, but you can make it healthier with less burden on the body. One thing I like to do is to use natural juices like lemonade. One of my favorites is Santa Cruz Organic lemonade or Newman’s Own Lemonade. If I’m making a batch of margaritas, I’ll use one of each. Add plenty of ice because margaritas must be frosty cold. I don’t like to use triple sec or simple syrup and instead use Grand Mariner for orange flavor and for sweetness, embracing a more tart flavor overall. Keep it simple and let the natural sweet-tart flavors combine in a healthier margarita. Let me know if you try it!



A Healthier Margarita

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Servings: 4
Author: Ginger Hultin


  • Cubed ice
  • 2 limes (sliced into 4 wedges each)
  • 1 oz bottle/32Santa Cruz Organic Lemonade or 1/2 container/30Newman's Own Lemonade
  • 8 oz silver tequila of your choice (I like Don Julio (El Tosoro, and Cazadores))
  • Kosher Salt
  • 4 oz Grand Mariner


  • Muddle a slice of lime in 1 cup of ice in a shaker then add 8 oz lemonade and 2 oz tequila. Shake firmly until liquid is thoroughly shaken. Rub another lime wedge on the rim of the glass. Dip the edge of the glass into salt poured onto a plate so that it is thoroughly coated. Garnish the rim with the lime wedge. Pour liquid into the glass, adding ice if needed. Float 1 ounce of Grand Mariner on the top in a circular motion. Serve with a straw.


Ingredients in Newman's Own lemonade: Pure Filtered Water, Cane Sugar, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Lemon Pulp, Lemon Oi


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Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO

An award-winning, nationally recognized nutrition expert and media spokesperson.

Thanks for visiting! If you’re like me: obsessed with eating, wine, going out and traveling, you’re in the right place. Champagne Nutrition® LLC is a Registered Dietitian-run concierge virtual practice helping clients look and feel better. On this blog, you’ll find cocktails, mocktails, and plant-based recipes that are easy to make quickly at home and pack for leftovers on your adventures.

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