There’s nothing like a cool and refreshing margarita on a hot day—and if you can get all the flavor without all the calories, why wouldn’t you?! The skinny margarita is becoming a menu staple at more and more Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants. Before we talk about how to make a skinny marg at home, though, let’s explore what makes the traditional margarita so delicious and popular.
Related: How to Make the Perfect Margarita
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What Is a Margarita?
A margarita is cocktail made with tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice. It’s usually served in a margarita glass (a variant of a champagne coupe) that has been rimmed with salt.
Margaritas can be served frozen, shaken with ice (on the rocks), or straight up.
Traditional margaritas are lime-flavored, but other flavors—like strawberry, peach, and jalapeno—have become popular in recent years.
There are plenty of origin stories for the margarita, but none of them have been confirmed. One common legend holds that it was invented in Tijuana, Mexico sometime in the ‘30s or ‘40s: Carlos 'Danny' Herrera, owner of a restaurant called Rancho La Gloria, allegedly created the drink for Hollywood actress and customer Marjorie King.
The restaurant’s location—halfway between Tijuana and Rosarito Beach—made it a popular hangout for Hollywood types looking for an escape from the city.
Though King was allergic to most types of liquors, she was able to drink tequila without a reaction.
Herrera devised the tequila-based cocktail with the actress in mind and, before long, the margarita was a staple in bars and restaurants throughout the area.
However, earlier references to the cocktail suggest that this account is likely untrue. In 1936, James Graham, owner and editor of an Iowa newspaper, wandered into a Tijuana bar run by an Irish man named Madden. The bartender was locally renowned for a drink he called the “Tequila Daisy” (“margarita” translates to “daisy” in Spanish).
“As a newspaperman seeking information, I entered the joint and told Mr. Madden my curiosity was aroused regarding The Daisy,” Graham wrote. “Mr. Madden was not the most talkative of men, but eventually he was persuaded to admit that the drink’s creation was a mistake: ‘In mixing a drink, I grabbed the wrong bottle and the customer was so delighted that he called for another and spread the good news far and wide.’”
No matter when or by whom the drink was created, one thing is certain: The margarita is a staple of Mexican and American cuisines.
Related: We Tried 9 Margarita Mixes—Here Are the Ones Worth Buying
So What Is a Skinny Margarita, Exactly?
Because of the drink’s popularity, quite a few variations have popped up over the years. One of the most common variants is the diet-friendly skinny margarita.
Typically, the skinny margarita forgoes the liqueur in favor of orange juice. Most recipes call for low-calorie sweeteners like Stevia instead of sugar.
Related: What the Heck Is a Margarita Burn—and How Do You Treat It?
How to Make a Skinny Margarita
There are plenty of ways to make a delicious skinny margarita, but we’re partial to our low-carb take on the already low-calorie cocktail. The best part? It’s incredibly easy. All you have to do is combine five ingredients (ice, tequila, lime juice, Stevia, and orange juice) in a salt-rimmed glass.
Get the recipe: Super Skinny Margarita
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