While reducing the sugar in modern day margaritas won’t make them a health food, it may be the flavor you’re looking for or slow down your rate of intake. For many, a low sugar margarita recipe is also helpful for blood sugar management, whether for diabetes or mood reactions. If you’re up for a little tart and natural sweetness in this delicious summer beverage, keep reading!
Why Choose Less Sugar?
Added sweeteners such as agave, sour mix, and lime syrup all contribute to high sugar content in typical restaurant margaritas. If you’re buying margarita mix at home, you’re usually getting a higher sugar content, too. I don’t want you to be afraid of sugar – it is an energy source and should be enjoyed! However, in some people, the after-effects of high sugar consumption paired with alcohol can include blood sugar and mood fluctuations as well as digestive distress. Turning to artificially sweetened mixes and syrups may not be the best answer either. Read more about those from my friend and fellow dietitian Mary Ellen Phipps, who specializes in diabetes nutrition.
Many don’t realize that any amount of alcohol intake can result in small to large blood sugar drops in those with diabetes, including athletes and active individuals with Type I. Add extra sugar into the mix and it could be more substantial. Having this low sugar recipe on hand can help you enjoy a drink without excessive side effects.
To manage blood sugar even better with your low sugar margarita recipe, have it alongside or right after a meal rich in protein, fiber and healthy fats. These nutrients help slow the absorption of both the alcohol and the sugar, resulting in less extreme metabolic responses to the sugar and a lower chance of metabolic blood sugar responses to the alcohol. My lentil tacos pair perfectly!
Naturally Flavored Low Sugar Margaritas
If you want a little flavor, you aren’t alone! You can keep your margarita tasting more tart and keep it naturally sweetened by simply adding 1-2 tablespoons of a brightly colored juice. Some of my favorites include beet and pomegranate since they easily add appealing color as well as a noticeable flavor without adding very much. I tend to pour a “splash” or add the juice of a small blood orange, but 1-2 tablespoons is perfect. Tropical juices can also be fun, such as mango, pineapple or guava. Bonus, you’re getting some antioxidants to balance out the oxidation from alcohol.
Low Sugar Margarita Recipe
- 1 1/2 oz silver tequila
- 1/2 oz orange liqueur
- juice of 1/2 fresh lime
- 1-2 tbsp juice of choice
- 1 cup ice
- juice from wedge of lemon or orange optional
- Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker, cover, and shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds.
- Pour into any cocktail or margarita glass and enjoy!