Make Your Own Margaritas
Margaritas are perfect for celebrations (like this Wednesday's Cinco de Mayo), but pour lots of alcohol and sugary add-ins into a super-sized glass and you've got yourself a 600+ calorie cocktail! Skip the too-sweet drink mixes and opt for our fruity versions, all under 275 calories.
A basic margarita recipe calls for hefty doses of tequila and citrus liqueur along with lime juice and some sweetness from simple syrup, sour mix or other bottled mixes. Those sugary mixes are the worst offenders, adding 7 teaspoons of sugar per serving! Get sweetness from fresh fruit juice instead – you’ll get some extra vitamin C that way too. You also want to cut back on the booze. All that alcohol will cost you 100 calories per ounce on average -- and it adds up fast.
The first step is downsizing from the gigantic glass to keep calories reasonable. What about the classic salted rim? Well, a sprinkle of salt is fine, but, again, don't choose a margarita glass with a 12-inch diameter! Use a smaller glass to cut the salt, or pass on the extra salt of you have high blood pressure.
For our Citrus Burst Margaritas (recipe below) we cut back on the alcohol and boosted the flavor with freshly squeezed citrus. We used a combination of 1/4 cup lime juice and 3/4 cup freshly squeezed OJ -- lemon, tangerine, blood orange or grapefruit juice would also be delicious. Finally, we topped things off with a refreshing touch of fizz.
• Splurge on top shelf tequila – treat yourself to one good drink instead of a few cheap ones
Combine ingredients in a pitcher and stir to combine. To serve, shake individual portions with ice in a cocktail shaker and pour over ice in a salt-rimmed glass, if desired. For frozen cocktails, blend ingredients in a blender with crushed ice.
Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »