Looking for the best low-carb Margarita recipe to celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Why is it so hard? For such a simple drink with few ingredients, surprisingly, the tastes for Margaritas will vary for every restaurant or bar. Some Margaritas are very tart and some much too sweet. Our “classic” version is low in carbs and high in taste. It eliminates the sugar and higher carb fruit juices. We tried many variations, but keep coming back to our favorite!
History of the Margarita
The history of the Margarita is not easy to trace. Some say it was invented by Carlos “Danny” Herrera at his restaurant (Rancho La Gloria) in 1938 near Tijuana, Mexico. Others point out that it was popularized by Albert Hernandez at La Plaza restaurant in the late 1940s in La Jolla, California. The first known recipe was published in Esquire Magazine in 1953. It seems there are as many versions of origin for this delicious tequila/lime drink as there are recipes. We are just pleased that its popularity is “huge.” Especially in the Southwest.
The key ingredient is tequila. This is where a lot of the variations occur. Some restaurants have pages in their drink menu devoted to every brand of “top notch” tequila imaginable. Margaritas should be made with a top quality silver tequila. We like “1800 Silver” for our Margaritas.
Classic means lime juice! But, you can also find mango, peach, strawberry, melon, orange, and raspberry juice Margaritas. For a while, frozen Margaritas were all the rage. Margarita mixes and sweetened lime juice sodas are used to make quick inexpensive Margaritas and many bars offer versions with these additives.
We still prefer ours to be classic lime and “on-the-rocks.” Stick with fresh lime juice. A helpful tip would be to buy a large bag of limes at your favorite wholesale store, use a juicer, measure the right amount for a drink and freeze them in ice cube trays.
The original Margarita recipes were made with only tequila, lime juice, and agave syrup for sweetening. Current recipes often use a simple syrup made with dissolved sugar in water rather than agave. The ingredients should be combined with a large amount of ice and shaken.
Some form of orange flavored liqueur is also frequently added. Grand Marnier, Triple Sec, and Cointreau are all orange flavored and work well with a “classic margarita.” Some restaurants call the orange flavored Margarita a “Texas Margarita.” But, the orange liqueurs do add carbs.
To make our recipe low carb we eliminate the agave syrup or the sugar based simple syrup. We make it even more simple by adding “EZ Sweetz” and water directly to our shaker. It is liquid splenda or liquid sucralose. Splenda is filled with 99% of bulking materials like Dextrose and Maltodextrin. These add to the cost and the carbs of Splenda. Liquid sucralose tastes just like sugar! We use 5 drops in our margarita and have less after-taste and less carbs than our original.
For our orange taste we use “orange extract.” It has zero carbs and a little goes a long way. Again, we buy “Nielson-Massey organic orange extract” from Amazon; it is advertised as the finest available, and we agree. Add fresh squeezed lime juice and a good silver tequila and you have a “classic” low-carb thirst quenching Margarita for Cinco de Mayo!
In case you were not aware, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. It is actually celebrated in Mexico to recognize their victory over the French forces that invaded at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Yes, the French and Napoleon III did try to take over Mexico. Today, it is a celebration of Mexican-American culture and of course, the cuisine and Margaritas.
Enjoy Cinco de Mayo and celebrate this wonderful Holiday with good food, good friends, and our Tasty Low Carb Margarita!
- Put all of the ingredients in a shaker and shake well.
- Place lime juice around the rim of a chilled glass and dip in a plate full of sea salt.
- Fill the glass with ice cubes and pour the Margarita from the shaker. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.