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Carbs in a Margarita

What alcoholic drink can I drink when dieting? The truth is, drinking alcohol and dieting don't go hand in hand. However, there’s sometimes a reason to indulge, and in those times, a margarita might be a brilliant choice.

A margarita is a refreshing and fruity drink, and tequila has zero sugar and carbs; however, adding other ingredients may increase the sugar count, but you can minimize those to make a low-calorie drink–great news for health nuts, like those finding ways to drink coffee on keto.


What Is a Margarita?

Several variations of margaritas exist, and they all aim to be a healthier drink choice in that they have less sugar and fewer calories. A skinny margarita is a perfect choice if you’re on a keto diet.

Typically, traditional lime-flavored margaritas are made with one ounce of orange liquor, 1.5 fluid ounces of lime, and 1.5 fluid ounces of tequila. 

Tequila is the star ingredient; however, most margaritas are made with agave syrup because it’s a healthier sugar alternative. Agave is sweeter than refined sugar and has a lower glycemic index, so you don’t need too much in your drink. If you’re interested in learning about how much sugar is in a typical margarita, check out our latest article.

Some variations avoid agave syrup and use a simple syrup made from no-calorie sweeteners such as Splenda or Stevia, and some recipes also use orange juice instead of orange liquor. However, some recipes skip orange altogether and opt for fresh lime and orange zest instead of citrus juices. Keto margaritas don’t use agave nectar.


How Many Carbs Are in a Margarita?

What we now call a skinny margarita is a traditional margarita on the rocks–a go-to choice for many folks who wonder if margaritas can be healthy. This tequila cocktail was the best way to enjoy a margarita before slushy margaritas and mixes became the norm.

A standard 8-ounce skinny margarita contains an ounce of Cointreau or triple sec, an ounce of tequila, and lime juice. An ounce of tequila has zero carbs, no sugar, and 64 calories. Additional sugar comes from Cointreau or triple sec, which are sugary syrups.

There are 36 grams of carbs in an eight-ounce margarita, 274 calories, and 36 grams of sugar. Health experts recommend that women consume two tablespoons of sugar per day, and men should consume a maximum of three tablespoons. All carbohydrates in a margarita come from its sugar content.

A margarita on the rocks made with seltzer or club soda, orange zest, lime juice, stevia, and 1.5 ounces of tequila has 10 grams of carbs and 126 calories. This recipe cuts both carbs and calories in half.

A 4-ounce serving of an 1800 ultimate margarita has 33 grams of carbs, 130 calories, and 30 grams of sugar. A frozen strawberry margarita has 169 calories, 11.3 grams of carbs, and 7.9 grams of sugar, and a jumbo frozen margarita has 77.1 grams of carbs, 586 calories, and 77.1 grams of sugar. On the other hand, a four-ounce serving of Jose Cuervo Classic Margarita Mix contains 28 grams of carbs, 110 calories, and 24 grams of sugar. 


Final Thoughts

Margarita nutrition facts vary depending on how the drink is made–for example, using agave syrup adds more carbs and calories than calorie-free sweeteners. The carbohydrates in a margarita also vary depending on whether you add fresh juice or pre-made products to your drink. Still, an eight-ounce skinny margarita typically only has about 36 grams of carbs.