What Is a Skinny Margarita?

One intriguing element of the world of alcohol is the lingo of the bar—“on-the-rocks,” “extra dry,” “dirty,” “perfect.” There are so many terms to describe drinks that just knowing how to order your favorite cocktail makes you feel like you’re part of an exclusive club. 

Recently, a new term has entered the boozy lexicon: “skinny,” as in, skinny margarita.

So, what is a skinny margarita? A classic skinny margarita is simply a traditional margarita with fewer calories than the classic version. Of course, things get a bit more complicated than that. 

What’s a skinny margarita may be easy to answer, but ask five bartenders what’s in a classic skinny margarita, and you’re apt to get five different recipes. So let’s give you the skinny on skinny margaritas so you can order your next cocktail with poise. 

Woman's hand holding skinny Margarita cocktail against the blue ocean

Skinny vs. Classic Margarita

A traditional margarita is a simple drink with three (or four) basic ingredients:1

  • Tequila
  • Lime juice
  • Orange liqueur
  • Agave syrup (optional)

Guess what? Those are the same ingredients you’ll find in most recipes for a skinny margarita, too. So, what gives? Why is there even a need for a “skinny” version of the drink?

The answer is that some bars started cutting corners to stretch the alcohol. Happy hour margaritas emerged, and so did the need to make large batches of the drink that people would happily gulp down. 

One way bars did that was to add sugar…lots of it. Sour mixes, sweetened lime juices, and pre-made margarita mixes all piled on the sugar content and raised the calorie count. Suddenly, the need emerged for a way to order a margarita that got back to basics. Enter the skinny margarita.2

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Skinny Margarita Recipes

Whether you prefer your margaritas frozen or on-the-rocks, it’s easy to create a skinny version. Learning how to make a frozen margarita slushie with a blender is also a breeze – plus we’ve written all about it! Simply avoid those pre-made mixes and limit the amount of agave or simple syrup you use. Everyone has their favorite recipe—now it’s time you found yours. 

#1 Bethenny Frankel Margarita

Any talk of the “skinny” trend in alcohol should mention Bethenny Frankel. The former Real Housewife of New York focuses on providing practical solutions to everyday problems.3 One of those happens to be sugary alcoholic drinks. 

Bethenny’s preferred recipe for a skinny margarita (with a SLIQ frozen margarita pop addition) is as follows:4 

Just combine all the ingredients in a glass, and you have a skinny margarita. If you prefer mezcal cocktails, simply replace the tequila with mezcal! As you can see, this recipe uses no sweetener and only a splash of orange liqueur to really keep the calorie count low. The estimated count comes in around 160 calories.

Skinny Margarita with orange juice

#2 Skinny Margarita with Orange Juice

While Bethenny’s skinny margarita certainly achieves the desired goal of lowering the calorie and avoiding any unnecessary sugar, some of us prefer things on the sweeter side. So how do we achieve a slightly sweeter drink while still avoiding sugary mixes? This variation of a skinny margarita with some agave syrup and blood orange juice (instead of orange liqueur) is one option:5 

Because you’re using blood orange juice instead of orange liqueur, you’ll want to put all of these ingredients into a cocktail shaker and give it a shake before pouring it into your glass. Once you’ve shaken it, simply pour it into your glass (salt rim optional) and enjoy this slightly sweeter skinny margarita that comes in at about 187 calories.

SLIQ Frozen Agave Margarita Pops

There’s one more skinny margarita recipe you should know, and it’s both the easiest to make and the lowest in calories. Plus, there are three variations you can try. The recipe follows:

That’s it for this frozen agave drink. No mixing, no finding ingredients, just grab your SLIQ pop and enjoy. The alcohol ice pops are made with the finest 100% Blue Agave Spirit, natural flavors, and gluten-free ingredients. They also can be labeled as “skinny,” with each pop containing only 90 calories. And each pack comes with three delicious flavors to choose from:

So the next time you’re in the mood for a delicious skinny margarita, you’re welcome to grab your cocktail shaker, squeeze some limes, and craft yourself a low-calorie cocktail. Making these can be fun! But you can also put the cocktail shaker away, reach into your freezer, and grab a SLIQ Frozen Agave Margarita Pop. Then skip straight to the good part. Enjoy!


  1. Liquor.com. Margarita. https://www.liquor.com/recipes/margarita/ 
  2. Greatist. What’s the Difference Between a Margarita and a Skinny Margarita? https://greatist.com/eat/margarita-and-skinny-margarita-what-is-the-difference 
  3. Bethenny. About Bethenny. https://bethenny.com/about 
  4. Health.com. Bethenny Frankel’s Skinnygirl Margarita. https://www.health.com/celebrities/bethenny-frankels-skinnygirl-margarita 
  5. Cookie and Kate. Skinny Margaritas. https://cookieandkate.com/fresh-margaritas/