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The Best Margarita Ever


Best Margarita Ever
Best Margarita Ever

Can a margarita be a part of a healthy lifestyle?  Absolutely! After a long week, or even a long few days, when the weather is hot, you might want to relax in the evening as the temperatures begin to cool off, talk to friends, snack on chips and guac, listen to music that relaxes and makes you happy. Feeling pleasure and joy through food is part of a healthy lifestyle.  Read more on how I justify this attitude here. The Best Margita Ever will be on my Cinco de Mayo menu! Will it be a part of your celebration?


When we dive into the nutritional breakdown of a margarita, I say each ingredient counts for a lot despite its subtle difference in taste, enjoyment, and how much pleasure you get from it.  I am usually best off when I make my own margaritas and can control all the ingredients. Here is my rundown on typical margaritas versus my recipe and what makes mine The Best Margarita Ever:


1. Tequila: There are no practical health benefits or significant nutrition to gain from tequila.  That said, use a tequila that is made from 100% blue agave plant with no additives.  I use tequila blanco (as opposed to reposado or anejo) as it has less calories than the others and just has a cleaner taste.


2.  Orange liqueur:  I’m partial to Cointreau since I think it’s smoother, and less syrup-y sweet than Triple Sec.


3.  Lime juice: I squeeze my limes on the day of making margaritas.  Fresh lime juice is full of vitamin C, antioxidants, and can support heart health, so here's our "nutritional benefit".  Fresh lime juice begins to lose its flavor and some of its nutritional benefits begin to deteriorate 2-3 days after squeezing.  Bars often purchase bottles of lime juice which may have been squeezed a week or more prior. (Cheaper bars are probably using margarita mixes, which...don't even go there).


4.  Sweetener: Actually, a classic margarita has no sweetener in it, but often bar margaritas add simple syrup or worse, agave nectar.  Simple syrup is usually refined sugar and water.  But sometimes, it is high fructose corn syrup and water.  Agave nectar is no better, even though they like to fool you by claiming low GI numbers as a health benefit.  Once the agave plant is processed for its sweetness, its fructose content is above 50%, making it “high fructose,” too.  We know this to contribute to some chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, and others.  It is not the “corn” part of high fructose corn syrup that does this.  It’s the “high fructose” part.  So, avoid agave nectar.


I use maple syrup.  Weird, right?  Actually, I use just a touch and it tastes so good!  Maple syrup is a natural sweetener, straight from maple trees, and its golden brown color comes from all the natural minerals in it.  These have an actual health benefit, so I opt for real maple whenever I can.  And, just for the fact that I’m FODMAP-wary, agave syrup is high FODMAP, and maple syrup is not.


So, here is my favorite margarita recipe, and I've heard nothing but compliments from my friends! No one has ever been able to put a finger on the maple syrup, proving it does its job without distracting from the lime-tequila flavor. I think it actually adds a strange kind of umami to what is otherwise a very acidic drink. I call it my secret ingredient.


Best Margaria Ever
Best Margarita Ever

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