Sugar-Free Margarita With Orange Extract Recipe

Mexico, Jalisco, Puerto Vallarta, Frosted glass of a margarita cocktail served with ice and slice of lime with whole limes at side
Mockford & Bonetti / Getty Images
Total Time: 10 min
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 0 min
Servings: 1

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

104 calories
0g fat
6g carbs
0g protein
Show Nutrition Label Hide Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving  
Calories 104
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 3g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 0g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 6mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 72mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

This sugar-free margarita cocktail recipe is made with tequila, lime juice, and orange extract instead of the traditional Triple Sec or Cointreau orange liqueurs which have high concentrations of sugar. You can add a small amount of agave syrup should you wish, but note that the recipe will no longer be sugar-free. Try tasting your cocktail before adding agave syrup; you may not miss the extra sweetness.

Margaritas can be served straight up, on the rocks, or blended into a slushy consistency with crushed ice for a frozen margarita. You can coat the glass rim with coarse salt, if you prefer, and garnish with a lime wedge.


  • 1 jigger (1 1/2 ounces) tequila
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange extract
  • Ice
  • Optional: margarita salt or kosher salt
  • Optional: lime wedge for garnish
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon agave syrup or stevia


  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine tequila, lime juice, water, orange extract, agave syrup, if using, and a small handful of ice. Shake until well blended. Alternatively, you can mix ingredients in a blender until slushy.

  2. If desired, wet the rim of a margarita or martini glass with lime juice or plain water and dip it into a small plate of margarita or kosher salt.

  3. Pour mixture from shaker into glass, either over ice or straight up. If blended, pour straight into ​the glass.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

Although agave syrup has become a popular alternative to sugar, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing it as a substitute. In terms of calories, per tablespoon sugar has 40 calories whereas agave syrup has 60 calories. However, agave syrup is much sweeter than sugar so you don't need to use as much. Agave syrup is high in fructose but low on the glycemic index, making it a better choice than sugar for those people with diabetes (although there is not a lot of research to back this up).

Another natural sweetener to consider is stevia—it comes in both granulated and liquid form. Stevia is very sweet but practically calorie-free. The taste can differ from brand to brand so you may want to try a few to find the stevia that you prefer. Studies have shown that it can lower blood pressure and lower blood sugar levels. 

Reduced-Sugar Cocktail Recipes

Just because you are trying to cut back on the sugar doesn't mean you have to cut back on the cocktails! There are some simple ways to turn your favorite drinks into a sugar-free delight, like a cosmopolitan cocktail or whiskey sour.

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  1. Rizwan F, Rashid HU, Yesmine S, Monjur F, Chatterjee TK. Preliminary analysis of the effect of Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) in patients with chronic kidney disease (stage I to stage III). Contemp Clin Trials Commun. 2018;12:17-25. doi:10.1016/j.conctc.2018.08.007