Low-Sugar Margarita With Orange Extract

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
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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 low-sugar 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. Current dietary guidelines suggest limiting sugar intake to 10% of daily calories or less.

You can add a small amount of agave syrup if you wish, but note that this will increase the amount of sugar in the recipe. Try tasting your cocktail before adding agave syrup; you may not miss the extra sweetness.


  • 1 jigger (1 1/2 oz.) tequila
  • 2 tbsps lime juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp orange extract
  • Ice
  • Optional: Margarita salt or kosher salt
  • Optional: Lime wedge for garnish
  • Optional: 1 tbsp 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.

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, sugar has 40 calories per tablespoon whereas agave syrup has 60 calories. It's important to note that adding the optional agave will also add about 14 grams of sugar to your cocktail.

However, agave syrup is much sweeter than sugar so you don't need to use as much for the same level of sweetness. Agave syrup is high in fructose but low on the glycemic index, potentially 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 one that you prefer. Studies have shown that stevia can lower blood pressure and lower blood sugar levels.

Serving Tips

  • Margaritas can be served straight up, on the rocks, or blended into a slushy consistency with crushed ice for a frozen margarita.
  • Coat the glass rim with coarse salt if you like.
  • Garnish with a lime wedge.

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2 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Ninth Edition. December 2020.

  2. 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

By Laura Dolson
Laura Dolson is a health and food writer who develops low-carb and gluten-free recipes for home cooks.