Calories in Homemade and Restaurant Margaritas

skinny margarita

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If you love summer cocktails then you probably enjoy a margarita now and then. But do you know how many calories are in a margarita? Now that skinny margaritas have hit the scene, people who are cutting calories enjoy this cool drink as well. But if you're trying to lose weight, there are a few things you need to know about margarita calories.

Margarita Calories in Restaurants

The number of calories in a margarita will depend almost entirely on how it’s made and where you drink it. There are roughly 200 calories in a strawberry-flavored TGI Fridays margarita. Many restaurant-made margaritas have calorie counts in that same range.

Watch Portion Sizes

The other important fact to take into consideration is the size of your margarita. When you drink the cocktail in a restaurant, chances are good that you'll be served a larger-than-average beverage. As a result, the margarita calories will increase as well.

Many frozen margaritas that are served at fast-casual restaurants come in glasses that hold six, eight, or even 10 ounces of fluid. So if the drink is filled to the salt-rimmed brim, you may be consuming the equivalent of two or more cocktails. 

Margarita Calories at Home

If you make your drink at home, the calorie count will depend on the ingredients. Many home bartenders use mixers because they make cocktails easier to prepare. But popular mixers are often full of sugar and calories. Frozen margarita mixers tend to contain a lot of processed sugar and calories that provide no nutritional value.

A single 2-ounce serving of Old Orchard or Bacardi brand margarita mixer has 90 calories. Two ounces is about one-quarter cup. Most drinkers will consume a drink that is larger than that.

Don't forget to include the alcohol in your margarita calorie count. A single serving of tequila provides 65 to 70 calories. Your homemade margarita will probably total at least 150 calories, but more if you prefer a stiff drink.

If you make your own margarita from scratch, you may be able to cut calories by using fresh, low-calorie ingredients. A classic margarita recipe is usually prepared with triple sec, tequila, sour mix, and a splash of lemon or lime. It will probably provide between 100 and 150 calories depending on how you balance the ingredients. 

Skinny Margarita Calories

If you want to limit the number of calories in your margarita, you might opt for a skinny margarita. Most skinny margarita recipes include fewer ingredients and provide fewer calories—but not much. If you combine tequila, fresh lime, sugar (or agave nectar) and sparkling water, you may cut out 25 to 50 calories.

Be careful if you choose “skinny” brands of cocktails, because he lower calorie count can be confusing. Bethenny Frankel’s Skinnygirl Margaritas contain only 35 calories per serving, but a serving is only 1.5 ounces. That's about the size of a shot glass. 

Make Your Own Skinny Margarita

If you are craving a margarita, make your own. Using diet lemon-lime soda and/or sugar-free lemonade powdered drink mix can save calories (if you don't mind artificial sweeteners). Or take a recipe like this one, for a sugar-free margarita, and tailor it to your own taste. 

More Calorie-Saving Ideas

  • Decrease the amount of alcohol
  • Add more ice
  • Add sparkling water
  • Try low-calorie vodka

If you drink just one, you can enjoy a skinny margarita and still stick to your lower-calorie eating plan. But if you drink more than a small, single serving, then the calories in your cocktail will probably be no more "skinny" than the calories in a glass of wine or beer.

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  1. Fridays Nutritional Information. Updated 2019.