The best drinks bring together a mixture of flavors, and nothing does that better than a cocktail.
Whether it’s pairing the sharp tang of orange juice with the smooth clarity of vodka for a Screwdriver, or whatever magic is happening in a Long Island iced tea, cocktails pair and contrast flavors to create something that tastes like a party.
The classic Margarita is an expert at that blend. It takes the sweetness of triple sec, combines it with the sharpness of citrus, and finishes with the oomph of tequila.
In fact, the Margarita is so good at balancing flavors that you can find numerous variations of it around the world.
Strawberry, passionfruit, watermelon, rosemary — there’s almost nothing you can’t add to a margarita.
But what about when you try to make a spicy version of your favorite cocktail? Or try to remove some of the calories? Or even attempt a mix of the two?
It requires a bit of trust and a delicate hand with the spices, but spicy skinny cocktails are a revelation. Read on to find out more about this twist on the classic.
What Is A Skinny Cocktail?
We all love a cocktail, but they can come packed with a surprising number of calories.
But even sour and simple cocktails can be high in calories. A lot of this is due to the liqueurs used to add flavor (and a touch more alcohol).
A lot of these liqueurs use fruits and flavorings steeped in sugar as the base of the drink.
Even if they don’t taste hugely sweet on the palate, they still contain a lot of sugar.
In some cases, it’s easy to transform your favorite cocktail into a skinny variety.
For example, if your favorite drink is the Cuba Libre, you can always switch the cola for a diet variety!
Some cocktails don’t adapt quite so easily. If you want to make a skinny Mai Tai, for example, you’re going to have to make a fair few changes, and potentially compromise the taste.
Luckily, there are many entrepreneurial bartenders who are willing to experiment with your favorite cocktails to make something just as delicious, but without the calories.
The skinny Margarita is one of these incredible inventions!
The Margarita itself isn’t the most calorific of cocktails on its own, but if you order it at a bar, or make it from a mix, the sugar levels can rise through the roof.
The trick of a skinny margarita is finding a replacement for triple sec. Made with orange peels steeped in beet sugar, triple sec is delicious, but full of calories.
Skinny Margaritas typically replace this triple sec with freshly squeezed orange juice, and a touch of light agave nectar.
It tastes almost exactly the same, but cuts around 60 to 70 calories from your standard Margarita.
What Is A Spicy Cocktail?
Sweet and sour are two flavor profiles that we expect to find in a cocktail. What about spicy?
We all appreciate a bit of spice from time to time, and a few chili flakes can enliven a dull dish. But how does it work in a cocktail?
Actually, spicy cocktails are surprisingly delicious.
That little touch of heat can cut through the sweetness that’s common in cocktails, and add a punch to your favorite drink.
It doesn’t go with everything — you probably shouldn’t start pouring chili flakes into your Singapore Sling — but spicy cocktails are surprisingly common.
Spicy cocktails can be hard to get right. Spice is intensified by alcohol, giving you a blast of heat that only gets stronger with each sip.
Instead of blowing your head off, a spicy beverage should give you a tingle on your tongue, and a bit of a burn to the throat.
For that reason, many spicy cocktails pair the spice with sweetness, or a cooling element. This tames the heat, allowing you to enjoy all the flavors of your drink.
Probably the best known spicy cocktail is the Bloody Mary. A Bloody Mary combines vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco.
It sounds like it shouldn’t work, but it’s somehow delicious, although best enjoyed the morning after the night before.
Another cocktail with chili sauce included is the Michelada, a beer-based cocktail from Mexico.
What about the Margarita? Again, the adaptable Margarita is an excellent choice for adding a touch of spice.
It goes particularly well with the heat of jalapeños, although you can try a different chili for a new flavor.
Simply muddle the jalapeños with your ice, and shake with your tequila, lime, and triple sec. Strain, pour, and serve with a few extra jalapeño slices (if you dare).
All About The Spicy Skinny Margarita
So, we’ve established that the Margarita is a great drink to make skinny. We’ve also covered how delicious a spicy Margarita is.
But what happens when you try to bring the two together, and create a Spicy Skinny Margarita?
It should come as no surprise that this is a high quality drink. It helps that the Margarita is such a simple cocktail to begin with, and with such a clear flavor profile.
There’s room to play, without ruining the base beverage.
To make a Spicy Skinny Margarita, you need:
- Jalapeño, sliced and deseeded
- 2 ounces silver tequila
- 1 ½ ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 teaspoon light agave nectar
- Lime wedge
- Jalapeño, sliced
How To Make A Skinny Spicy Margarita
- If you want a salted rim, begin by rubbing the lime wedge over the edge of your glass. Sprinkle a light layer of salt on a plate, and roll the moist edges of the glass in the salt. Set aside.
- Slice your jalapeño, and add 3 to 4 slices along with ⅓ cup of crushed ice to a cocktail shaker. Use a muddle (or a wooden spoon) to lightly crush the jalapeño, and release the spice.
- Add the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, and light agave syrup to the shaker.
- Put the lid on the shaker, and get shaking! Shake for roughly 60 seconds, to release the juices of the jalapeño.
- Add ice to the glass (optional), and strain the cocktail into your glass.
- Serve immediately, garnished with lime wedges and slices of jalapeño!
Once you’ve tried this method, you can start adding some spices to your other beverages in the same way!
The Martini is another excellent base for some spice! Use a similar muddling method, or simply slice a pepper and drop it into your drink.
The flavors will slowly infuse, and you can remove the pepper when the spice is just right.
Plus, classic Martinis are pretty low in calories, making this perhaps the easiest spicy skinny beverage!
Cocktails are perfect for playing around with, as you alter flavor layers to bring something new to your favorite beverage.
Try making your preferred drink spicy, and trying out new, low calorie alternatives to your go-to cocktail.