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Lighter Tequila Cocktails for Your Cinco De Mayo Celebration

It’s no secret that cocktails can pack a ridiculously high amount of calories, especially on a day like Cinco de Mayo when you might be celebrating, and drinking more than one of your favorite margarita.

If you want to enjoy a cocktail or two or three (responsibly, of course – don’t forget a designated driver!) skip the sour mix, pass on bottled mixes that have sugar and potentially dangerous artificial dyes and put your bottle of tequila to good use with some of these lighter recipes. Use higher quality spirits, such as Partida Tequila or Camarena Tequila, so you won’t want to mask it’s flavor with sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.

With no garnish, salt or secondary liquor required, the alcohol and sugar content are lower than traditional margaritas by as much as 200 calories. Agave nectar, a natural fructose sweetener extracted from the blue agave plant, has a lower glycemic index rating than sugar, honey or maple syrup and readily dissolves in cold beverages so it blends effortlessly in cocktails.

Perfect Margarita:

  • 1 oz. lime juice (app. the juice from one lime)
  • ¾ oz. pure, organic agave nectar
  • ¾ oz. pure spring water
  • 1.5 oz. Tequila Blanco, Reposado or Añejo

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake vigorously and serve chilled.

If you’re not a margarita fan but still want to get a tequila fix without excessive calories, try a different beverage with great flavor and fresh ingredients.

Silver Paloma

  • 2 oz Tequila Blanco, Reposado or Añejo Tequila
  • 3 oz fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • Splash of soda water

In a cocktail shaker combine all of the ingredients, except for the soda water, and add ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a high ball glass over ice. Top with soda water and garnish with a lime wheel.

Corazón de Camarena

  • 2 oz Tequila Blanco, Reposado or Añejo Tequila
  • 1/2 cup strawberry simple syrup (*see recipe below)
  • 2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped roughly
  • Sliced strawberries

Place the basil in the bottom of a cocktail shaker, pour in the tequila. Use the back of a spoon (or muddler) to mash the basil leaves into the tequila. Fill the shaker with ice and add strawberry simple syrup, lime juice and agave nectar. Fill with ice, shake and strain into a high ball glass over ice. Garnish with sliced strawberries on the rim and ribbons of basil mixed in the drink.

*Strawberry Simple Syrup Recipe: Combine 1 cup agave nectar, 1 cup water and 5 sliced strawberries in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Cool the syrup, then strain the liquid through a sieve, pressing the strawberries to extract all liquid.

May 2nd, 2011

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