How To Order a Keto Margarita at a Bar

How To Order A Keto Margarita At A Bar

New year, new you, right? Did you extend this to your drinking habits too? We’ve decided to extend this to our imbibing this year—so far, we’re doing great!

This might be a bit of a minefield for some of you because you’ve decided to try a keto diet. Or, maybe you are concerned about your health. Instead of giving up on going out for drinks with friends, there are keto options in the world of alcohol too!

You might wonder, how do I order a keto margarita at the bar?

Ordering a keto margarita at the bar isn’t difficult; you need to know what you want. For example, you could ask for a skinny margarita with little to no agave syrup or sweetener. You could also ask for tequila on the rocks with a shot of lime and an orange wedge to bring sweetness and balance to your drink.

A keto margarita aims to keep carbs like sugar to a minimum and help your body stay in ketosis (if you’re following a keto diet) or avoid blood sugar spikes if you have diabetes.  

We’ll investigate the differences between a classic and a keto margarita before we offer some tips on how you can order a keto margarita at the bar. We’ll also answer some questions about keto margaritas, like whether it will affect your ketosis, whether it is safe to drink keto margaritas for persons with diabetes, and whether it might wreck your diet. 

What Is a Keto Margarita?

What Is A Keto Margarita?

What are the regular and keto margaritas? Let us first define what we mean by keto Margarita. A keto Margarita can also be known as a low-carb Margarita or a skinny Margarita. The keto version of the classic margarita has fewer calories and sometimes even less liquor.

Unfortunately, there aren’t official recipes, so the ingredients can vary from one establishment to another. We’ll briefly explore the classic margarita and keto versions below before diving into how to order a keto margarita at the bar. 

The Original Margarita Recipe

The margarita is part of the ‘sour’ cocktail family. It is traditionally made with three ingredients: (traditionally) silver tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice.

They are mostly shaken with ice, strained, and served straight up in a coupette, colloquially known as a margarita glass. It can also be served over ice in an old-fashioned glass. When it’s blended with ice, you get a frozen margarita.

Finally, don’t forget to serve it in a salt-rimmed glass!

Skinny or Keto Margaritas

The 1990s called and would like to share a recipe with us. Julio Bernejo developed the ‘original’ skinny margarita at Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco, California.

Incidentally, the drink was named after the restaurant and became known as Tommy’s Margarita. Julio sweetened his version of the margarita with agave syrup instead of orange liqueur, leading to a lighter calorific load in the drink. 

Die-hard margarita fans and bartenders will probably fight that the skinny margarita isn’t authentic. But we honestly do not mind and like to check our calorie intake.

Skinny margaritas were part of the cleaner and lighter eating and drinking habits that swept through California around the turn of the previous millennium. 

The key to a great-tasting margarita is balance. Lime juice needs to be balanced out by a sweetening agent, and that’s what the orange liqueur provides in the original recipe or the agave syrup in the skinny version.

Keep in mind, while agave is marketed as ‘healthy,’ it is still a form of sugar. So remember to consume in moderation to avoid derailing your keto attempts.  

Generally, a traditional skinny margarita served on the rocks will contain between eight and fourteen grams of carbohydrates. The typical skinny recipe calls for tequila, lime or lemon juice, agave nectar, and Sprite or Sierra Mist to top it off.

Cutting out the agave nectar, sweeteners, or simple syrup can reduce carbs to around six to ten grams. Adding a half ounce of simple syrup or orange liqueur will push the carbs back to about twelve to fourteen grams.

How To Order a Keto Margarita at a Bar

How To Order A Keto Margarita At A Bar

Now that we’ve clarified what a regular or classic margarita is and what constitutes a skinny or keto margarita, let’s help you with some valuable pointers on ordering a keto margarita at the bar.

A keto or skinny margarita is a great option to order at the bar because you still get the delicious flavors without all the added calories. There is a slight trade-off, though—many recipes call for a higher proportion of tequila which makes them more potent and could make you drunk faster. 

Here are some pointers to help you order a keto margarita at the bar without looking silly:

  • As for tequila on the rocks with a lime wedge, go for an orange wedge if you’d like more sweetness. You could also ask the bartender for tequila reposado (remember, it contains more sugar, so watch out) instead of the traditional silver or blanco tequilas typically used in the traditional recipe. 
  • Be specific and ask your bartender to use less (“light to none”) agave or simple syrup when they mix your drink. 
  • Ask your bartender to swap the agave or simple syrup with an orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier, Triple Sec, or Cointreau. Remember, liqueurs will slightly elevate the sugar and carb content, but you’re avoiding the additional sugar from syrups.
  • Instead of a liqueur, you could also ask for orange extract—make sure which brand your bartender uses to avoid ‘hidden’ carbs. Suppose you’re mixing up keto margaritas at home. In that case, Nielsen-Massey’s orange extract is a fantastic, organically derived addition. You’ll need very little to get that burst of orange taste! 
  • Tequila on the rocks with a shot of lime juice is another option—make sure to ask for an orange wedge to balance the sourness.
  • Swap the Sprite or Sierra Mist for seltzer or sparkling mineral water to help keep the carb content low.
  • An orange wedge can also add the orange taste you crave when ordering a keto margarita and add some sweetness to your drink.

Other Pointers on Keto Margaritas

Other Pointers On Keto Margaritas

Because we’re dealing with keto margaritas, let’s look at some of your burning questions. 

Will a Keto Margarita Take Me Out of Ketosis?

Probably not. The classic margarita’s ingredients (tequila, triple sec, and lime juice) are all low in carbs, so it likely won’t derail your ketosis. But, when you add simple syrup or agave nectar and knock back a few margaritas, your body might go out of ketosis.

So, the important thing is to make sure about the ingredients and to avoid any that could potentially take you out of ketosis. Sweeter tequilas like reposado or añejo might affect your ketosis. 

Are Skinny Margaritas Safe for People With Diabetes?

Skinny or keto margaritas are safe for people with diabetes. However, you should still be mindful of the sugar content found in certain alcoholic drinks. Limit yourself to one or two daily drinks to ensure you don’t consume too much sugar.

We know we said agave nectar is still a sugar, but you can use it to sweeten and balance your drink.

The safest option is to make your keto margarita at home with low-calorie ingredients like freshly squeezed lime juice, club soda, and tequila. Avoid pre-mixed margaritas because they may contain ‘hidden’ sugars. 

Can I Still Drink Skinny Margaritas if I’m on a Diet?

Absolutely! Keto margaritas are non-fattening and contain fewer calories when compared to regular margaritas. Although a keto margarita isn’t fat-free, you can keep it sugar-free by avoiding simple syrup or agave nectar.

Other options include artificial sweeteners, diet soda mixers, and sparkling or seltzer water. 

Remember, alcohol—including tequila—is not ‘healthy.’ It contains sugars, chemicals, toxins, and sometimes dyes you ingest.

Keeping yourself hydrated is essential when you consume alcohol—drink some water before, during, and after imbibing to keep yourself hydrated (and to avoid those nasty hangovers the next day).


Ordering a keto margarita at the bar Isn’t difficult—you call it by its name. If your bartender looks confused, ask them for a skinny margarita with little to no sweetener or syrup. Alternatively, ask them if they could swap the orange liqueur for orange extract or juice.