Hands down, a healthyish spicy margarita is my Cinco de Mayo beverage of choice. A ‘healthyish’ cocktail?! Okay. Perhaps it is more politically correct to say that some margaritas are much more UNHEALTHY than others. How so? Check this out.
Be Smart With Your Booze.
First, be smart with your booze. Either buy a decent tequila or don’t buy any at all. Cheaper tequila is harder for your body to metabolize due to higher levels of congeners. A byproduct of distillation, congeners are higher in cheap alcohol. So, while top-shelf isn’t necessary, avoid the cheaper brands. In fact, you might make this argument for all spirits.
Skip the Bottled Mixer.
Yes, you heard me right, skip the store-bought margarita mixer! It’s totally unnecessary, and most are full of additives. Like congeners, these add to the toxic load, making your liver work even harder.
The Healthyish Spicy Margarita
In contrast to using a margarita drink mix, this refreshing margarita has no artificial flavors or colors and is preservative-free. Further, the grapefruit juice base gives it a perfect balance; slightly sweet and tart. If I have time, I’ll use freshly squeezed grapefruit. If not, I’ll use the Lakewood brand grapefruit juice because it is organic and has the pulp intact.
Shaker or Pitcher? Going the shaker route makes for a light, frothy drink. But, you can also serve a crowd by making these in bulk and serving over ice.
And as always, drink responsibly and have a healthy, happy Cinco de Mayo!
Batch Recipe for Healthyish Spicy Margarita – Serves 6
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons jalapeno infused tequila
- 6 cups fresh pink grapefruit juice
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
Muddle the cilantro leaves, or coarsely chop. Combine with the tequila and grapefruit juice, stir, and serve over ice.
Healthyish Spicy Margarita – Per Serving
- 2-3 ounces jalapeno infused tequila
- 1 cup fresh pink grapefruit juice
- A few sprigs of fresh cilantro for muddling
A Note on the Heat Factor: When making the infused tequila, a decent amount of heat can develop in as little as three hours. Heat in the end product will vary depending on the jalapenos used. The smaller ones are hotter than the larger peppers. Likewise, red peppers have more heat than the green ones. It will also depend on and how long you infuse the peppers. If you like a good spicy margarita, infuse the tequila overnight, then taste for heat. Once the tequila has the desired spiciness, remove the jalapenos or strain the tequila into a new bottle.
- Lighten it up with soda water. Replace some of the alcohol or grapefruit juice with soda water to make the drink more like a spritzer and lighter in calories. It will also be lower in alcohol if you substitute it for some of the alcohol.
- Freshen with cucumber. Muddle a few slices of peeled cucumber per serving (or about half a cucumber for the batch recipe).
- Sweeten it up. This recipe has no addded sweetener. So, if you like a sweet margarita, add a few teaspoons of agave or simple syrup.
- Garnish and flourish. It’s Cinco de Mayo – so make it festive! Garnish with a sprig of cilantro or a cucumber spear. And, if you like a salted rim, wet the rim and invert the glass onto a dish of sea salt mixed with chili powder.