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Onto The Street Blog

The 2 Carb Margarita For Everyone

My connection to the margarita is strong. 25 years ago, I was diagnosed with diabetes after a night out drinking margaritas with friends. Margaritas in fact, were initially cited as the "cause" of my diabetes diagnosis. Wildly inaccurate (oh those diabetes myths!) and a story for another post, margaritas of course were not cause for my faulty pancreas. But, the margaritas (and most of the beverages I now consume) do look different today than decades ago.

Creating food and drink that make diabetes "easier" for me to manage, is a part of diabetes I've learned to enjoy. And almost 100% of the time, those around me, my "People Touched by Diabetes" are more than happy to consume whatever creation I've "hacked" and usually want the recipe. Diabetes or not, basically everyone is trying to achieve their best health, have a clear head, feel less groggy and enjoy life!

Here's to the 2 carb marg and those we cheers with! 

This Versus That

2 Carb Marg Edition

A regular "bar" margarita is usually made with pre mixed sugar/lime syrups which can contain upwards of 75 grams of carbohydrate. While everyone responds differently to carbohydrates, a general rule is that 1 gram of carbohydrate will raise blood sugar about 5 points. So, a 75 carb marg could raise blood sugar 375mg/dl or more (and who has just one!). 

A simple hack... order a tequila and soda water with fresh lime and a salted rim! If they don't have time to juice the limes for you, ask for wedges and plunk em' in yourself! Pure agave tequila has zero carbs and 69 calories per ounce. So aside from the trivial carb content from the fresh lime juice, this "hacked" margarita would have less than 2 grams of carb.


Like with all things diabetes, Your Diabetes May Vary when partaking in a boozy beverage. Be sure to drink and manage your health responsibly while having a good time! Know when to say when, call an Uber when you need one and try not to order chicken wings and pizza on the way home. Your fasting blood sugar will thank you! 

2 Carb Rocks Margarita Recipe

Ingredients Are Key

For the best results, choose a good tequila and fresh lime. Bottled lime juice and/or lime flavored syrups can add carbs and just don't taste as fresh.

This recipe makes two "rocks" style margaritas 
  • Fill a drink shaker (or whatever vessel you have around) with ice
  • Add the tequila and fresh lime juice to the shaker (if using homemade syrup below, add now)
  • Run a wedge of lime around the rim of your glasses and dip rim into coarse salt
  • Fill glasses with ice
  • Shake that shaker and strain over prepared glasses
  • Top off with a little soda water or whatever zero carb bubbly drink you choose 
  • Garnish with a lime wedge (an entire lime a less than 5 carbs) 



Make It Your Own

I think the basic recipe above is pretty tasty, but if you need to tone down the tequila, add a little sweetness or 'fancy" it up, there are lots of options to try...

Orange Wedge, Zest or Sparkling Orange Soda V. Triple Sec
I love the taste of triple sec in a margarita, but it's loaded with added sugar and clocks in at 15g carb per serving. Try a little squirt of orange, some orange zest or a splash of sugar free orange seltzer. 

Sweetener and Water V. Simple Syrup
If you need a little sweetness, make your own simple syrup! In a small bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons of a sugar free sweetener (like Swerve) and a little warm water to make a syrup. Add to taste to the tequila and lime before shaking. 

Probably my favorite "extra" is adding a couple berries to my margarita. You can keep them whole and toss them in or muddle them in the bottom of your glass. A few strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc. will keep it low carb but add some "fancy"! 

*sidenote- berries are a great low carb choice compared to fruit like apples and bananas if you are craving some fruit and want to keep the carbs down. 

Change Up The Sparkling Soda
You can try different low carb sparkling sodas in place of plain soda water to change the flavor up. 

To Salt or Not To Salt...

A little salt for the shaking

A little salt can have a big impact on flavor. It can actually boost the flavor of your margarita, satisfying taste buds without having to add a bunch of syrupy sugars. So go ahead and open up that margarita "bouquet" with your finest salt!