When it comes to eating cleanly, simplicity rules; the same is true for cocktails.
This is welcome news for travelers—those vacation temptations like margaritas and daiquiris don’t have to be diet busting. Bars are going fresh with natural sweeteners like agave and honey, and fresh fruits and juices proudly displayed on the bar top. In addition to being delicious, these natural ingredients are much lower in calories than most artificial, sugar-laden and pre-made bottled mixers.
Half an ounce of a sweetener (like agave nectar or honey) combined with an ounce and a half of spirit (such as gin, tequila or rum) plus an ounce of any citrus juice is the simple formula for making perfect, three-ingredient summertime favorites. The “Tommy’s Style” margarita is a great example. Named after the bar where it was created over 20 years ago and conceived by owner Julio Bermejo, this cocktail uses agave nectar for its sweetener. This all-natural ingredient is derived from the Weber Blue agave (the same plant as tequila), and in the mind-set of ‘what grows together goes together,’ complements this spirit perfectly.
Agave is a honey-like syrup that can be found at most local grocery stores in the health food section, next to the honey or maple syrup. It is about 25% sweeter than sugar and has a richer, more fragrantly complex taste—somewhere between honey and maple syrup.
Swapping agave nectar for sugar allows for skipping the orange liqueur found in most margaritas. This simple swap will reduce the calories by almost 100 and deliver a tart/sweet cocktail that will satisfy your taste buds and keep your waistline in check. Your swimsuit will thank you.
Tommy’s Style Margarita
2 ounces tequila (preferably organic brands such as IXA or Casa Noble)
1 ounce fresh, hand-squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce agave nectar
1. With a cut lime wedge, moisten half of the outer rim of a glass.
2. Roll the moistened outer rim in coarse kosher salt to coat lightly.
3. Fill glass ¾ with ice carefully, so that salt does not get knocked off.
4. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice ¾ full.
5. Add the tequila, lime juice and agave nectar, then shake hard for 15 seconds and strain into the salt-rimmed rocks glass.
6. Garnish the drink with a cut lime wedge where the salted rim ends and enjoy!