Did you, like millions of others, make a resolution to get fit this year? Or are you already a person who monitors what they eat? Well lucky for you, just because you are being health conscious doesn’t mean there aren’t great cocktails for you – cocktails that are every bit as good or even better than their original simple syrup laden versions. Today we are going to focus on Agave syrup and use it to make a fantastic margarita.
The Agave Margarita
- 2 ounces Tequila Blanco
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1 ounce 1:2 agave syrup
- garnish with lime and (optional) rim with salt
Begin by mixing the agave syrup. To get the same amount of sweetness as you would with granulated sugar, you will actually use quite a bit less. Combine 2 teaspoons of agave nectar with 4 teaspoons of water to reach the same sweetness and volume as standard 1:1 simple syrup. Now the that the agave syrup has been mixed, add it along with the tequila and fresh lime juice to a shaker with a generous portion of ice. Shake until the cocktail has been thoroughly chilled. If you want to have a salt rim on your rock glass, now is the time. Pour some salt out onto a tray or plate, and run a lime around the rim of your glass (one of the limes you squeezed for juice will work just fine). Once the rim has been wet, gently dip the rim of the glass in the salt, then place back upright. I happened to have coarse rock salt laying around, so that is what I used – the additional minerals in rock salt add a touch more flavor, but any salt will work. Carefully add fresh ice and pour in the chilled agave margarita. Garnish with a lime wheel (I prefer to use half wheels for rock glasses) and you are ready to start the party.
For a good cheap tequila blanco, I highly recommend San Matias Legado. It is by far the smoothest tequila I have found under $20/fifth and it only costs around $12! If you want to go a bit more upscale, Espolón is a fantastic tequila in the $20-25/fifth range. Both of these tequilas are 100% blue agave – the mark of any spirit worthy of being called tequila. But wait, did I just say AGAVE?! That’s right, the spirit that you love to hate is distilled from the agave plant, the same plant whose sap is used to make agave nectar. So not only can agave nectar be healthier than cane sugar but it also naturally pairs well with tequila. Agave nectar packs around 60 calories per tablespoon, and although the same amount of sugar only contains 40 calories, agave syrup is so much sweeter that only 1/3 the amount is required. It is also low on the glycemic index and the resulting sugar surge will be considerably less than with granulated sugar. So get yourself some agave nectar and start experimenting! There are a world of new cocktails that this sweetener will be a part of.
Total cost per drink? ~$0.99