A huge part of the CiV experience is scouting for adventure and experimenting to find creative, innovative approaches to well, just about everything we do with our clients and partners. So it's no surprise that our unceasing curiosity and wellness hacking often leads to riffs on everything from smoothies to cocktails in an attempt to create better versions.
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It's summertime and that means one thing: frozen margaritas! But if you're trying to stick to a keto plan or reduce refined sugar, those traditional margaritas are out of the er, mix. Sometimes the pre-packaged margarita mixes cover up the citrus flavors and the subtle flavors in tequila like reposado which has been aged in oak barrels for a period of 2-12 months.
Hacking Margarita Mix & Cointreau Orange Liqueur for Lower Sugar
Not to worry, though – I've got you. Here's our very own recipe for a no-sugar-added 'Cointreau' like orange liqueur featuring fresh citrus, and a simple syrup made from a sugar-free sweetener. The combination of orange peels and sugar-free simple syrup is magical, so it tastes just as good as the real thing.
We all have a different sense of what tastes 'sweet.' Experiment with it and make it your own!
Let's get started!
What You'll Need to make the Sugar-Free Cointreau
Powdered or liquid sugar-free sweetener (we like Swerve granular)
1-2 Navel Oranges or other citrus fruit
Step One: Make the sugar-free simple syrup. Combine equal parts of powdered sweetener (I used Swerve brand granular) or allulose and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sweetener has dissolved, then remove from heat and let cool.
Step Two: Peel your citrus fruit.
I like to use naval oranges the peel is thicker and seems to add a lot of flavor for a lower volume of peel. You could also use a mandarin, tangerine, Clementine, or a blend. Don't add in fruit, pulp or juice since that adds sugar and defeats our purposes.
Step Three: Combine citrus peels and sugar-free simple syrup
Add the peels to a clean jar with an airtight lid and pour in the cooled simple syrup until it covers the peels.
Step Four: Add clear spirit for more citrus flavor (optional)
To extract even more flavor from the orange peels, add about 1/3 cup of orange-flavored vodka to your jar.
Step Five: Store jar in refrigerator
Seal the jar and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, up to two weeks. Let it sit for an additional day or two before using.
Step Six: Make your sugar-free margarita
Now that your orange liqueur is ready, let's make the margaritas! Combine tequila, lime juice, and your homemade orange liqueur in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into glasses. Garnish with a lime wedge if desired.
Take your sugar-free margarita to the next level with these two pro tips:
Pro-tip I: Spice things up with Tajin
Replace your salt rim with Tajin chili-lime seasoning
Pro-tip II: Make your own jalapeño-infused tequila
Make homemade jalapeño-infused tequila to add a little heat to your next margarita. Slice a fresh jalapeño and place (seeds and all!) into a glass measuring cup or jar. Fill with the desired amount of tequila. Cover for 24 hours at room temperature. Remove seeds and jalapeño using a wire mesh kitchen strainer.
OK, so we can't come to your offices and make these margaritas for you. Bummer. But...
We'd love to think about how we can bring that same 'spirit' (sorry for the pun) of creativity to your organization.