Margaritas With Real Limes

Natural LimeFor the last few weeks I’ve been experimenting with my margarita recipe which is fairly basic, a shot of 100% Agave Tequila, two shots Roses’s Lime Juice and a half shot of Grand Marnier in a shaker with ice. The issue I’ve had is that Rose’s Lime Juice is full of high fructose corn syrup, not exactly the most healthy of choices.

Like many chemically designed sugar substitutes, most are known not to be a very healthy alternative to real sugar. However, real sugars don’t dissolve so well in a cold drink and a few syrups (such as Orgeat Syrup) work but don’t give the Margarita the right taste. The true answer may be Agave Syrup, which I have on order and I’m awaiting to arrive but I need to, first, remove the high fructose corn syrup from the receipt which means eliminated Roses Lime Juice unfortunately.

The answer: real limes. Who knew? Plenty of people, but I’m slow, forgive me.

I’ve tried “juicing” the Limes in a juicer, first trying the entire fruit – peel and all, to see how it would taste. Well, as expect the peel has a lot of ‘flavor’ which overwhelms the margarita to the point of almost gagging. So that’s not the right solution. I then figured I’d peel them and juice them but realized cleaning a juicer is a long and tedious process for one or two shakers of margarita. At a party this might be a great solution to mass producing real lime juice but I’ve not had this occur just yet.

So, I went out and purchased a cheapy citrus squeezer. Roll the lime on the table after letting it sit out on the counter for the day so it warms up a bit and you’ll get the most juice out of the lime. Then, cut it in half, put half in the citrus squeeze and …squeeze. It creates roughly one shot of lime juice so squeezing both sections of the lime creates my required “two shots of lime juice.”

Now I’ve removed the need for the Rose’s Lime Juice and eliminated the high fructose corn syrup for natural flavors and sugars. The margarita will be a bit more bitter but not too bad (since the peels are not part of the equation). Now, a syrup sugar like Agave Syrup or something may work to build more of a natural sweetness, more on that when it arrives.

Hopefully this helps anyone looking to build a more natural margarita with real limes.


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  • Reply
    Rick Neighbors
    December 23, 2008 at 6:54 pm


    Well, my “Organic Blue Agave” syrup finally arrived. But now I can’t find your recipe/video on making the margarita with it. I remember “good tequila, fresh lime juice, grand marnier, and agave syrup. Just not sure of the proportions.
    I’m looking on your site and might find it before you reply. Also, I purchased some “Mrs. Biddle’s Key Lime Juice, to use in my Gin and Tonics. Might try it in place of the fresh limes, when they are in limited supply.

  • Reply
    March 20, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Here’s my recipe. Still doing a little perfecting since I switched from Triple Sec to Agave Nectar.

    3oz good tequila
    half a lime (squeezed)
    1.5 – 2tbs Agave Nectar (I found that the Amber works better than light)
    Just a splash of Blue Curacao (mostly to make it look cool)

    Be sure to shake before you put the ice in. Otherwise the agave nectar will coagulate. After everything is mixed well, add ice and shake again.



    • Reply
      Derrick Schommer
      March 20, 2009 at 10:08 pm

      I love the amber, the light is really light, it’s almost useless when you compare both drinks side-by-side, which I did 🙂 And 3oz. of tequila, that is hard core 🙂 Does the Curacao sweeten it up a bit more and give it some tropical tastes?

      This may be good with Tanteo’s Tropical infused tequila. Right now, however, you have to get it in New York, maybe they ship it out…

  • Reply
    Rick Neighbors
    March 21, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Hi Derrick,

    Tried your recipe out on some friends last night, and they liked the margaritas so much that they actually called me back this morning for the recipe. Said they were the best margaritas that they had ever drank. And the crowd I run with are hard core tequila drinkers!
    I still prefer the recipe with the Good Tequila, Grand Marnier, Blue Agave, and fresh limes. I also keep plenty of the Key Lime Juice for when we get poor quality limes or no limes are available. I mix it with bottled water and keep it chilled for the party.

    Thanks again for your site! What a job you have!


  • Reply
    Derrick Schommer
    March 21, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Excellent to hear! I think people are so used to those premixes and the fake restaurant sour margarita’s that they’re not prepared for a real recipe.

  • Reply
    Jim Cunningham
    June 14, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Got bad news for you health nuts…I, too, fell for the agave nectar BS…it’s actually worse than high fructose corn syrup…the only “agave nectar” that is any good occurs naturally and is drained from the plant and is VERY expensive, and not the stuff you’re buying, even from the health food stores…it’s all procesed and is not a good alternative…I’ve read a couple of things about it, I think the best was on Dr. Mercola’s site – Mercola.com

  • Reply
    Rick Neighbors
    June 16, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Well, I don’t know where you are getting your information about the Agave nectar, but it is not BS! Organic agave nectar is a low glycemic sweetner that can be used for many things besides margaritas.

    I will defer to my wife’s knowledge on this as she has 35 years experience in the “health nut” business. 🙂


    PS – Did you even notice that when you Google Dr. Mercola’s name, you get more sites calling him a fraud, than anything else? Just something I noticed.

  • Reply
    February 10, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    You do realize that whether it’s ‘natural sugar’ or high fructose corn syrup the body digests it the same way. It can’t tell that one came from a foreign source, sugar cane, or a domestic source, corn. Both should be used in moderation but very few doctors and nutritionists, except those on the fringes, believe there to be any risk associated with moderate corn syrup in the diet. And at least you’re supporting an domestic product. More research is needed before we fly off the handle at things like this and ‘organic’. Most organic produce has had pesticide use, although from a natural source. These can be even more deadly than those used with inorganic production.

    Current Horticulture Professor

    • Reply
      Derrick Schommer
      February 11, 2011 at 6:01 pm

      I’ve heard enough about High fructose to be concerns, the fact that they don’t have a “yes” or “no” answer to its risks leaves me to question. In normal everyday activity I try to limit to the use of real sugar over that of high fructose corn syrup. Organic might be better for the environment and be nice on local business and I feel good about that but, in all honesty, most organic products taste better than manufactured products and I try to make cocktails with the best taste I can.

      But, nobody’s perfect, sometimes I do what’s faster or more convenient 🙂

  • Reply
    Rick Neighbors
    February 12, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    I applaud you Derrick for trying to use a product that might be a little better for you as well as taste good…..blue agave nectar. That is all I use in my bar now.
    And FYI, in response to a rise in blood sugar when we have a sweetener, our pancreas produces insulin, which removes sugar from the blood to be stored as fat. This process results in low blood sugar which means we want to eat more. It should be no surprise, then, that sugar consumption leads to obesity, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and diabetes.

    What may be a bigger surprise is that sugar consumption also increases triglycerides, a major predictor of heart disease. Cancer cells feed on sugar. And sugar lowers the body’s production of antibodies, hinders the germ-killing ability of white blood cells, and blocks the transport of Vitamin C.

    I trust my wife in this as she has been in the “health” industry for over 35 years……she knows what she is talking about. So, if I am going ot have a drink, I am going to try to use the best ingredients that I can. And I teel that the organic blue agave syrup makes a much better margarita. By the way, I also use it in other ways when we cook, in my coffee, etc.
    Keep up the good work buddy! ,

  • Reply
    Jane Collingwood
    March 10, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Thanks for sharing very helpful entry. It’s really helps me to build a more natural margarita with real limes. Keep up the good work. 🙂

  • Reply
    May 10, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. I avoid corn syrup too after reading the research that Princeton did showing that c.s. is taxing to the liver, amongst other things. If you’re concerned about this you should google their research. VERY interesting stuff!

    • Reply
      May 10, 2012 at 6:51 pm

      if it’s taxing to the liver than you’d be getting double damage adding it to a cocktail! ha! I avoid it when possible just out of spite of “the man” and their need to process everything to make it cheaper.

  • Reply
    June 30, 2012 at 3:24 am

    Note to self… when limes are in season and you can score them for 10 cents each at the local Mexican market, stock up, juice, and freeze. Good for many months. Aahhhh, paradise is nice!

    • Reply
      June 30, 2012 at 10:28 am

      Yeah, I used to also freeze sour mix after making my own with lemons and limes and simple syrup, so that I had it on hand when needed.

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