Looking for something refreshing to drink with my newest recipe for Plantain Nachos? These paleo margaritas with healthy ingredients will be just perfect! My brother Joel is an awesome cocktail maker and these Worthybar Margs have been served and enjoyed at family celebrations for years. After the awesome response from you all when I posted the photo of the margarita the other day, I convinced him to come on and share the paleo margaritas recipe! Let's be nice to him and maybe he'll come back and share other cocktails more often! You can find him on instagram and Facebook.
I'll let Joel take the post from here, but wanted to quickly address the question of alcohol with Paleo. True, it is doubtful that drinks were enjoyed back in the day, but for a grain-free, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free cocktail – 100% agave tequila is a great option!
I have fond memories of the first time I started making margaritas at home over 7 years ago, which is the drink that really kicked off what has become an ongoing passion of mine as it relates to craft cocktails & spirits. I am sure many will agree that there is truly nothing better than enjoying a well-made margarita on a hot day—especially when paired with tasty Mexican food and good company!
As you could imagine, my preferred recipe has evolved quite significantly over the years. It continues to amaze me that you can order a margarita at 10 different restaurants or bars and end up with what seems like 10 completely different drinks. This is due to the fact that there are so many variables involved, including what specific tequila is used, whether or not it includes Triple Sec or another orange liqueur, fresh-squeezed citrus vs. a pre-made sweet & sour mix, and what sweetener is used.
My “margarita journey” started with buying pre-made margarita mix… just add the tequila! I then moved on to using organic bottled lime juice and organic agave nectar during the craze when people thought that it was a “healthier” sweetener. What progressed from there is the recipe I have now been using for the past few years, which I wanted to share with all of you!
Here’s what you’ll need:
Blanco tequila (100% agave)
Cocktail shaker (A Blender Bottle works as a great alternative)
Fine Strainer (optional)
A little lesson on tequila
For Margaritas, I prefer a “blanco” tequila, which means that it was bottled immediately after distillation or aged less than two months in stainless steel or neutral oak barrels. Blanco tequilas typically have a cleaner and brighter taste profile, which really shines in a margarita whereas Reposado (aged in oak for 2 – 12 months) and Anejo (aged for over 1 year) tequilas are typically meant for sipping. Here are a few brands to keep an eye out for:
Tapatio – this is my personal favorite currently for margaritas and other tequila-based cocktails. A great value as well at $30 for a 1-liter bottle
Siete Leguas ($35-40)
hi! Curious what’s in Patron that didn’t make the list? Thanks!
Hi EvD! The list of tequilas included above are just some of my personal favorites at varying price-points. Patron “silver” is a 100% agave tequila, so definitely nothing wrong with it.
It is worth mentioning that Patron is an American-owned company based in Las Vegas, Nevada. The owner is John Paul DeJoria of Paul Mitchell hair products. I guess that’s one of the reasons that I personally have chosen some of the smaller producers that I mentioned.
If you have the opportunity and enjoy sipping on tequila, you should try Patron next to the Fortaleza, Chinaco, Siete Leguas or even the Tapatio and see which one you like more. You could also try this test in a margarita to see which you like best.
I personally don’t like any of the Patron tequilas. It’s all just the name.
Thank you for sharing. Love the pics.
I can’t wait to try this!! It has been YEARS since I have had a margarita. Thanks SO much for posting, Joel.
No problem, Manya. Hope you enjoy!
AWESOME – thanks!
Can’t go wrong with Tequila 🙂
As long as its 100% agave, I am in agreement. 😉
I honestly don’t know the difference, can you tell me what kinds of tequila there are? I only know 1 kind, the one without the worm lol.
Hi Luyen, I mentioned some specific tequila brands that I recommend in the post above. What you’ll want to look for is a blanco tequila that is made from 100% agave. Someone at a store should be able to assist if needed. Yes, definitely stay away from the bottles with worms in them! That is typically a very bad sign. 😉
Hi Danielle! This doesn’t really have anything to do with this recipe in particular but I was wondering what brand of peppermint extract you use? I bought one from Simply Organic but it is peppermint FLAVOUR and has sunflower oil (which is not Paleo).
HUGE fan of your cookbook by the way! 😀
Beth @ Tasty Yummies
LOVE this recipe! I’ve been making my margaritas at home very similarly, thought I sometimes add a splash of fresh orange juice, too. There is NOTHING like a good simple, clean margarita. Great recipe!
This looks totally awesome! But just curious…why leave out something with “orange” in it? I thought a margarita was supposed to have that component. But I am not an expert on cocktails! 🙂
Indeed there should be an orange element. Tripple sec or Cointreau but the way they’re made has added sugar so not paleo. And also technically makes these not margaritas.
Hi Angela, the traditional margarita recipe calls for triple sec, cointreau, or another orange liqueur, which are typically loaded with refined sugars among other things. By omitting this ingredient, you really aren’t missing out on anything. I promise that you’ll agree after you’ve had a chance to try it!
These margaritas look so addicting!!
Wow, thank you!! Margaritas are my favorite drinks and I will be trying this one out this weekend. I had made something of this sort and didn’t really like it. I think it was the agave sugar I was using. This time, I will try the honey syrup. And you are so right about different places offering different tasting margaritas, it amazes me too and I do pick restaurants over which tasty margaritas they serve. Thanks again for the recipe!
No problem, Anna. Look forward to hearing your thoughts after you’ve had a chance to try! One thing you can always do when going out to bars and restaurants is ask how they make their margaritas. It can be a pain sometimes, but it is always a good sign if they are at least using a 100% agave tequila with fresh lime juice. Most places will not have honey-syrup, but it’s always worth asking!
So excited to try! When I get margaritas at bars/restaurants, I almost always end up with a headache. Don’t know if it’s from low quality tequila or tons of sugar in the sour mix. Blech. These sound light and refreshing! I’m going to enjoy one with my dad this weekend – he’s a margarita lover too! Thanks!
Hi Charly, you nailed it! My guess is that the headaches are caused by the low quality tequila (most likely a “mixto” and not 100% agave) along with all of the other refined sugars, high-fructose corn syrup, etc. that is in most sour mixes. Another key is drinking a lot of water of course whenever consuming alcohol, but I’ve never experienced a headache after drinking these. Cheers!
I am SOOO excited to try this recipe this summer! But I am dying to know where did you get your margarita glasses from?
Hi Maddie, sorry for the delayed response. I picked these up at the “Glass Factory” in Cabo San Lucas. If you ever get there, just ask a local where the glass factory is downtown and someone should be able to point you in the right direction. They have an absolutely amazing selection and the prices are extremely reasonable. Cheers!
Could I just add strawberries to make it a blended strawberry margarita?
Hi Jessica, I am sure that would work just fine. Depending on the sweetness of the strawberries, you may need to adjust the amount of honey syrup to taste.
Question: can you substitute agave syrup for the honey in the recipe?
Hi Rick, I prefer to use honey given that it is a naturally-occurring sweetener whereas agave is heavily processed and is not naturally-occurring.
If you do use agave, you’ll want to dilute it using 1 part agave to 1 part warm water, then stir to incorporate the 2. Or use 1/2 the amount that the recipe calls for.
I bought one of these- https://www.amazon.com/Large-Commercial-Juice-Press-Black/dp/B00ELMN7TO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1397946981&sr=8-2&keywords=bar+juicer
I use 100% agave tequila then juice 1 orange, 2 lemons, and two limes. It’s SO good! The orange, lemon, and lime taste like margarita mix 🙂
Lisa…that squeezer is amazing…you are my hero! LOL Can I come visit?
Great article, clearly you have done some tequila research. I would like to thank you for not mentioning top shelf teq’s, I have found they are usually selling a name . I am a tequila sipper myself, but I will try this and hopefully get back to you on it. Thanks again for the recipe.
No problem, Ryan! Hope you enjoy and I’d love to hear about any favorite tequilas of yours that were not mentioned. Cheers!
You are correct that the “traditional” margarita recipe calls for an orange liqueur, so some would consider this to be closer to a “Tequila Gimlet” if you’re going to get technical. This recipe is really a spin off the famous “Tommy’s Margarita” here in SF, which calls for tequila, lime and agave syrup.
My husband makes a great margarita similar to this but just adds in some fresh squeezed orange. That takes care of the orange component and keeps it refined-sugar free!!
I own a few of these as well and they are great, especially when making larger quantities of drinks for big groups. Definitely agree that mixing citrus can add some nice complexity to a margarita. Cheers!
Look forward to trying this, it looks fabulous. I really love Danielle’s cookbook Joel. It is making a huge change in my life. There is a strong family resemblance between the two of you. A toast to the both of you. Thanks for sharing the recipe & tequila info for choosing tequila–great to support small and local suppliers. Cheers!
Dana Russell Goodson
Just made these! Best Margarita I’ve had in a very long time! Simple. Clean. Delicious!!!
This looks awesome! I can’t wait to try this recipe!! On a side note, where did you get those beautiful margarita glasses?!
The Glass Factory in Cabo San Lucas!
Can you use agave nectar instead of the honey?
This is not paleo… this is highly processed crap…
Edward, assume you’re referring to the agave nectar and I agree. Unfortunately agave nectar is not naturally-occurring and requires extremely high temperatures to produce. It’s not easy for the human body to process, which is why we use honey as a sweetener.
Yes I am referring to the product shown in the picture.
Didn’t see the image initially, but see it now! Yes, steer clear of the agave nectar.
Just made these today and WOW. Best margarita and so simple. Only addition I made was about a half ounce of fresh squeezed oj.
Love this recipe! Also love the glasses that are pictured! Do you know where they are from?
I purchased these from The Glass Factory in Cabo San Lucas.
Love this kind of margarita recipe! Add an ounce of orange juice also …so good!!!!
Stanley W Hill
How would you stack 1800 Silver against the other tequilas mentioned here?
How many calories?
What about using bottled lime juice?