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THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

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PRODUCT: Skinnygirl Margarita

What if you’re one of those “Real Housewives Of…” ladies, enjoy cocktails but have to watch every calorie (the camera adds 10 pounds)? With a typical four-ounce Margarita weighing in at 500 calories (the majority due to sugar in the liqueur or the cocktail mix), what’s a housewife do?

If you’re Bethenny Frankel, one of the Real Housewives Of New York (and a natural foods chef), you formulate a lower-calorie Margarita in an episode of your reality series. Then, when the most-asked quesiton on the entire Bravo website is “How to make a Skinny Girl Margarita,” you bottle it and sell it (find locations).

The open-and-serve bottled Margarita is all natural, made of 100% blue agave tequila, flavored with lime juice and sweetened with lower-glycemic agave syrup.

While some “slenderized foods” can pass for almost the real thing (SkimPlus milk, nonfat Greek yogurt and sugar-free ice cream are examples), here you know you’re drinking a Margarita Lite.

Nevertheless, many dieters will enjoy saving 75% of the calories, and Ms. Frankel is to be congratulated for providing a lower-calorie alternative to America’s most popular cocktail.

While we don’t like sugary-sweet drinks, to us, Skinnygirl Margarita is missing a bit of sweetness (although the more we drank it and became accustomed to it, the more we enjoyed it).

So we experimented and found ways to improve it!


Save 75% of Margarita calories. Photo

First we added a packet of non-caloric sweetener. A liquid sweetener would have been better because a white sediment from the fillers in non-caloric sweetener settled at the bottom of the glass. But we really liked the added sweetness and didn’t mind the sediment.

Next we tried adding more agave syrup. Ms. Frankel might have done the same, but for the desire to keep the cocktail to 100 calories/serving. Agave is a great, low-glycemic sweetener (it has an average glycemic index of 32, half that of sugar). While agave has the same calories as sugar (about 17 calories/teaspoon), it is 1.5 times sweeter—so your calories buy you more. You can spare it: Add another teaspoon of agave to Skinnygirl.

Finally, we rimmed the glass with sea salt (kosher salt is fine, too). Bingo!

Feel free to add a lime wedge or lime wheel as a garnish. It’s not typical with Margaritas (the salt rim is); but we like it as a virtually calorie-free “extra” to chew on.

Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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