I don't know about you, but this mama enjoys a drink every now and then. Between three kids and farm chores and writing projects, this life can get a little crazy.
When I want to sit down for a second and chill, I do so with my favorite drink: a Simple Tequila Spritzer. Why is it my fave? Because it's really easy to make, it's super tasty, and it's as healthy as a cocktail can get.
Easy. Three ingredients: flavored sparkling water, lime juice, and reposado tequila. All mixed together. No special ingredients or tools required. It doesn't get much simpler than that.
Tasty. Tequila has always been my liquor of choice and it really shines in this drink. The flavored water and lime together with the tequila give this spritzer a refreshing, sophisticated taste. If you like drinks that aren't loaded down with sugar – drinks that allow you to appreciate the flavor of the spirits – then this Simple Tequila Spritzer is perfect.
Healthy. When made with one ounce of tequila, this drink comes in at whopping 70 calories with no carbs, no sugar, no anything. An ounce of reposado tequila averages 60-70 calories; sparkling water and lime juice come in at zippo.
Plus, some health gurus claim that the lime juice helps minimize the body's insulin response to the alcohol and the carbonation in the sparkling water helps speed the absorption of the alcohol so you don't have to consume as much to feel chill. (Just search online for NorCal Margarita if you want to read more about why this drink is considered one of the leanest around.)
Here's what I use to make my Simple Tequila Spritzer:
Sparkling water. Before my sister introduced me to LaCroix Sparkling Water, I made my Simple Tequila Spritzers with club soda. Now I'm completely hooked on these flavored sparkling waters. They're naturally flavored and contain no calories, no sodium, and no artificial sweeteners or colors. They come in lots of flavors; I like coconut, berry, lime, cranberry-raspberry, orange, and lemon. The best part, though, is that the variety of flavors lets me subtly change the flavor of each spritzer. Use the flavor that appeals most to you or try another brand of sparkling water. I still use club soda, occasionally, because it gives the spritzer a little more of a margarita taste due to the small amount of sodium it contains.
Lime juice. I make Simple Tequila Spritzers with either bottled lime juice or freshly squeezed lime juice. Freshly squeezed lime juice is lovely, but I usually use bottled lime juice because it's simpler. Sometimes all this farming mama has time for is something simple.
Tequila. Reposado tequila, to be exact. Reposado tequila is also called rested tequila, because it's slightly aged, somewhere between two and eleven months. Reposado falls between silver (or blanca) tequila, which is usually bottled directly after distillation, and anejo tequila, which is aged over a year in wooden barrels. Gold tequila made from 100% agave is a blend of silver and either reposado or anejo tequilas. Gold tequila without a 100% agave designation is silver tequila that has been mixed with colors and flavors to make it taste and look more like a true gold tequila.
When I started making these spritzers, I used Patron because I could get it in little sample bottles. Patron Reposado made good spritzers, but the frugal voice inside my head said there had to be other tequilas that offered a better balance of taste and price. Now, every time I need tequila, I try to look for a new brand. What I've found is that there are hundreds of brands of reposado tequilas and they all look pretty decent. Right now I have Camarena Tequila Reposado and Agavales Tequila Gold in the cupboard. I wouldn't have bought the Agavales, because it's not a reposado; but the liquor store manager said it was as smooth as gold tequilas get – and then he proved that by offering me a sample. If you need helping picking a reposado, ask someone at the liquor store for help or check out reposado reviews online. The next tequila on my list to try is Lunazul Tequila Reposado.
After that, it's as simple as deciding how strong I want my drink and then mixing everything together. Occasionally, I make my spritzer a little stronger, with two ounces of tequila and an ounce of lime, because I really like the stronger taste. Most nights, though, I opt for a lighter spritzer, because two ounces of tequila is enough to put an end to any plans for getting something done after the kids go to bed. If I really want the stronger taste, I'll mix the smaller amounts of tequila and lime with half a can of sparkling water. The bottom line here is that this drink is easily customized to personal preferences.
If I'm feeling fancy, I'll mix up my spritzer in a tall highball glass. Most of the time, it ends up in a pint jar.
Simple Tequila Spritzer
Time: 60 seconds
Yield: 1 drink
Calories: 70 - 140
12 ounces sparkling water (flavored or unflavored) or club soda, chilled
1 - 2 tablespoons lime juice (bottled or freshly squeezed*)
2 - 4 tablespoons (1 - 2 ounces) 100% agave, reposado tequila**
*1/4 of a medium lime will yield 1 tablespoon of juice
**I do not recommend using blanco or "silver" tequilas as they are too harsh for a simple cocktail. Most "gold" tequilas are too harsh, as well.
Pour sparkling water into pint jar or tall highball glass.
Add lime juice and tequila.
I was not compensated for mentioning any of the brands in this post; these brands don't even know who I am.