What to Drink When You’re Not Drinking - Virgin Jalapeno Margarita


Reece Carter

Whether you’re watching your alcohol intake during lockdown, taking a month off drinking altogether, or are just looking for a refreshing substitute to enjoy between alcoholic drinks, this healthy ‘margarita’ is delicious and easy to make. A traditional margarita contains simple syrup (sugar) and triple sec (an orange-flavoured liqueur), and so freshly squeezed orange juice plus a little bit of stevia is the healthiest swap to make this drink lower in sugar and alcohol-free.

The most important (and time-consuming) part of making this drink is squeezing your own lime juice. It’s well worth it though, as bottled varieties have a completely different flavour — and it’s not good! If you don’t like things too spicy, be sure to remove the jalapeno seeds — or consider halving the amount.

Makes two margaritas. Each drink is approximately 349 kilojoules (83 calories).


2 cups ice cubes

1 cup fresh orange juice, pulp-free

¾ cup fresh lime juice

½ fresh jalapeno, sliced

2-3 tsp stevia

To serve

Lime wedges

Salt (optional)


  • Start by running a lime wedge around the rims of two short glasses, then dipping each of them into a shallow plate lined with salt. (This step is optional and can be avoided if you’re trying to keep your sodium down.)
  • Add half the ice, plus all the lime and orange juices, to a large cocktail shaker.
  • Finally, add the stevia and jalapeno slices, adjusting according to your tastes.
  • Shake well, until it’s ice-cold, then pour into the salt-rimmed glasses.
  • Top up each glass with the remaining ice.
  • Add lime wedges and enjoy!

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