Lighten Up Your Margarita

Looking for ingredients to make sugar free margaritas without alcohol? Dhos Orange has answers.

What is It?

Low and no abv cocktails, sometimes called “healthier” or “better for you,” have been trending for years. Dry January is now a regularly scheduled event. Distillers are leaning into the trend, launching sugar-free and low or no alcohol spirits. Into the fray steps Dhos Spirits. Avatars of “conscious drinking” and “mindful consumption,” this group of spirit savants is making over classic spirits with a clean label, no alcohol or sugar, and no or ultra-low calories. (Hello, keto!) Dhos Orange is a non-alcoholic orange liqueur: think Grand Marnier or Cointreau, then remove the sugar and calories.

Sugar free margaritas without alcohol
photo credit: Stefan Welter

How does it Taste?

The first two ingredients listed in the deck for Dhos Orange are water and monk fruit sweetener (erythritol, monk fruit extract). As I have mentioned before, I am no fan of sugar alcohols (erythritol, etc.), monk fruit, or other keto-friendly ingredients that add sweetness without adding cane sugar or other caloric sweeteners. My palate dislikes the experience of these sweeteners, no matter how clean the label. At first sip, Dhos Orange tasted of the St. Joseph chewable aspirin of my youth. (Was there sucralose in the 1970’s?)  Upon swallowing, the flavor finishes with a bite of spice and orange essences from the added orange and chile extracts. Like so-called low-dose or baby aspirin, the experience was not entirely unpleasant. Cocktail-worthy? Mmmmmaybe.

Margarita’s Perfect Mixer

Undeterred by the mixer’s less than stellar initial taste taste, I sallied forth, using it both in the suggested zero abv cocktails from Dhos–Dhos Orange Rickey and Dhos Orange Mule. While I found the monk fruit flavor too strong in each of these mocktails, my kids loved them. (I’m sure I will later reap what I have sown.) They eat lots of candy sweetened with sugar and every other alt-sweetener and flavor agent under the sun. (No judging, please.)

Maragaritas in the kitchen

A third attempt at a drinkable cocktail found me mixing a margarita with silver tequila and fresh lime juice–a flavor profile I could get behind–plus Dhos Orange.  Matching Dhos’s citrusy character with the lime’s citrus is a good call–the monk fruit flavor moved to the back and did not overpower the cocktail–but even this marginal success could not convert me to a Dhos fan. Sugar free margaritas without alcohol are simply not for me. I want a drink without the taste of erythritol and monk fruit.

If you are looking for keto-friendly cocktails, however, Dhos will help you get where you want to go. Or just buy it for your kids and have a mocktail party. Buh-bye Shirley Temple!

*I received a free sample of this product.