The Norcal Margarita
Ok, so it’s friday night, you’ve conquered your 30 day paleo challenge and you’re all dialed in with what to eat and more importantly with what not to eat, yet something seems to be missing, you just don’t quite feel right, almost as if something is off but you just can’t seem to put your finger on it.
You’re out with your besties and having a good time, it almost feels like you haven’t done this in a while, then it hits you… you haven’t had an adult beverage in over a month. But what to do, what to do? You don’t want to ruin all the hard work you’ve put in over the last month or so, your body and mind are feeling better than they ever have, but man it sure would be nice to kick back with some friends and enjoy a drink.
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Well friends, Ultimate Paleo Guide has got you covered. Introducing the NorCal Margarita.
Made famous by Robb Wolf and popular amongst Crossfitters the NorCal Margarita is a Paleo-ish friendly version of a traditional margarita. Now any alcohol isn’t actaully Paleo, but there are some fundamental rules in the Paleo world.
- Eat right
- Be active
- Have fun doing it and enjoy good company
Why is the NorCal Margarita better than a traditional margarita?
Whether you make one at home or order one up at a restaurant or bar a traditional margarita is going to be laden with artificial junk and sugar. Before writing this article I went down to the grocery store and took a quick peek at the ingredients included in a standard margarita mix, here is what I found:
- High fructose corn syrup
- Citric acid
- Corn starch
- Sodium benzoate
- Sodium citrate
- Yellow #5
- Blue #1
- Natural and artificial flavors
- Juice solids
The average margarita will provide you with somewhere around 250-300 calories, over 30 grams of sugar, and more than 33 grams of carbohydrate. Long story short, if you want to save yourself some calories and avoid insulin spiking sugars the NorCal Margarita is the perfect option for you while avoiding all that junk.
NorCal Margarita Recipe (and ingredients)
- 2 shots of top shelf tequila (preferably resposado or anejo, see tequila descriptions below), 3 shots if you’re feeling frisky
- The juice and pulp of one lime
- Club soda to taste
- Shake it up
- Serve on the rocks
But why is this any better?
Traditional margaritas will spike your insulin levels, promote fat storage, and dehydrate the heck out of you. With the NorCal Margarita some of these issues are addressed.
- The tequila being used is fermented agave juice, both gluten and starch free
- The lime juice blunts the insulin response of alcohol
- The carbon dioxide bubbles in the club soda help to deliver the ethanol to your blood stream quicker, thus you drink less with the same effect
Awesome! But what if I’m at a bar?
A lot of the fun in having a drink or two is being social, out and about with your friends, and mixing it up on the dance floor or at a local watering hole. If you find yourself at a bar and want a better alternative to a traditional margarita or any other alcoholic beverage for that matter you can usually ask for a NorCal Margarita and they’ll know how to make one. If they look at you cock-eyed simply ask for a “well tequila drink” which means to use an inexpensive tequila, served with real lime juice (bar lime juice is loaded with sugar), and served with club soda.
If worst comes to worst ask for a club soda with lime in a tall glass and 1-2 shots of tequila on the side. Grab a straw and mix it up yourself.
A few notes on tequila:
By no means am I a tequila connoisseur but there are some important differences in the types of tequila you can use in your NorCal margaritas. You’ll want to stick with resposado or anejo tequilas.
Resposado: “Rested” and aged for a minimum of two months and up to one year. Usually good for sipping, a-la a margarita.
Anejo: “Old” and aged for longer than a year but usually less than three years. The longer it rests the more expensive is usually is.
Joven: Usually blended with aged tequilas and additives, caramel coloring, sugars, or oak extracts. Typically refered to as gold because of the caramel coloring that is added in. Gold tequilas are typically cheaper tequilas because they are not 100% agave.
Blanco: Has a strong taste, usually bottled immediately, and is often called silver tequila.
There you have it. So this weekend whether at home or out and about with some friends be safe and choose a drink that keeps you as close to Paleo as possible.