Barbara Giannetti of Northfield and Kathleen McCarthy and Jackie Pilossoph of Glenview wanted to be able to drink a healthy margarita, one that’s made with 100 percent juice, has no added sugar, and is only 35 calories prior to adding tequila. The group began experimenting a little more than a year ago and by August were selling their 3 Girls Smiling  margarita mixes in three flavors: The Authentic, The Cucumber and The Jalapeño.
“We were fans of margaritas, but not willing to drink margaritas that were 700 calories,” McCarthy says. “It was really important to me — I’m in the fitness industry — that I stayed true to keeping my body somewhat healthy and not overindulging. My favorite comment [about the mixes] is, ‘It’s so fresh.’ And that’s because it is. It’s all natural ingredients. There’s nothing in there that you can’t pronounce.”
The group has felt a lot of support from the local community. At a recent fundraising event to support Sarah’s Circle , a Chicago nonprofit that serves homeless women or women who need a safe space, roughly 400 people came out to give back.
In addition to hosting fundraising events, 3 Girls Smiling donates money to Sarah’s Circle for every bottle of margarita mix sold. So not only can you feel good about what you’re putting in your body, but you can also feel good about helping a local organization.
“A lot of women can’t take this step out of their daily life … and we’re just really lucky,” McCarthy says. “So with Sarah’s Circle, it was about giving back […] and not just any organization but one that really empowers women. They’re wonderful over there. We’re working with a lovely team of women from Sarah’s Circle that is very supportive of us as well.”
On Feb. 22, National Margarita Day, 3 Girls Smiling will host another fundraising event at Javier’s  in Glenview. For each margarita sold that night, 3 Girls Smiling will give a portion of the sale to Sarah’s Circle. They have even teamed up with Casamigos Tequila , George Clooney’s company, for the event.
McCarthy says they hope to begin selling their mixes online soon, but for now you can find 3 Girls Smiling margarita mix at all Sunset Foods  locations; The Grand  in Winnetka; Stormy’s  in Northfield; Glenview House , North Branch , State & Main  and Uno Mas  in Glenview; and Javier’s  in Arlington Heights and Glenview.
“It’s been a really fun experience,” McCarthy says. “It was worth stepping out of our comfort zone.”