The Cadillac Margarita

Cadillac margarita on the rocks with salt and a slice of lime

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail

Are you ready for the "Cadillac" of margaritas? As the name suggests, this is the ultimate margarita. It's made with top-shelf ingredients, and that's really the only difference between a Cadillac margarita and a regular margarita. With a few simple upgrades, the Cadillac margarita is one of the best tequila cocktails you can mix up. Its golden color only adds to its allure, ensuring it lives up to its namesake's prestige.

If you want to pull off the proper Cadillac margarita, you need the best reposado tequila you can afford. You'll also want to skip the clear orange liqueurs such as triple sec. Instead, this one deserves the cognac-based Grand Marnier. The final ingredient is just as important, so be sure to use fresh-squeezed lime juice.

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces reposado tequila (premium)
  • 1 ounce orange liqueur (Grand Marnier)
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • Optional: lime wedge
  • Optional: salt
  • Garnish: lime wheel or wedge

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for a Cadillac margarita
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes, pour the tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice.

    Ingredients for Cadillac margarita poured into a cocktail shaker
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  3. Shake well.

    Shaking the cocktail shaker
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  4. If you like, rim a chilled margarita or cocktail glass with salt: Use a lime wedge to wet the rim before rolling or dipping it in a tray of coarse salt.

    Salt added to the rim of a margarita glass
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  5. Strain into the prepared glass filled with fresh ice.

    Cadillac margarita strained into a prepared glass rimmed with salt and a slice of lime
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  6. Garnish with a lime wheel or wedge. Serve and enjoy.

    Cadillac margarita on the rocks with salt and a slice of lime
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Recipe Variation

  • If the margarita is not quite sweet enough for your taste, add 1 teaspoon of rich (2:1) simple syrup or 1 1/2 teaspoons of 1:1 simple syrup.

What's the Best Tequila for a Cadillac Margarita?

Taste is subjective, and everybody has their own idea of the "best" tequila. Personal budgets are a factor as well. For some people, a $30 bottle of tequila is a luxury, whereas others might consider tequilas over $50 to be top-shelf. The simplest recommendation is to pour the premium tequila that is a luxury to you. After all, you're the one drinking the Cadillac margarita, so you should enjoy it and be comfortable with the amount of money you spend.

How Strong Is the Cadillac Margarita?

In general, the margarita is not light a cocktail because it's made primarily of liquor. Additionally, Grand Marnier is 80 proof, which is the same as the average tequila. With those factors in mind, the Cadillac margarita's alcohol content falls around 27 percent ABV (54 proof), or about half the strength of a straight tequila shot.

What's the Difference Between Grand Marnier and Cointreau?

Grand Marnier and Cointreau are often considered the best brands of orange liqueur. While they're both flavored with the same citrus fruit, 80-proof, and enjoyable on their own, there is a noticeable difference in taste. Grand Marnier has a cognac base and is flavored with bitter orange essence; it's rather sweet but in no way cloying. Cointreau uses a sugar beet alcohol base, is flavored with sweet and bitter orange peels, and is slightly drier and crisper.

What's the Best Salt for Rimming a Margarita?

Avoid fine-grained salts, particularly iodized table salt, when rimming your margarita glass. The crystals are simply too small, get clumpy when wet, and create a very salty cocktail. For a much better drinking experience, choose a coarse salt, such as kosher salt or sea salt flakes. While there are plenty available and the flavors are fun, you don't need a dedicated "margarita" salt; it's often just kosher or sea salt. You can even make your own flavored salts with citrus zest, herbs, and spices.