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
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
209 Calories
0g Fat
16g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 209
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 26mg 132%
Calcium 25mg 2%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 97mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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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"The Cadillac margarita is really just a margarita with expensive ingredients. Reposado tequila is lightly aged, so the cocktail will have a slight amber hue and some oaky vanilla notes. Grand Marnier is a bit softer than Cointreau—the common choice for margaritas, so the cocktail will be more smooth overall." —Tom Macy

The Cadillac Margarita Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces premium reposado tequila

  • 1 ounce premium brandy-based orange liqueur

  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

  • Lime wedge, for optional rim

  • Coarse salt, for optional rim

  • Lime wheel or wedge, for garnish

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 the cocktail 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 a light cocktail because it's made primarily with 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.