The Cadillac Margarita

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

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 serving

Are you ready for the "Cadillac" of margaritas? As the name suggests, this is the ultimate margarita made using top-shelf ingredients. It is still a very basic drink recipe and, in reality, is little more than an upgrade of the same ingredients found in the standard margarita. Despite its simplicity, the Cadillac margarita is one of the best tequila cocktails you can mix up.

If you want to pull off the proper Cadillac margarita, you need to go top-shelf for your tequila and make sure it's a well-aged reposado. You'll also want to skip the clear orange liqueurs like triple sec and Cointreau. Instead, this one deserves the cognac-based Grand Marnier. The final ingredient is just as important—be sure to use fresh-squeezed lime juice.

0:49

Click Play to See This Recipe Come Together

Ingredients

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

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

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

    Adding salt to the rim of a margarita glass
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  5. Strain into the prepared cocktail glass filled with ice.

    The margarita is strained into a prepared glass rimmed with salt and a slice of lime
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  6. 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.

Choosing the Best Tequila

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, where others might consider over $50 to be top-shelf.

With those considerations, 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.

If you're looking for a good starting point under $50, try Tezón or Corazón. Both brands are from Jalisco, Mexico's Los Altos region, where the tequilas are often richer and smoother. Beyond those, Casamigos and Milagro are excellent, while Don Eduardo and Tequila Herradura are rather easy to find.

How Strong Is the Cadillac Margarita?

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