This Cadillac margarita recipe is hands down the best margarita recipe on the internet. One of my most popular posts to date, this mesmerizing cocktail is a perfect example of what a difference premium ingredients can make.
This ultimate Cadillac margarita is a popular recipe on my blog. It’s so flavorful that once you taste it, you’ll never go back to just a ‘regular’ margarita. The addition of the premium liqueur Grand Marnier sets it up to be a winner.
History of my Cadillac margarita
When I worked at that Mexican restaurant all those years ago, this was the best margarita you could purchase. It had a few mid range ingredients and it came with a side shot of Grand Marnier, which is considered premium. When I was ready to recreate that delicious cocktail for the blog, instead of using the liquors they used at the restaurant, I upped the game and used the ingredients I love the most.
I still serve it with a side shot of Grand Marnier, whose golden color you can see in the cocktail photos above. Once you “float” the Grand Marnier by adding it to the surface of the cocktail, it delicately slinks to the bottom of the glass.
And if you stir it, the whole Cadillac margarita turns that lovely gold!
Back in the day, the “Cadillac car” was considered premium and the car everyone wanted to own. The Cadillac margarita is the premium margarita because it is made with “top shelf” brands, which are the most expensive. The combination of these ingredients is perfect and delicious. Everyone I serve this margarita says it’s the best.
This truly is, and continues to be, the best margarita of all time.
Bold words but it’s the truth. Read the comments below. It’s much better than the classic margarita.
Interested in reading more about tequila? Read the comprehensive guide here.
Do I make it on the rocks or can I have it frozen?
If I had my druthers, I’d tell you to only have this margarita on the rocks. I have seen someone drink a frozen caddy (my nickname of the margarita) but I think that having it frozen doesn’t really highlight how delicious it is. It also tends to water the margarita down because blending the ice causes the water to disperse quicker than with ice cubes.
And did you know that people drink frozen drinks much faster than cocktails made on the rocks?
They do. It’s because people see the separation that occurs in a frozen drink, so they take their straw and stir it around and take a healthy slug each time they stir, which is often.
When you drink the Cadillac margarita on the rocks, you can savor the drink by sipping it at your own speed.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I get a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you click the link and buy something. You can read my disclosure here.
What are these premium ingredients?
The premium ingredients are the Patron Silver tequila, which is so smooth that you can take a shot of it without needing lime to chase it down (although that’s super fun and tasty!) and the Cointreau, which is one of the premium orange liqueurs. Non-premium ingredients are lime juice and simple syrup.
The last but not the least premium ingredient is the Grand Marnier, which makes this margarita a Cadillac. I love this liqueur. It is made with cognac and orange.
Want to make your own orange liqueur? Here’s my friend Laura’s recipe.
- Use the BEST ingredients you can afford, and know that using premium ingredients equals a more delicious drink. I recommend top shelf tequila.
- I enjoy tequila blanco in this margarita, but you can also use tequila reposado (amber) or tequila añejo, which will change the coloring a little, depending on the brand.
- Always make your own sweet and sour mix. I recommend a 2:1 ratio, so two parts sour to one part sweet. Start there and if you decide you want a sweeter drink, add a little bit more simple syrup (¼ ounce). Remember, you can add sweetener, but you can’t subtract it. Also, both Cointreau and Grand Marnier are sweet liqueurs.
- Make your own simple syrup as it’s so easy and can save you money in the long run. Add equal parts of sugar and water to a medium sauce pan and turn the heat on medium. Once it comes to a gentle boil, stir with a spoon and let it boil for 5 minutes. I stand there because if you forget it is on the stove top, you will get a thick syrup and you want it to be thin like water.
- I prefer simple syrup over agave syrup because I find agave a little cloying. Use what you prefer.
- Always serve the Grand Marnier on the side, especially when you serve to guests. They’ll be quite impressed when they pour the shot into the Cadillac margarita themselves.
- Salt the rim, but don’t overdo it! Sometimes, after I salt the rim, I take my finger and clear a spot so if someone doesn’t want to taste the salt they can use that spot to sip.
- Do NOT pour the liquid in such a way that it hits the salt. You do not want the salt washed into the cocktail.
- Wash the limes before juicing them or garnishing the glass. Here’s how: squirt some unscented, natural soap in your palm and rub your hands over the limes. Then take a vegetable brush and brush the skin. Run cold water over the limes, making sure to rinse off the soap.
What is the ratio best to use for sweet and sour mix?
I prefer the 2:1 ratio between the lime and simple syrup, because any more sugar than that, in my humble opinion, makes the drink too sweet. And sweet is for chocolate! Also, as mentioned in the “Helpful tips”, Cointreau and Grand Marnier are both sweet liqueurs that balance the tequila and sour mix nicely.
How do you salt the rims of the glasses?
Wet the rim of the glasses with some lime juice or simple syrup, pour some chunky salt like kosher or Maldon on a plate, and dip the rim in the salt. Keep the glass upside down for a moment and shake the glass a little before placing it right side up. You don’t want the salt from the rim to fall into the glass as it makes the cocktail salty.
How to make the Cadillac margarita
Fill a cocktail shaker ¾ way with ice. Get a measuring glass and glassware.
Slice a few thin lime wheels and cut a small slit through the skin of the wheels, so you can place them on the side of the glass as garnish.
After measuring out each ingredient below, pour it into the shaker.
Gather the ingredients – tequila blanco, Cointreau, limes, simple syrup, and Grand Marnier.
Measure 4 ounces of tequila. (A)
Measure 2 ounces Cointreau. (B)
Squeeze and measure 4 ounces fresh lime juice. (C)
Measure 2 ounces simple syrup. (D)
Pour 1 ounce of Grand Marnier in each shot glasses. (E)
Add chunky salt like kosher or Maldon to a plate. Wet your finger with simple syrup and rub it along the rim of the glasses. Place the glass upside down in the salt and rub it along to coat the rim. (F)
Keep the glass upside down and shake off the excess salt before turning the glass right-side up.
Cap the shaker and shake for 15 seconds. Add a few big cubes to the glasses and strain and pour the Cadillac margarita equally between the two glasses. Mustn’t play favorites. Make sure to save a little room between the liquid and top of the glass.
Here are the Cadillac margaritas with Grand Marnier shots on the side.
Time to pour the Grand Marnier in the margarita. I like to try to float it, but it will sink. Don’t you think it gives them an appealing glow?!
Below is one of my older Cadillac margarita photos to show you how golden the orange liqueur makes this cocktail.
Here’s the vertical view of the margarita. I added more ice cubes to the glasses and this shows you how it will disperse the Grand Marnier. The classic margarita glass in the background below shows the Grand Marnier at the bottom of the bowl.
I like to stir the drink before imbibing as it evens out the taste.
One more photo.
I hope you enjoyed this Cadillac margarita recipe.
I would love to hear what kind of tequila you like and why, so leave me a comment. 🙂
Other popular margaritas
And as always, may all your dishes/drinks be delish!
If you’ve tried this or any other recipe on the blog, I’d love the hear what you thought about it in the comments below. I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!
Ultimate Cadillac Margarita
- 4 ounces Patron Silver tequila or other brand
- 2 ounces Cointreau or triple sec
- 4 ounces fresh lime juice
- 2 ounces simple syrup
- 2 ounces Grand Marnier divided
- 2 lime wheels
- salt for glass rims
- Fill your shaker ¾ full with ice
- Add tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and simple syrup4 ounces Patron Silver tequila, 2 ounces Cointreau, 4 ounces fresh lime juice, 2 ounces simple syrup
- Wet rim of glass with water or lime juice
- Dip glass into plate of Kosher saltsalt for glass rims
- Pour 1 ounce of Grand Marnier into each shot glass, set aside2 ounces Grand Marnier
- Cap shaker and shake for 30 seconds
- Add extra ice to both glasses and pour contents of the shaker equally between the two glasses, being careful not to pour it over the salted rims
- Put lime wheels on the rim of the glasses2 lime wheels
- Set shots of Grand Marnier beside glass of margarita
- Pour Grand Marnier into margarita or do it as a shot
- Lick some salt off rim
- Sip drink
- Use the BEST ingredients you can afford. Premium ingredients equal a more delicious drink
- Always make your own sweet and sour. I prefer a 2:1 ratio, so two parts sour to one part sweet. Start there and if you decide you want it sweeter, add a bit more simple syrup
- Always serve the Grand Marnier on the side, especially when you serve to guests. They’re quite impressed when they pour the shot into the Cadillac margarita themselves
- Salt the rim, but don’t overdo it! Sometimes, after I salt the rim, I take my finger and clear a spot so if someone doesn’t want to taste the salt they can use that spot to sip
- Do NOT pour the liquid in such a way that it hits the salt. You do not want to wash salt into the cocktail