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Ultimate Cadillac Margarita

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.

Classic margarita glass in front of a short glass with salt and lime in the back

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.

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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.

Helpful tips

  • 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 (1/4 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 3/4 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.

Step one

Gather the ingredients – tequila blanco, Cointreau, limes, simple syrup, and Grand Marnier.

Tequila, Cointreau, limes, simple syrup, and grand marnier

Step two

Measure 4 ounces of tequila. (A)

Step three

Measure 2 ounces Cointreau. (B)

Tequila and Cointreau poured out

Step four

Squeeze and measure 4 ounces fresh lime juice. (C)

Step five

Measure 2 ounces simple syrup. (D)

Lime juice and simple syrup measured out

Step six

Pour 1 ounce of Grand Marnier in each shot glasses. (E)

Step seven

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)

Grand Marnier measured out and salt in a blue plate with a glass upside down in it

Keep the glass upside down and shake off the excess salt before turning the glass right-side up.

Step eight

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.

Two salted glasses with limes in the back filled with margaritas with shots of Grand Marnier off 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.

Grand Marnier poured in both margaritas with limes on the rims and in the background

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.

Vertical view of two margarita glasses filled with amber liquid and limes in the back

One more photo.

Two margaritas with salt on the rim and lime with salt strewn on the board


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.  🙂

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 FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!

A wooden board with a glass with a margarita in it, limes in the back

Ultimate Cadillac Margarita

This ultimate Cadillac margarita is a mixture of premium liquors and delicious because of it!  This will be the best margarita you've ever had.
4.90 from 82 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: Cocktails
Keyword: cadillac margarita
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 cocktail
Calories: 396kcal


  • 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 3/4 full with ice
  • Add tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and simple syrup
    4 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 salt
    salt for glass rims
  • Pour 1 ounce of Grand Marnier into each shot glass, set aside
    2 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 glasses
    2 lime wheels
  • Set shots of Grand Marnier beside glass of margarita
  • Serve
  • Pour Grand Marnier into margarita or do it as a shot
  • Lick some salt off rim
  • Sip drink
  • Smile
  • Enjoy
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Tips on making the Cadillac margarita
  1. Use the BEST ingredients you can afford.  Premium ingredients equal a more delicious drink
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Do NOT pour the liquid in such a way that it hits the salt.  You do not want to wash salt into the cocktail


Serving: 1cocktail | Calories: 396kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 84mg | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg
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From lighting up stages with her BA in theater to food journalist, Elaine Benoit's journey is a testament to passion's transformative power. As the CEO of Dishes Delish, she offers a blend of healthy, comforting recipes and exquisitely crafted cocktails. Beyond the kitchen, Elaine voiced her culinary adventures on her podcast, "Dishing," and co-owns Food Blogger Help, extending her expertise to guide budding food bloggers to success. Whether it's for a heartwarming dish or insights into food blogging, Elaine's diverse experiences make her a beacon in the culinary digital landscape.

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      1. Eeek! I just figured out that this is for 2 drinks. I may have had 2 glasses thinking it was for 1. 😅 Delicious though.

        1. Lol, Dena! I’m glad you enjoyed it!! I sometimes have two (or three) when I have a Caddy! It’s over 3 – 4 hours, but still. 🙂 Thanks for letting me know.

  1. This looks amazing! I have literally zero bartending skills or knowledge but this was a great post. You explained everything so well that I feel like even a dummy like me could make this 😉 Pinning!

  2. Thanks for such a detailed margarita how to post! very helpful for newbies like me. Great photos and detail shots

    1. Thanks Natalie 🙂

      It’s good to hear that they are informative. I love making cocktails 🙂 Especially Margaritas.


  3. Absolutely awesome recipe!! Welcome to Yum Goggle! We are following you on all your social media and hope you will follow us back. We will do our best to tag you each time we promote your posts. Kelli at YG!

    1. Thanks so much Sheryl!! It is my favorite drink of all time! In fact, I had it again this past weekend! Thank you for your comment.

  4. Wonderful margarita! So far it’s the best I’ve had since I started my quest for a really good margarita last year, so you win! Thanks! I would have done 5 stars but I’m leaving room for yours and our broadened horizons. I made them last night and my husband just came in from work and asked for another one. That’s a really good sign!

    1. Yay Cathy! That is my feeling about the Cadillac margarita! It is my go-to way of imbibing margaritas! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Hi. Can you substitute the Patron reposado? Also, I have to watch my sugar, is the simple syrup necessary, or is there a substitute. Do you need the sweet and sour taste? Thank you.

    1. Brian. You do need the simple syrup because of the sweet and sour. It would be too sour otherwise. And yes you can use the reposado. What I would do if I were you, is use 1/4 ounce – taste it, and then if you need to get to 1/2 ounce – it still won’t be too sweet. In fact, it’s still a little on the sour side which I like.

  6. Fantastic post. And thank you! I only drink Cadillac margaritas. Because of finances, I’ve devised a cost-friendlier version. Any 100% agave reposado tequila – get the cheapest one. Regular triple sec is fine, as the “Grand Marnier” fattens the drink up nicely anyway. I cheat by adding sugar (rather than simple syrup) into the shaker first because the lime juice will help it dissolve sufficiently. Likewise, shake a little more than you do, and you’ll get the added water from melted ice, plus it fully dissolves the sugar. Finally, I buy the least expensive Grand Marnier-substitute I can find. There aren’t many, but I use Gran Gala. It makes a great margarita, maybe a shade less elegant than yours, but it’s still marvelous.

    1. Thanks Duke! It’s my all time favorite margarita!! Nice changes to make it cost friendly! But I still love the premiums!

  7. yay for margaritas!!! this reminds me of sipping margaritas on the beach in Mexico! I fell in love with margaritas there! I’ll be sure to make a batch for Cinco de Mayo!

  8. Mmm. I love a good margarita, and there’s definitely nothing quite like a true homemade margarita like this one. Yum!

  9. YUM! That looks absolutely amazing! We have all those at home here so I will be having my husband whip us up a couple over the Christmas period. Thanks for the great recipe.

  10. Oh Yes, this is the best Cadillac Margarita ever! Every time I make it I get rave reviews, it will be the star of my Christmas party!

  11. Great Cadillac Margarita recipe! I like Patron as well but my favorite is Don Julio 1942. Thanks for this amazing post!

  12. This. Is an excellent margarita. Close to the Cadillac we get at our favorite authentic restaurant. My husband was pleased! Thank you.

    1. I’m so pleased to hear that Wendy. It’s a beloved margarita that I learned to make at a Mexican restaurant. I switched it up a bit with more premium liquor and homemade sweet and sour but fairly close to the flavor I remember! I’m so glad you and your hubby liked it!

  13. Cadillac margaritas have been around forever. El Torito restaurants was the first place I saw these, I was a cocktail waitress there 30 years ago.

    1. That’s so fun Twana! That is the restaurant I worked at as both a waitress and bartender! Cheers!

    1. I make simple syrup which is 1 cup white sugar to 1 cup water – boil for 5 minutes and cool completely before making the cocktail. Also, for this recipe, it is 2 sour (lime) : sweet (simple syrup). I hope this helps Robert.

    1. Thanks so much Mary Ann! I love this margarita and am happy when others think the same things about it! Thank you for letting me know.

  14. This is my favorite margarita recipe. The only change I made was to use agave syrup instead of simple syrup. Just trying to keep it in same family since tequila comes from blue agave plant. Awesome cocktail. Thanks for the recipe🙂

    1. I’m so glad to hear that Sandie. I do use agave syrup with some of my cocktails but for some reason, I always make this one with simple syrup. The next time I make it, I’m using agave syrup and I’ll toast you. 🙂 Thank you so much for your ratings and comment. I truly appreciate it.

    1. That was so gratifying to read Niki! Thank you so much and I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’ve experimented of the year and feel like even though it’s strong, the proportions are correct to make a great tasting drink. I feel like it’s a one and done type of drink, though I usually go for two. 🙂 I just space them out.

  15. Wow! I’ve tried other recipes for a Cadillac margarita, but this was the BEST out of all the rest! Thank you for sharing this recipe. It was delicious and I felt a little buzz after drinking one glass.

    1. Thanks so much Cynthia. I love this margarita and usually can only have two but yes, they are potent and that’s the way I like them. You made me laugh out loud because they sure are strong! Cheers.

  16. I have looked every where for the calorie content for a normal size cadillac margarita and have had no success. Can you tell me what it is

    1. Sure Mary! It’s 396 calories for one margarita. Hope that helps. And for future reference, at the bottom of all my recipes, there is a calorie count. 🙂

    1. That makes me so happy Leah!! I don’t like sweet margaritas and I’m glad you don’t either. Thanks for taking the time to let me know and to rate it. It means a lot to me.

    1. I’m so happy to hear that Sara! I too love this margarita and for me, no substitute will do. Thanks so much for letting me know!

    1. Thanks so much, Stephanie!! It’s my favorite margarita! And yes, strong but so good! I usually only have one! 😉 Thanks so much for letting me know!

  17. I didn’t know what I was missing until I had a margarita with Grand Marnier at a restaurant in San Antonio. So happy to find your recipe to make it at home. This is absolutely perfect!

    1. Thanks so much, Marla! I love Cadillac margaritas and had on on Friday night. 🙂 Thanks so much for commenting!

  18. I can’t drink Patron straight, so it isn’t my favorite for margarita ps. Have you tried Clase Azul instead? Now that I can sip. Also, do you make your simple syrup with agave syrup?

    1. I haven’t tried Clase Azul. I’ll have to buy a bottle. I don’t make simple syrup with agave. I find agave a little cloying. But I do make simple syrup with equal parts sugar and water. So, 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water. Heat on medium heat and stir as the sugar melts. Simmer for 5 minutes.

    1. I’m so glad to hear that, Leah! It’s mine too, for sure. Thanks for letting me know and commenting. I appreciate it.

  19. Splurged at the ABC store yesterday and bought the top shelf liquors. Definitely worth the cost….. very, very good! The best margarita I’ve ever had, for sure!
    Was confused though concerning your remarks about making your own sweet and sour mix. I googled a sweet and sour mix recipe to make for the Cadillac Margarita but then realized a “sweet and sour mix” was not included in the list of ingredients. I elected to leave it out and assumed you were referring to the lime juice and simple syrup in list. True?

    1. Thanks so much, Karen. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. And yes, I’ll have to change that wording. The lime juice and simple syrup is the ‘sweet and sour mix’. So much better than store bought. Thanks for letting me know that you enjoyed it.

  20. I love Cadillac Margaritas. Although I love Patron my husband uses Camarena and is also delicious. It is such a smooth tequila too. Thank you Elaine ❤️😋

    1. You’re welcome, Nancy!! I’m so glad you enjoy them. I need to try Camarena. I’ve never heard of it and I always like trying new (to me) tequilas. 🙂 Thanks for letting me know.

  21. I made this exactly as stated in the recipe (even measuring everything precisely) and the margaritas were horrible. (EXTREMELY STRONG TOO!)

  22. Love this! Was trying to recreate a Cadillac margarita I had at Tac/quila in Palm Springs (they use El Cristiano blanco). And I succeeded! Thanks!

    1. Yay, Lynn! I’m so happy to hear. It’s my all time favorite and most popular post on the website. Thanks for coming back to rate it and let me know what you thought.

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