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Cadillac Margarita

This classic Cadillac Margarita features top-shelf reposado tequila, fresh lime juice, sweet agave and a special Grand Marnier floater for restaurant-quality margaritas every time.

It’s a tart, sweet and refreshing margarita recipe finished with a salt rim best served as the ultimate cocktail drink to enjoy with the girls – and guys!

two top-shelf tequila margaritas in glasses with cocktail shaker

If you know me well enough, you know I am a big fan of the margarita. I have made Frozen Strawberry Margaritas, Mango Margaritas with Chili Rim, Grapefruit Rose Gold Margaritas, Classic Pitcher Margaritas – even a DIY Margarita Bar!

I will take any excuse to whip up a batch of these bad boys – whether it’s alongside Mexican food or just because.

Believe me when I say that this Cadillac Margarita is the best one yet. The secret – top-shelf reposado tequila and a finishing touch of Grand Marnier to bring restaurant-quality margaritas to you!

Get ready to make the margarita of your dreams with a few tequila tips and special techniques along the way!

hand holding cadillac margarita in chilled glass with second margarita on side

What is a Cadillac margarita?

The original Cadillac margarita is just as the name suggests – a premium version of a traditional margarita, so named after the Cadillac, one of the most well-revered luxury vehicles.

It features top-shelf tequila, fresh lime juice and Grand Marnier.

Cadillac margarita vs classic margarita

A Cadillac Margarita is basically like a premium version of the classic. Both are considered a sour cocktail (liqueur + citrus juice) and the ratios are the same, yet the ingredients vary slightly.

A Cadillac margarita is made with reposado tequila and Grand Marnier whereas a classic margarita is simply made with silver tequila and triple sec. Both create two different flavor profiles and colors.

The liquor is part of the reason the drink is sometimes referred to as a Golden Cadillac Margarita.

Three tequila types

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of tequilas out there all made from the blue agave plant. Tequila varies based on juice extraction and aging. When it comes to making cocktails at home, I like to focus on the three main types of tequila:

  • Blanco (Silver, Plata, White). Blanco tequila has a strong, grassy, citrusy flavor and it’s the youngest of them all. It is also never aged in oak barrels – the reason for its clear color.
  • Reposado (Aged, Rested). Reposado is tequila that has been aged for 2-12 months in oak barrels. This gives it warm flavors of caramel and honey and produces a tequila that is straw-like in color.
  • Anejo (Vintage, Extra Aged). Taking it a step further, Anejo tequila is aged for 1-3 years in oak barrels, which allows it to take on more flavor from the wood. It has notes of honey, nuts and coffee and makes a tequila that is darker, richer, and more nuanced in flavor.

Ingredients

The unique aspect of the Cadillac margarita is its use of high-quality liquors. You will need:

lime wedges, grand marnier bottle, epsolon reposado tequila bottle

  • ice
  • reposado tequila
  • fresh lime juice
  • agave nectar (optional)
  • kosher or flakey salt
  • Grand Marnier

Reposado Tequila. As mentioned before, reposado tequila is more nuanced in flavor and color. Make sure to purchase a bottle that reads 100% agave – this is pure tequila. My favorite is Espolon, but purchase your preferred bottle.

Fresh Lime Juice. We want the best of the best here, so make sure to use fresh lime juice and not pre-bottled or lime juice concentrate. The juice of one lime is enough to make one cocktail. Make sure to have one more lime on hand to salt the rim and slice a wheel for garnish.

Agave Nectar. Although not traditional, I like a touch of sweet from agave syrup. Feel free to omit it and add more Grand Marnier, if desired.

Salt. Salting the rim is totally your call (which we will discuss in a bit), but this is when you can get creative. Keep it simple with kosher or flakey sea salt (such as Maldon) or change it up with Pink Himalayan salt. When I am feeling up for it, I like to add a touch of chili powder or lime zest to change up the flavor.

Grand Marnier. Grand Marnier is a fabulous, high-quality orange liquor from France. It’s basically like a brandy-based version of triple sec, hence the reason for its tinted, golden color. If unavailable, Cointreau is a great substitute.

How to make a Cadillac margarita

All it takes is a cocktail shaker and 5 minutes to make the best Cadillac margarita recipe. Simply:

reposado tequila bottle hovering over gold cocktail shaker

  1. Chill the glass. Place a margarita or low ball glass in the freezer to chill.
  2. Shake, shake, shake! Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, tequila, lime juice and agave nectar, if using. Shake margarita for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled glass filled with or without ice (whatever your preference).
  3. Salt the rim. If desired, run a lime wedge across the top (or half portion) of the glass and dip into a small plate of salt.
  4. Finish. Pour or ‘float’ the Grand Marnier over the top of the margarita before serving. Enjoy!

hand pouring liquor into gold cocktail shaker from one ounce pourer

Salt the rim with style

To salt or not to salt, this choice is totally up to you! I am a salt-my-rim margarita girl. Feel free to salt your rim in one of two styles:

  • Full: Go the classic route and salt the entire surface of the rim. Run a lime wedge around the rim and dip it in a small, shallow plate of salt.
  • Half: Run the cut side of a lime wedge along half or a portion of the glass rim and dip that in the plate of salt. This way, only a portion of the glass is salted.

two hands shaking cocktail shaker with lid

The Grand Marnier floater

A cocktail floater is when you pour the liquor on top without mixing it in. The Grand Marnier floater on this margarita recipe adds that special finishing touch and is the secret to making restaurant-quality margaritas at home.

Serve it for happy hour

The Cadillac margarita is best served ‘up’ in those signature margarita glasses. The addition of ice or rocks is more about personal preference.

I love to serve these during happy hour or late-night drinks with the girls – and guys! I simply multiply the recipe by the number of drinks I need and place it in a large pitcher to chill in the fridge.

Once cocktail time comes, I salt the rims, pour the drinks and sip them along with a Mexican snack platter. I always make sure to serve these on Cinco de Mayo with my Top 10 recipes, too!

hand pouring grand marnier floater on top of cadillac margarita

Recipe tips:

  • Use 100% agave tequila. A high-quality, top-shelf tequila puts the Cadillac in this Cadillac margarita. Reposado tequila adds a wonderful golden color with extra flavor.
  • Change up the salt. Salting the rim is totally up to you, but feel free to get creative with Maldon flaked salt, Himalayan pink salt, or chili or lime zest seasoned kosher salt.
  • Serve up or on the rocks. Strain the cocktail into your glass with or without the addition of ice. If you really want to get fancy, you could even try cracked ice by crushing the ice by hand.

More Mexican recipes you’ll love!

If you make this Cadillac Margarita recipe, be sure to tag me on Pinterest and Instagram!

I seriously love seeing what you guys are making and sharing your creations with the College Housewife community!

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two top-shelf tequila margaritas in glasses with cocktail shaker

Cadillac Margarita

  • Author: Elizabeth Van Lierde
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 margarita 1x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Cocktail Shaker
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

This classic Cadillac Margarita features top-shelf reposado tequila, fresh lime juice, sweet agave and a Grand Marnier floater for the ultimate cocktail.


Scale

Ingredients

ice

2 ounces reposado tequila

Juice from one lime, about 1-ounce lime juice + lime wedge for salt rim

12 teaspoons agave nectar, optional

kosher salt or flakey salt

1 ounce Grand Marnier (orange liqueur)


Instructions

  1. Place a margarita or low ball glass in the freezer to chill.
  2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, tequila, lime juice and agave nectar, if using. Shake margarita for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled glass filled with or without ice (whatever your preference).
  3. If desired, run a lime wedge across the top (or half portion) of the glass and dip into kosher salt.
  4. Pour or ‘float’ the Grand Marnier over the top of the margarita before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

If Grand Marnier is unavailable, Cointreau is a great substitute.

Keywords: grand marnier, top-shelf tequila, lime

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