This delicious Cadillac Margarita recipe uses reposado tequila along with Grand Marnier to create the best Margarita!
What is a Cadillac Margarita? How is this different from a traditional margarita? In order for your beverage to be a traditional Cadillac Margarita there are two things you must have.
Two Things Every Cadillac Margarita Needs
The first, and most important, is the type of tequila you use when creating your margarita. This tequila is reposado tequila. Reposado means “rested” so these specific tequilas sit between 2 – 11 months in their barrels before being bottled and they have a darker hue because of this. This resposado tequila is different when compared to clear tequila that typically will only rest from 4 weeks to 2 months. A good rule of thumb is the darker the tequila is typically correlates with how long it has been aging.
The second ingredient that makes this recipe an authentic Cadillac Margarita is the orange liqueur, for this recipe I use Grand Marnier. There are a number of options when it comes to orange liqueur but in my personal opinion, it doesn’t get better than Grand Marnier. I have made this recipe with other popular orange liqueurs and can clearly tell the difference.
How to Make a Cadillac Margarita
Assemble your ingredients. For exact amounts please see recipe card below.
Use a lime wedge to wet the rim of your margarita glass, then dip the glass into a small bowl of kosher salt, sea salt, margarita salt or plain salt.
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker over ice cubes.
Shake, Shake, Shake.
Pour into your favorite margarita glass and enjoy! Don’t you just love these cactus margarita glasses?
There are several ways you can garnish a Cadillac Margarita to make it even more appealing. Here are a few suggestions:
Lime Wedge or Wheel: This is the most classic margarita garnish. You can make a small cut into a lime wedge or wheel and perch it on the rim of the glass.
Orange Slice: Since Grand Marnier is made from oranges, an orange slice can be a fitting garnish that also adds a pop of color.
Salt or Sugar Rim: As per the recipe, you could use kosher salt, sea salt, margarita salt or even sugar if you’d like a sweeter touch.
Fresh Herbs: For a pop of green, you could use a sprig of fresh mint or cilantro. This is more for visual appeal than flavor in this case.
Chili Salt Rim: For a spicier take, you could mix coarse salt with a bit of chili powder and rim the glass with that mixture.
Dehydrated Lime Wheel: This is a more upscale garnish you might see at craft cocktail bars. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a lime wheel that’s been dried out, typically in a dehydrator, until it’s crispy.
Edible Flowers: If you’re making a batch of margaritas for a special occasion, edible flowers can make for a striking garnish.
Remember, garnishes should generally serve a purpose beyond just looking pretty. Whether they offer a hint about the flavors in the drink (like the lime or orange) or provide a contrasting taste (like the salt or chili salt rim), they should enhance the overall drinking experience in some way.
Reposado Tequila is the tequila of choice for the Cadillac Margarita, and it’s a great choice. Reposado, meaning “rested,” is aged in oak barrels for anywhere from two months to a year, giving it a more complex flavor profile than Blanco (unaged) tequila, but a lighter touch than Añejo (aged at least one year) or Extra Añejo (aged at least three years) tequila.
However, you can also try any of these three other types of tequila for a different tasting margarita.
Blanco (Silver) Tequila Cadillac Margarita: Blanco tequila is unaged and has a bright, clean, and somewhat sharp agave flavor. It’s often used in margaritas for its refreshing taste. A Cadillac Margarita made with Blanco tequila would have a crisper, more citrusy flavor.
Añejo Tequila Cadillac Margarita: Añejo tequila is aged for at least one year, giving it a smooth, rich, and complex flavor profile with notes of vanilla, caramel, and oak. An Añejo Cadillac Margarita would be smoother and more sophisticated, with the oak and vanilla notes playing off the sweetness of the Grand Marnier.
Extra Añejo Tequila Cadillac Margarita: Extra Añejo is aged for a minimum of three years, developing an even deeper, richer, and smoother flavor. This would make a very decadent and indulgent Cadillac Margarita.
Here are a few variations you might want to try:
Spicy Cadillac Margarita: Add a few slices of jalapeño or a splash of spicy habanero sauce to the shaker before shaking. This gives the drink a nice kick that complements the other flavors well.
Skinny Cadillac Margarita: Replace the simple syrup with a zero-calorie sweetener or omit it altogether for a less sweet and lower-calorie drink. You could also use a light orange liqueur in place of the Grand Marnier.
Fruity Cadillac Margarita: Add some fresh fruit juice or puree to the mix. For example, a splash of mango or pineapple juice could add a tropical twist, while muddled strawberries or raspberries could give the drink a lovely red hue and a sweet-tart flavor.
Hibiscus Cadillac Margarita: Add some hibiscus tea or hibiscus syrup to the mix. This gives the drink a lovely pink color and a floral, slightly tart flavor that pairs well with the other ingredients.
Smoky Cadillac Margarita: Replace the reposado tequila with mezcal, a smoky agave spirit that’s similar to tequila. This gives the drink a deep, smoky flavor that contrasts nicely with the citrus and sweetness.
Cadillac Margarita Float: For a dessert-like twist, add a small scoop of lime sorbet or sherbet to the finished drink. As it melts, it will infuse the drink with even more lime flavor.
Remember, when you’re making variations on a cocktail, it’s all about balance. Make sure that any new ingredients you’re adding complement the existing flavors and don’t overwhelm them. If you’re adding something sweet, you may need to add more sour (lime juice) to balance it out, and vice versa.
Here are some expert tips that can help enhance the quality and experience of making a Cadillac Margarita:
Quality Matters: Use premium ingredients. For a Cadillac Margarita, this means 100% agave tequila and a premium orange liqueur like Grand Marnier. The quality of these two key ingredients can make a significant difference in the flavor of your margarita.
Fresh Lime Juice: Always use fresh lime juice. The flavor is far superior to bottled lime juice, which often has preservatives and doesn’t taste as fresh.
Proper Shaking: When shaking the cocktail, ensure that you shake it vigorously for at least 10-15 seconds. This not only chills the cocktail, but it also properly mixes and dilutes the ingredients.
Salt Rim: When rimming the glass with salt, try to get the salt only on the outside of the glass, not on the inside where it can drop into the drink and make it overly salty. A neat trick is to only rim half of the glass with salt, that way your guests can choose if they want a salty sip or not.
Ice Matters: Use large, solid ice cubes for your margarita. They melt more slowly, preventing the cocktail from becoming watered down too quickly.
Chill Your Glass: For an extra professional touch, chill your margarita glass beforehand. You can do this by filling it with ice and water and letting it sit for a few minutes before pouring your cocktail. This helps keep your drink colder for longer.
Experiment with Flavors: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors. Infused tequilas, flavored salts, or fresh fruit and herb garnishes can all add a unique twist to your Cadillac Margarita.
Balance: The key to a good margarita is balance. The sweet (simple syrup and orange liqueur), sour (lime juice), and strong (tequila) components of the cocktail should complement each other, with none overpowering the rest. Always taste your margarita before serving to ensure the flavors are balanced to your liking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few frequently asked questions about these margarita cocktails.
In order for it to be an authentic Cadillac Margarita Reposado Tequila is needed, but I have to admit that I have also used this recipe with silver tequila and it also creates a tasty drink!
Another option is Cointreau if you don’t have triple sec on hand.
Yes, you can use other sweeteners if you prefer. Agave syrup (also known as agave nectar) is a common alternative in margaritas and has a slightly milder flavor than simple syrup. You could also use honey or a sugar-free sweetener, but keep in mind that the flavor and sweetness level may differ, so adjust to taste.
As we all know this is essentially liquid sugar which can tend to add up when it comes to the calories in this recipe. In my opinion it really pulls this whole drink together and cuts the stronger flavoring you get from the tequila and Grand Marnier, but you do not have to use it and it would still make great Cadillac Margaritas.
If you don’t have Grand Marnier, you could use other orange liqueurs like Cointreau or even a good-quality triple sec. Keep in mind, though, that this could slightly change the flavor of your Cadillac Margarita.
Yes, you could make a non-alcoholic version of this drink by replacing the tequila with a non-alcoholic alternative or even just omitting it. Similarly, you could replace the Grand Marnier and Triple Sec with an orange juice or a non-alcoholic orange extract. Remember, the flavor won’t be quite the same, but it should still be enjoyable.
While freshly squeezed lime juice is generally preferred for its freshness and flavor, bottled lime juice can be used if fresh limes aren’t available. Try to find a high-quality, pure lime juice for the best flavor.
To make a spicy Cadillac Margarita, you can add a few slices of jalapeño to the shaker before shaking. If you want it extra spicy, muddle the jalapeño slices in the shaker before adding the other ingredients.
Absolutely! Just multiply all the ingredients by the number of servings you need. You can mix everything in a large pitcher or jug, but remember to wait until you’re ready to serve before adding the ice to avoid diluting the margarita.
You can prepare the margarita mix (tequila, lime juice, Grand Marnier, Triple Sec, and simple syrup) ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve, pour it over ice in the shaker, shake well, and then pour into the salt-rimmed glasses.
If you’ve made too much, you can store the leftover margaritas (without ice) in a sealed container in the fridge. It should be fine for a couple of days, but the fresher it is, the better it will taste. Remember to shake it well before serving.
Traditionally, margaritas are served in a margarita glass, which is similar to a champagne coupe but larger and with a slightly broader rim to accommodate the salt. However, you can also use a rocks glass or any other glass you prefer.
The salt on the rim of a margarita glass enhances the sweet and sour flavors of the drink. It also serves as a nice contrast to the tartness of the lime and tequila.
Absolutely! There are a variety of flavored salts available, such as chili salt or lime salt, that can add an extra dimension of flavor to your margarita.
You can adjust the strength of your margarita by altering the amount of tequila. For a less strong margarita, reduce the amount of tequila; for a stronger margarita, add more. Remember to adjust the other ingredients accordingly to keep the balance of flavors.
Recipes to Pair with the Cadillac Margarita
Here are some great recipes to pair with the Cadillac Margarita, or pair with any of my Mexican recipes!
Birria Tacos – Crispy, drippy, and delicious, is the only way to describe this Birria Tacos recipe! They are packed with flavor which everyone will love!
Mexican Corn Salad – This delicious Mexican Corn Salad recipe is the perfect side dish for any Mexican themed meal or as a cool side dish to a summer barbeque.
Taco Zucchini Boats – This delicious Taco Zucchini Boats recipe uses fresh zucchini stuffed with taco meat and all your favorite toppings.
Asadero Cheese and Steak Tacos – This Asadero Cheese and Steak Tacos recipe uses beef tenderloin, onions, poblano peppers, spices and a secret sauce on top of Mexican Asadero Cheese for a delicious, Tex-Mex Taco you will love!
Creamy Enchilada Crockpot Vegetarian Chili – This Creamy Enchilada Crockpot Vegetarian Chili recipe is the perfect vegetarian comfort food! This vegetarian crockpot recipe is easy and delicious!
Cadillac Margarita Recipe
- 2 oz. Reposado Tequila
- 2 oz. Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
- 1 oz. Grand Marnier
- 1 oz. Triple Sec
- 1 oz. Simple Syrup
- Use a lime wedge to wet the rim of your margarita glass, then dip the glass into a small bowl of kosher salt, sea salt, margarita salt or plain salt.
- Combine all ingredients into a shaker with ice cubes.
- Shake, Shake, Shake.
- Pour into your favorite margarita glass and enjoy!
Enjoy Responsibly. This post and recipe are intended for those of legal drinking age.