Take your margarita to the next level! This Cadillac Margarita is bursting with bright flavor using premium ingredients – Grand Marnier and top shelf tequila. It’s the “Cadillac” of all margaritas!

A refreshing Cadillac margarita with crushed ice, garnished with an orange slice.
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What is a Cadillac Margarita?

The name Cadillac implies that it’s made with top shelf, top of the line or premium ingredients. Cadillac Margaritas became popular in the 80’s and 90’s as the best of the best margaritas on the menu at Mexican restaurants. This cocktail is quick and easy to make at home and you deserve the best!

Skip the sour mix! Cadillac Margaritas are made with just 4 premium ingredients for an elevated take on the classic margarita. Orange liqueur (in lieu of Triple Sec), typically Grand Marnier, top shelf blanco or reposado tequila, fresh squeezed lime juice and sweetened with simple syrup.

A float of golden Grand Marnier gives it sweet, citrus flavor as it seeps down into the cocktail. It’s best served on the rocks so you sip and savor the flavor. I love using crushed ice that slowly melts, adding balance.

pouring a Grand Marnier float into a Cadillac Margarita

Cadillac Margaritas aren’t just for special occasions, make everyday an occasion! Cinco de Mayo, happy hour, cocktail hour, dinner parties and girls’ or guys’ night out! This recipe is simply the best and readers agree!

“Hands down the best recipe for margaritas, perfect.”

grand marnier, premium tequila, simple syrup and fresh squeeze lime juice lined up

Cadillac Margarita Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Premium Tequila – Use your favorite top shelf tequila, blanco or reposado! Patron Silver, Patron Añejo, El Tesoro Blanco Tequila, Camerena Reposado, the highest quality you can afford.
  • Limes – Bright green limes indicate they are ripe and ready. The heavier, the lime, the juicier it is. Gently squeeze. If it has a little give, without being squishy, it’s just waiting to be mixed into Cadillac Margaritas! Fresh squeezed lime juice is free of additives and really shines in this cocktail.
  • Simple Syrup – Equal parts water and sugar whisked together to dissolve into syrup over medium heat or substitute agave.
  • Grand Marnier – Cognac based orange liqueur takes the Cadillac Margarita over the top! It can be blended in, floated or served in a shot glass with the margarita for pretty presentation.

Make it a Pink Cadillac by adding an ounce of cranberry juice!


Tips from the Test Kitchen

  • Use fresh, premium ingredients.
  • Carefully pour to avoid salt to maintain a beautiful rim and amazing flavor.
  • Serve Grand Marnier on the side or as a float for maximum impact.
Pouring a Cadillac margarita into a salt-rimmed glass with lime wedges and a pitcher in the background.

What’s a Float?

This Cadillac margarita features a float of Grand Marnier. A float is just a layer of alcohol on the top of a cocktail, without mixing it into the drink. The tendrils of color slide into the cocktail, adding unique appeal.

How to Store

Margaritas are best made fresh, but you can cover or seal and store in an airtight container up to 48 hours in the refrigerator before (or after) serving and add the float when ready to serve. You can also freeze and scoop to make frozen slush Cadillac Margaritas.

More Amazing Margaritas

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A glass of Cadillac margarita with crushed ice, garnished with an orange slice.
5 from 14 votes

Cadillac Margarita

Take your margaritas to the next level using fresh ingredients, top shelf tequila and Grand Marnier for the Cadillacs of all margaritas!
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 2
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For the Simple Syrup

  • ½ cup white granulated sugar or equal parts to scale for more margaritas
  • ½ cup water

For the Glass

  • margarita salt
  • crushed ice

For the Margarita

  • 3 ounces premium tequila see notes below for recommendation
  • 3 ounces lime juice fresh squeezed
  • 2 ounces simple syrup
  • 2 ounces Grand Marnier


  • 1 orange slice for garnish


To Make Simple Syrup

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water whisking until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool 5-10 minutes.

Rim Glasses

  • Rub a lime wedge on the rim of the glass, or add simple syrup or lime juice to a shallow plate and dip to rim.
  • Add margarita salt to a shallow plate and dip glass to rim with salt.
    margarita salt

For Margaritas

  • Fill glasses with crushed ice to the rim.
    crushed ice
  • In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add tequila, fresh squeezed lime juice, and simple syrup. Seal with the lid and shake vigorously with two hands.
    3 ounces premium tequila, 3 ounces lime juice, 2 ounces simple syrup
  • Carefully pour mixture into the center of glasses (avoiding salt), leaving room to top off.
  • In the center of each glass, add a float Grand Marnier on top. Garnish with an orange slice and serve.
    2 ounces Grand Marnier, 1 orange slice

Julie’s Tips

  • Fresh lime juice gives the best, fresh flavor. Squeeze up to 48 hours in advance if needed.
  • Don’t skip the float! Serving Grand Marnier on the top makes this margarita taste and feel special as it slowly seeps into the cocktail. Serve on top or in a shot glass on the side. 
  • Use crushed ice if possible. It adds amazing balance.

Best Tequila for Cadillac Margaritas

Blanco (also known as silver) tequila are not aged and have sweet agave flavor! Patron Silver, El Tesoro Blanco Tequila, Casamigos Blanco Tequila are among my favorites.
Reposado and Añejo tequila is aged in oak barrels for rich flavor and color. Patron Añejo and Camerena Reposado are my personal favorites.
Use your favorite high quality tequila.
Calories: 275kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 20mg | Potassium: 68mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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How to Make Step by Step

  1. Rim a glass with lime juice or simple syrup and dip into a shallow plate of salt.
  2. Add crushed ice to fill glasses.
  3. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine tequila, lime juice, and simple syrup. Using two hands, shake vigorously. A copper cocktail shaker filled with crushed ice. A copper shaker with a hand mixing up Cadillac margarita ingredients. A copper shaker with a hand mixing up Cadillac margarita ingredients.
  4. Strain into glasses with salted rims over ice. A copper shaker with a hand mixing up Cadillac margarita ingredients.
  5. Add a shot of Grand Marnier as a floater on top or to a shot glass to serve.
Pouring a golden-colored Cadillac margarita into a salt-rimmed glass with ice and lime wedges nearby.

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  1. 5 stars
    Hands down the best recipe for margarita’s, I use a small amount of Agave syrup instead of simple syrup, perfect. Thank you Julie!