Love a classic margarita? Then you’re going to love this smooth, premium Cadillac Margarita with a surprising burst of sweet orange flavor from the addition of Grand Marnier.

It’s your favorite margarita flavors, elevated to a whole new level. Let’s learn how to make one!

A clear glass with a Cadillac margarita, garnished with an orange slice.
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Can we just fast forward to Cinco de Mayo? No? Well, I just might pretend. Regardless, it’s a great time to kick back, relax and enjoy a Cadillac Margarita from the comfort of your own home.

Complete Margarita Guide

If you haven’t noticed from my Skinny Margarita, Classic Homemade Margarita and array of flavored margaritas like Apple Cider Margaritas, Mango or Watermelon, I’m margarita obsessed!
Want to spice up your life? Try my jalapeno margarita recipe, a champagne margarita, wine margarita or this mint margarita!

And if you love a fresh and flavorful cocktail, don’t skip my favorite Paloma cocktail recipe. It is one of the best cocktails ever!

PS… there’s no time like the present to whip up your own Margarita Mix so you’re always prepared! I promise it’s the only margarita mix you’ll ever need.

This margarita recipe is made with the best ingredients! Skip the Triple Sec – this margarita deserves so much more! Premium ingredients are what sets a cadillac margarita apart from the rest.

Why You’ll love this Margarita

  • Easy to Make
  • Feels Special
  • Great Upgrade on the Classic
  • Easy to Customize

What is a Cadillac Margarita?

If you’ve never had one, I sure hope you’ll give this one a try!

The name Cadillac simply implies that the ingredients are top shelf, or top of the line… it’s the “Cadillac” of all margaritas. It’s the premium liquors that change the feel of this cocktail! Whereas a classic margarita uses triple sec, this Cadillac drink uses Grand Marnier.

Even more special, this premium Cadillac margarita recipe uses a float, which is a fun cocktail technique I think you’ll enjoy. Read on for all the details!

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Tequila – A high quality top shelf aged reposado tequila is what makes this tequila cocktail stand above the rest. You can always use a silver tequila if you prefer, but either way, I recommend 100% agave.
  • Lime Juice – Fresh squeezed lime juice or purchased in the produce or juice section in the grocery store.
  • Simple Syrup – Simple syrup is made by combining sugar and water over heat. It’s simple to make at home or you can purchase in the liquor aisle of your grocer. You can also use a little agave syrup here, or even honey.
  • Grand Marnier – Cognac based orange liqueur takes the Cadillac Margarita over the top!
  • Crushed Ice – This is my secret ingredient. It melts just a touch to make a margarita less tart. Of course you can always serve your margarita on the rocks with larger ice cubes if you prefer.
  • Orange Slice – A fresh orange slice makes a great garnish.
A bar with ingredients for a Cadillac margarita, one glass full on a tray.

Variations

  • You can use orange juice or any favorite orange liqueur instead of Grand Marnier.
  • You can also use Cointreau (triple sec) in place of the lime juice or grand marnier in this recipe.

How to Make a Cadillac Margarita

  1. Rim a glass with lime juice or simple syrup and salt. A bar with ingredients for a Cadillac margarita
  2. Add crushed ice to your glasses. A bar with ingredients for a Cadillac margarita
  3. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine tequila, lime juice, and simple syrup. 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. Finally, you’ll add your shot of Grand Marnier as a floater on top. (Learn more about the float below!) A hand pouring liquor into a cadillac margarita.

Make More (or Less!)

Scaling up, down or substituting? You’ll love this printable Measurement Conversion Chart!

Tips

  • Use a good quality tequila! A Cadillac margarita shines with premium ingredients. Read more below.
  • Fresh lime juice is also extremely important. Avoid “lime juice” in the liquor aisle as it has a lot of additives. Fresh squeezed is a game changer in an authentic, flavorful margarita.
  • Don’t skip the float! It’s what makes this margarita recipe unique.
  • Learn how to set up a Margarita Bar for the ultimate fiesta! Guests can serve themselves and customize each cocktail.
  • Ice – Many people feel that solid ice is best because it won’t melt as fast. I disagree- I love that the crushed ice will add the perfect amount of water to a strong margarita, making the tequila just a touch more palatable.
A clear glass with a Cadillac margarita, garnished with an orange slice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Cointreau the same as triple sec and Grand Marnier?

Cointreau is a triple sec, whereas Grand Marnier is considered an orange liqueur that blends both cognac and triple sec.

Why is Grand Marnier more expensive than Cointreau?

Grand Marnier is the more expensive of these two options because the Cognac that it’s made from is more expensive to produce and bottle, as it’s made with grapes. Cointreau is a more traditionally produced neutral alcohol that’s infused with flavoring.

What’s a Floater?

This Cadillac margarita features a float of Grand Marnier. A float is very simply a layer of alcohol on the top of a cocktail, without mixing it into the drink. Keep in mind that some mixing does occur naturally with a float, and watching the tendrils of color mix into the cocktail is part of the appeal!

A bar with ingredients for a Cadillac margarita, one glass full on a tray.

What’s the Best Tequila for a Margarita?

I can guarantee that the answer to this question is certainly up for debate! However, I do have a few recommendations based on my own years of margarita-drinking experience.

  • Try a Blanco (also known as silver) tequila. These aren’t aged so they have a lot of agave flavor! Patron Silver would be a great option here!
  • Reposado is another type of tequila that works well for your cocktails. It’s aged in oak barrels… just like all my favorite wines! 
  • Añejo tequila is also aged, but it takes it even further than Reposado, turning the tequila into a richer, amber color. 

Ideally, your margarita should not ever be overly sweet, as this takes away the flavor of the tequila and other ingredients. Allow the fresh, wholesome ingredients to shine! 

Make Ahead

  1. Squeeze your fresh limes ahead of time, up to 48 hours in advance!
  2. Mix lime juice, liqueur and tequila ahead of time. Add floater just before serving!

How to Store

  • At Room Temperature – For up to two hours before and after serving.
  • Refrigerate – Store these margaritas in the fridge for up to 48 hours after serving.
  • Freeze – To turn these wine margaritas into frozen slush Cadillac margaritas!

What to Do with Leftovers

  • Freeze and turn them into a Slushie the next day!

Dietary Considerations

  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free
A clear glass with a Cadillac margarita, garnished with an orange slice.

More Tex Mex Inspiration

A clear glass with a Cadillac margarita, garnished with an orange slice.
5 from 14 votes

Cadillac Margarita

Love a classic margarita? Then you're going to love this smooth, premium margarita with a surprising burst of sweet orange flavor from the addition of Grand Marnier.
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 2
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Ingredients  

  • 3 ounces tequila Premium
  • 3 ounces lime juice fresh squeezed
  • 2 ounces simple syrup
  • 2 ounces Grand Marnier
  • crushed ice
  • 1 orange slice for garnish

Instructions 

  • Add crushed ice to a salted glass.
  • Shake tequila, lime juice, and simple syrup.
  • Pour over crushed ice into a salt rimmed glass.
  • Float the Grand Marnier on top of margarita.

Tips

  • Use a good quality tequila! A Cadillac margarita shines with premium ingredients.
  • Fresh lime juice is also extremely important.
  • Don’t skip the float! It’s what makes this margarita recipe unique.
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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17 Comments

  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!