Alright, cards on the table: how many folks made a new year’s resolution to “be healthier” in 2018?

We’re willing to bet at least some of our readers made such a pledge on January 1st. To be fair, it’s not a bad goal—it’s just a bit vague. For example, when you say you want to be healthier, do you mean that you’re planning to cut fast food out of your diet entirely, or would you like for it to only become an occasional treat? Are you only talking about eating right and exercising, or are you also going to give up other health hazards (like listening to music with the volume cranked up too high, not getting enough sleep, or arguing relentlessly with strangers on social media) this year? And are you going to stop consuming alcohol during meals at restaurants, or are you going to try to make “better” beverage choices?

When you go out for Tex-Mex food, the siren-songs of margaritas, frozen sangria swirls, and beer can be pretty hard to resist—especially if your dining companions are choosing to imbibe in your presence. But is total avoidance completely necessary? Well…


Margarita on the Rocks

Let’s start out with a small caveat: because margaritas are prepared fresh to order, nailing down exact nutrition numbers is a bit tricky. Individual margaritas will vary slightly from one another, so everything in the next paragraph is based on best estimates.

Despite their pretty name and festive reputation, margaritas can mess with your diet in more ways than one. First, they’re relatively calorie-dense; a small, 10 oz glass is around 550 calories, and most of us will drink considerably more than that when we’re out to dinner with friends or family. They also tend to be high in sugar, carbohydrates, and—thanks to their iconic salted rim—sodium.

Does that mean that a healthy lifestyle can never, ever include a margarita? No, of course not. It simply means that you need to be aware of what you’re getting into before you order. Many restaurants now offer “skinny” margaritas, which tend to be less calorie-dense because they use fresh fruit juice instead of commercially prepared margarita mix or highly-sweetened liqueur. Thus, a skinny margarita may be a good choice if you’re trying to lose (or maintain a healthy) weight. If you’re concerned about sodium, you can also ask your server to nix the salt. And finally, always alternate your margaritas with glasses of water. Staying hydrated is important, after all!

Frozen Sangria Swirl

“Is red wine good for you?” Google that question, and you’ll get more than 12 million results. While red wine is an alcoholic beverage (and we all know that consuming large amounts of alcohol over a long period of time can be detrimental to one’s health), it’s also a good source of antioxidants. Regular consumption of the stuff has been associated with lower LDL cholesterol, more stable blood sugar levels, and even a decreased risk of cancer and heart disease.

A frozen sangria swirl is essentially a frozen margarita with swirls of red wine mixed in. It’s another very pretty, festive drink, and some folks tout it as a superior alternative to regular margaritas due to wine’s purported health benefits. Keep in mind, though, that the addition of antioxidants can’t negate the all of the sugar and carbs you’re getting from the frozen margarita. Also remember that a daily glass of red wine is not going to be a healthy choice for everyone, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions. Talk to your doctor before you start any kind of vino regimen!


Even the biggest fan of beer will admit that it’s not a very healthy choice; the sheer prevalence of the phrase “beer gut” makes the beverage’s association with empty calories and weight gain pretty blatant! Still, like wine, beer may hide some surprising health benefits; moderate beer consumption has been linked to a lowered risk of heart attack and Type 2 diabetes, better bone and eye health, and—not too surprisingly—higher levels of self-confidence and overall happiness.

While exact numbers will vary between brands, beer typically contains less sugar and fewer calories than margaritas. It’s slightly higher in carbohydrates than red wine, though if we’re comparing beer to sangria swirls (as opposed to plain wine), beer is probably a safe bet. Our best advice when it comes to beer? If at all possible, drink it by the bottle or can instead of by the glass or pitcher—you’ll have a much better idea of how much you’re actually consuming in one sitting.


Whether or not margaritas, sangria swirls, and/or beer can be part of a balanced, healthy diet is entirely up to you. Some folks trust themselves to only have one margarita or two beers while enjoying Happy Hour, and others would rather avoid ordering a drink entirely—lest they go overboard. At Mattito’s, we’re big fans of “everything in moderation.” It’s probably not a good idea to drink a margarita every single night, and you probably shouldn’t guzzle down a six pack of beer once a day, either. But enjoying a frozen sangria swirl every once in a while, just to add an extra kick to a night of eating Tex-Mex food? Your diet—and overall health in 2018—will probably be fine.

Low-Calorie Cocktails: Margarita Recipe

Unfortunately, in its travels north of the border, the lime-and-tequila classic picked up a suitcase full of high-fructose corn syrup and with it about 300 extra calories. With that addition, your pre-dinner drink can easily blow a whole meal’s worth of calories.

To help you lose weight without giving up cocktails altogether, we returned this Happy Hour favorite to its simple, unadulterated former self.

Classic Margarita

Makes 1

Nutrition: 200 calories, 14 g sugar

What You’ll Need

1½ oz 100% agave silver tequila
1½ oz fresh lime juice (from about a lime and half), plus extra lime for garnish
1 oz triple sec, Cointreau, or Grand Marnier
1 tsp agave syrup
Coarse salt

How to Make It

Place the tequila, lime juice, triple sec, and agave syrup in a shaker filled with ice. Cover and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Cover a small plate with a thin layer of salt. Rub the rim of a rocks glass with the flesh side of a lime wedge, then dip into the salt and crust lightly. Serve in the glass straight up or with ice.

Mix It Up

Embellishments worth embracing:

Spicy Margarita
Add ½ teaspoon canned chipotle pepper to the shaker. Mix the salt with an equal measure of chili powder for a fiery rim.

Strawberry Margarita
Add four sliced strawberries to the shaker and use a wooden spoon to smash. Proceed with the recipe.

Drink This!

If you’re not feeling in the mood for tequila, turn to one of these other low-calorie cocktails.

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Celebrating Cinco de Mayo without a margarita is like celebrating your birthday without cake—it’s just not natural. This festival is one of the best ways to kick off the month of May, but it can also be a serious diet trap if you’re ordering up those premade frozen margaritas loaded in calories and sugar, then pairing it with some queso dip.

But we’re not here to tell you to abstain completely. After all, a recent study revealed that sugars found in the plant that makes tequila may lower blood glucose levels and help you lose weight. OK, so it’s not exactly a diet drink, but there are definitely healthier ways to prepare it yourself. Try this better-for-you version that’s only about 97 calories a glass and still absolutely delicious. Pair it with a healthy salsa or this avocado-free guacamole.

The Under-100 Calorie Margarita
Makes 1 drink

1.25 oz tequila
2 oz sparkling water, lemon lime essence (like Calistoga, Crystal Gyser, or Sparkling ICE)
1 oz lime juice
0.5 oz orange juice
0.5 tsp light agave syrup
Dash of salt (for coating the rim of the glass)
Ice (for mixing)
Lime wedge or round (for garnish)

1. Shake the first five ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.

2. Rub a lime along the rim of your glass before dipping it in the salt.

3. Pour the contents of the shaker into the glass rimmed with salt. Garnish with lime wedge or round.

Nutritional Info Per Serving: 96.8 calories, 0 g fat, 155.2 mg sodium, 4.2 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 1.4 g sugar, 0.1 g protein

Cinco de Mayo Salsa
Makes 10 servings

3-4 cups plum tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 large red onion
1 yellow bell pepper
1 jalepeno pepper
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic (optional)
Salt and pepper to tast

1. Combine all ingredients together in a food processer and serve.

Anjali Shah is a food writer, board certified health coach, and owner of The Picky Eater, a healthy food and lifestyle blog. She grew up a “whole wheat” girl, but married a “white bread” kind of guy. Hoping to prove that nutritious food can actually be delicious, she taught herself how to cook and successfully transformed his eating habits from frozen pizzas to healthy, flavorful recipes. Through her blog, she shares her passion for tasty, healthy cooking with simple, wholesome ingredients. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Google+.

Tequila is one of the healthiest booze choices

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo doesn’t have to make for a massive hangover. While many associate tequila with nauseous Jose Cuervo nights and nasty hangovers, good tequila — made from 100 percent agave — actually has health benefits. Have a look at some of the reasons to drink it up — just stay away from sugary mixers and avoid impressing pals with how many shots you can down.

It won’t spike your blood sugar

Mexican researchers from Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados Biotechnology and Biochemistry Irapuato have found that the agave in tequila is non-digestible and will not raise blood sugar levels as much as other booze. This is good news for Sue Torres, consulting chef with the hot Brooklyn restaurant Leyenda. Like 86 million Americans, she suffers from pre-diabetes. It leaves her with low blood sugar — and an instant headache when she drinks most forms of alcohol. But tequila made from 100 percent blue agave actually agrees with Torres. Unlike other liquors, she tells The Post, “Tequila has a soft sugar that does not cause my blood sugar level to spike, my body to sweat and my energy to crash. If I choose booze, I choose tequila.”

It’s low in calories

Tanya Zuckerbrot, a certified dietician with F-Factor Nutrition in Midtown, recommends tequila to her clients who like to imbibe. Compared to a 1-ounce shot of vodka, which has 96 calories, she says, “A shot of tequila is only 64 calories. Plus it’s made with agave and has a naturally sweet flavor. That eliminates the need for sugary mixers, which is where calories and carbs really tally up.”

It makes medication more effective

Researchers at the University of Guadalajara have discovered that the blue agave used to make tequila can create a protective barrier around drugs used to treat intestinal ailments, and prevent the medication from being diluted in the stomach.

It’s gluten-free

For those who are avoiding grains, tequila ranks among the safest spirits you can drink. It’s distilled from agave (which is a fruit) and there’s not a trace of wheat or barley.

Hangovers are minimized

One main culprit when it comes to hangovers is the presence of fermentation products known as congeners, according to a study done by the Behavioral and Social Sciences Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University School of Public Health. Clear tequila made from 100 percent blue agave has fewer congeners than brown liquors that share its top-shelf perch. Hence, milder hangovers for Cinco de Mayo celebrants — so long as they drink it straight and steer clear of sugary mixers.

Calories in Tequila: Nutrition Facts

While drinking alcohol can blunt your ability to lose fat (See: Does Alcohol Prevent Weight Loss?), we understand for some it can be one of life’s guilty pleasures.

Given Cinco De Mayo is right around the corner, we wanted to teach you more about tequila, where it comes from, along with basic calorie information for the most popular drinks that have tequila.

What Is Tequila?

In a region that’s now the Jalisco state of Mexico, the conquistadors arrived from Spain to find the Aztecs drinking a fermented beverage called octli brewed from agave. And when the Spaniards ran out of their European brandy, they distilled the blue agave plant to produce one of North America’s first native spirits: Tequila.

While producers shipped Tequila to the US as early as the 1850s, it didn’t become a popular spirit until the 1960s, when the Margarita made its appearance as a cocktail staple and mixed drinks with Tequila exploded onto the scene. 1

5 Different Types Of Tequila

Today, Tequila saturates the liquor market, and though all Tequila is distilled from agave, there are two basic categories: mixtos and 100% agave. The mixtos uses no less than 51% agave, but other sugars make up the remainder. The distinction in flavor comes from the base ingredient, which makes 100% agave more complex.

In addition to this basic difference, Tequila is bottled in one of five categories:2

  1. Blanco “White” or “Silver” – This type is un-aged, meaning it’s bottled or stored immediately after distilling, and generally stored in stainless steel so no flavor soaks into the liquor from the barrel
  2. Reposado – Known as “rested” tequila, it is aged at least two months, but no longer than one year, and always in oak barrels, as it takes on the flavor of the wood and mellows the alcohol
  3. Joven – A mixture of un-aged and aged Tequila, this type is called both “young” and “gold”
  4. Añejo – Aged at least one year, but less than three, it is also always stored in oak barrels
  5. Extra Añejo – Meaning “extra aged,” this is aged a minimum of three years in oak barrels

The more aged Tequilas are generally smoother and more complex, while the Blanco has the harsher flavor of the agave at the front of the palate.

Calories In Most Popular Drinks Made With Tequila

Traditionally in Mexico, you would drink Tequila straight, without lime and salt. The lime and salt variation many in the US and other countries are familiar with is known as the “tequila cruda” or “training wheels.” A 1 oz. shot of Tequila is usually between 64 and 69 calories, and most mixed drinks include more than just one.

Some of the most popular cocktails created with Tequila also include high amounts of fruit juice, which significantly increase the sugar content:3

  1. Margarita: Made by mixing Tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, and Margarita mix, this can be served on the rocks or blended, and a 12 oz. glass will set you back about 540 calories
  2. Matador: With Tequila, lime juice, and pineapple, this one is high in sugar and sits at about 500 calories per 12 oz. glass
  3. Tequila Sunrise: Tequila, orange juice, and grenadine, prepared to mimic a sunrise, you’ll be drinking 400 calories per a 12 oz. glass

Hope this helps you find some ways to stay healthy and keep the festivities going – enjoy Cinco de Mayo!

Show 3 References


Have you ever thought that what is the amount of calories in Tequila? If yes, then might be you are among the people who want to lose their weight. But getting information about calories in Tequila is not sufficient, you must also count liquid calories if you’re going to reduce fat.

The reason for this is that only calories found in Tequila don’t matter, calories in the cocktail ingredients also matter. Once you get appropriate information on the tequila calories in cocktails, then you can design an exercise program for calories burned and weight loss.

Types of Tequila:

Tequila is classified into these five categories:

(i) Blanco “Silver” or “white”: This type of Tequila is stored immediately after distilling. Usually, it is stored in stainless steel so that liquor can-not soak any flavor from the barrel.

(ii) Reposado: Reposado is also known as “rested tequila”; it is stored for two months to one year. Oak barrels are used to store it so that it can take the flavour of the wood to mellow the alcohol.

(iii) Joven: Joven is a combination of aged and unaged Tequila, and it is known as both “young” and “gold”. This drink is very smooth and easy to digest.

(iv) Anejo: This Tequila is stored in oak barrels for one to three years.

(v) Extra Anejo: As cleared from the name, this type of Tequila is stored for a minimum of three years in oak barrels.

Amount Of Calories In Drinks Made With Tequila:

In Mexico, people like to drink Tequila straight without the use of salt and lime. Generally, tequila shot is in between 64 to 69 calories. Some famous cocktails made with Tequila include fruit juice, which increases the sugar level.

(i) Matador: Matador with pineapple, Tequila and lime juice is generally high in sugar and contains about 500 calories per 12 oz. glass.

(ii) Margarita: It is manufactured by mixing lime juice, Cointreau and Tequila. A 12 oz. glass will give 540 calories.

(iii) Tequila sunrise: Orange juice, Tequila and grenadine are mixed and 12 oz. glass of this drink will give you 400 calories.

How Many Calories In A Shot Of Tequila

If you get to know about how many calories in Tequila, then it will help you to customize low-calorie cocktails to lose weight. 1.5 fluid ounces of Tequila contains 97 calories, and usually, a tequila cocktail contains 1.5 oz. Tequila.

Tequila shots: It can be the best way to reduce weight as it contains only 99 calories in a tequila shot in the form of the salt and lime wedge flavor.

Tequila mixers: Juice and soda are also used with cocktails which are the highest calorie mixers. If you use diet soda and fresh juice, then calorie consumption can be reduced to much extent in tequila cocktail.

Low Calories In Tequila Cocktails:

If you want a tequila in fewer calories, then ask the bartender to give you Tequila in rocks or old-fashioned glass by which you can enjoy your favorite drink without consuming too many calories. These are some low-calorie cocktails to lose weight:

(i) Tequila Fizz:

Take 3 oz. of diet sprite, 1.5 oz of Tequila, ice cubes and one lime wedge 2.

Procedure: Put ice cubes into a highball glass and then add Tequila, soda in it. In last, give it finishing with lime wedges.

How many calories in a shot of Tequila and a coke: 99

(ii) Tequila Puckerita:

Take 0.5 oz. Apple puckers, ice, lime wedge and 1 oz. of tequila 64.

Procedure: Put ice in the Collins or highball glass, add puckers and Tequila in it. At last, mix lime wedge juice and shake until blended.

How many calories are in a shot of Tequila puckerita: 102

(iii) Tequila Stinger:

Take lemon twist, ice, 1 tsp of liquorice liqueur and creme de menthe. Also, take about 1.5 oz tequila 97.

Procedure: Mix liqueurs, Tequila, and ice in a shaker. Stir well and then put in a cocktail glass. Give it finishing with a lemon twist.

Must Read: How Many Calories In Vodka

How Many Calories Are In Tequila Stinger: 130.

Although all of us consider alcohol a bad habit as it can lead you towards the feeling of getting high followed by a bad hangover. Many people promise not to drink again, but here is something that will make you confident, and you will not need to feel guilty of drinking anymore.

According to the research conducted by the American Chemical Society, researchers claim that sugar in the agave plant or in Tequila is non-digestible and blood sugar level cannot be raised. So, the human body doesn’t suffer much because of the sugar present in the drink.

There are many health benefits of Tequila drink given as below:

  • People with type 2 diabetics can drink tequila as natural sugars in agave don’t spike so glucose level is decreases and insulin production increases.
  • Tequila is produced by blue agave plant which contains fructans.
  • Tequila drinking can help you in fighting with dementia.
  • Tequila drink can stimulate your appetite so digestion will be improved.

As per the report of the American Chemical Society, Tequila can be something to make you fit as it has some notable impacts on blood glucose levels because of the agave plant.

This drink can help you in bringing down your glucose level. These agave present in the Tequila are non-edible that doesn’t let glucose level to increase.

The fiber present in the Tequila makes you feel full for a long time, so your body consumes less food, which automatically prevents weight gain.

Moreover, agave present in the Tequila is non-digestive, which is good for human health as sugar of the drink can’t get digested, so sugar level remains under control.

Although there are many benefits of alcohol, it doesn’t mean that you start taking Tequila daily. If someone takes this drink occasionally, then the result is not packing on the pounds. But the effect of daily consumption of Tequila can be harmful to health.

What Is the Difference Between a Margarita and a Skinny Margarita?

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The margarita may very well be the most democratic of all cocktails, though this may be difficult to prove empirically. Its pedigree is well-established such that even the haughtiest mixologist will deign to make you a classic one, but its fresh simplicity is accessible enough for baby’s first cocktail. It also pairs well with food (nachos, please!), which not every cocktail can do so gracefully. Margarita translates to “daisy”; named for the friendliest of flowers, it is essentially the friendliest of cocktails. (Yeah, yeah. Tell that to your last margarita-fueled hangover.)

The name also fits because the margarita comes from the daisy family of cocktails, a slight variation on a classic sour cocktail. A sour typically consists of two parts spirit to one part citrus and one part sweetener. A daisy, by contrast, displaces some of the sweetener element by an orange-flavored liqueur such as Cointreau or triple sec. A brandy daisy is considered the oldest variant, which was popular as early as the late 1880s. The margarita, essentially a tequila daisy, was established (based on whomever’s claim to it you best believe) in the late 1930s or early 1940s.

So then what’s all this noise about the current craze for a skinny margarita? The dirty truth is a skinny margarita bears a tremendous amount of resemblance to a properly made, classic margarita, with maybe just a lighter hand with the triple sec and sweetener. But what the skinny margarita is responding to is the moment (in actuality, a few decades) where the margarita strayed from its sophisticated pedigree and became synonymous with slushy machines, syrupy sweet and sour mix, and happy hours that resulted in not-so-happy mornings-after. Those libations delivered a wallop of calories, hence the need for a skinnier version. The good news is, the rising trend in cocktails that are actually classics means that more and more people are enjoying a properly made margarita, skinny or otherwise.

Browse Tequila on Drizly (prices vary)

Feeling inspired, but also lazy? See what you can have delivered.

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Dale DeGroff Margarita

The classic. Do yourself a favor and go to a cocktail bar or reputable restaurant and simply ask for a margarita, full stop, no modifiers. With or without salt, up or on the rocks, it is the perfect triangulation between strength, sweetness, and acidity. Or make yourself one at home with this bedrock Dale DeGroff Margarita recipe.

Skinny Margarita

Cookie + Kate

A lovely interpretation of a lighter style margarita, with some fresh orange juice to soften the citric bite of the lime, and a gentle touch of agave for roundness. Get the Skinny Margarita recipe.

Tommy’s Margarita

A classic variation on the classic margarita that nudges it back into the sour category from the daisy category. Orange liqueur is omitted and a generous dose of agave syrup emphasizes the natural agave flavor of the tequila. Get the Tommy’s Margarita recipe.

Skinnygirl Margarita

Genius Kitchen

A tart variation on the skinny, with extra tequila and lime, and just a splash of orange liqueur for contrast. Get the Skinnygirl Margarita recipe.

The Spruce

A richer style margarita made with aged (reposado) tequila and brandy-based Grand Marnier in place of triple sec. The impact is slightly sweeter because of the inherent richness in the aged tequila, without actually being sweeter. Get the Cadillac Margarita recipe.

Blood Orange Margarita

Because of its relatively clean slate, the margarita provides an excellent palate for different components to come along for the ride. This dramatic variation brings the crimson juice of the blood orange, as well as a hint of Campari for bitter tension and to really sell the sanguine factor. Get the Blood Orange Margarita recipe.

Shake Things Up

Feeling inspired to get into the mixing game? Check out these cocktail sets.

Get Equipped

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Header images courtesy of and Cookie + Kate.

This top shelf Cadillac Margarita uses premium ingredients of tequila and orange liqueur to ensure a top shelf margarita. This recipe is ready in 5 minutes or less and is perfect for Cinco de Mayo, National Margarita Day (February 22nd), or just a day when you need a classic yet high-end drink, but don’t want to go out.

I love a good cocktail. However, when you live near certain areas (like NYC), going out and drinking anything but beer is potentially quite expensive. On the island of Manhattan, there are a number of establishments where the average cocktail will set you back nearly $20.

In my cheap mind, I can invest in a decent home bar for that price. So with a couple of investments and knowing a few good tips about home bartending, you can save you a bundle. A basic margarita recipe only requires that you know how to shake a drink. Now, this isn’t a basic margarita recipe. This is a “Cadillac Margarita” or a “Top Shelf Margarita.” In other words, there are certain higher end substitutions made, to make this an upgrade from the original recipe.

What Makes a Cadillac Margarita Different?

A margarita is a simple cocktail using lime, tequila, and triple sec. A Cadillac Margarita elevates the original recipe and uses aged tequila like a reposado in place of silver tequila and Grand Marnier in place of the triple sec.

Who Invented the Cadillac Margarita?

Food history is always a bit fuzzy as to who gets the credit. However, the name is a reference to the car company when Cadillacs were top of the line and highly desirable to customers. Those old school Cadillacs stood out and everyone knew what it was. This cocktail stands apart from a standard margarita as the richly hued tequila and Grand Marnier make it very clear than premium ingredients are at work here.

Watch Me Make A Cadillac Margarita (34 Seconds)

Types of Tequila

In order for Tequila to be called Tequila it must be made in the Jalisco region of Mexico. It must also be made from the blue agave plant. If you are in the US, it also needs to be at least 80 proof (or 40% alcohol). Now, some of us have had some bad tequila memories. A lot of cheap tequila is only 51% blue agave. The good stuff should be made from 100% agave. That should be clearly listed on the bottle as well.

When you go to the store to buy Tequila you might notice several different varieties of tequila. Most visibly, you’ll notice the different colors of tequila. Each one of these has a more subtle nuanced characteristic to them.

Here you can see the side by side of three of the five tequilas I’m about to mention

Silver (blanco) Tequila- This tequila is clear and unaged. The flavor here is a bit more true to the flavor of agave from which it is distilled. Tequila that is aged is usually done so in a barrel leading to other flavors and nuances being present. Since this is not aged, it retains its clear and pure flavor.

Reposado- This tequila is a golden color since it is rested in barrels between 2-12 months. Oak barrels are commonly used to age tequila. Some tequilas even use used Bourbon Barrels, Sherry Casks, or other types of oak barrels to add more complex flavors like vanilla, oak, chocolate, coffee, and whiskey. You’ll have to try different ones to find the nuances to these.

Joven (gold)- A mix of Blanco and Reposado tequilas. This mix might contain less than 100% blue agave and is a mixto. My advice: stick with 100% blue agave tequila. It makes a difference.

Anejo- Aged 1-3 years in a barrel. Way less agave and tastes more like the barrel it is aged in.

Extra Anejo- Aged 3 years or more.

Which tequila brand is best? The one that pleases your palate the most. Some liquor stores do occasionally have tastings and samplings.

What’s the Difference between Curacao, Triple Sec, Grand Marnier, and Cointreau?

So all of the above are orange liqueurs. However, there are some differences between the orange liqueurs you might see on shelves.

Curacao–Originally made in the island that bears this products name. This is made from brandy and orange peels. Unlike Tequila, Champagne, and Bourbon, this does not have to be made on the island of Curacao. This is a clear liquid. Also, the blue drink is not a traditional curacao regardless of how fun it is to add to a drink.

Triple Sec–started off as a French product, however, it is more dry than a Curacao, thus the word “sec” in French. The triple part is just marketing as it does not have to be distilled three times to bear the name. This is also clear in color.

Grand Marnier & Cointreau– Grand Marnier is made from a blend of cognac and triple sec. It is an amber orange color. Cointreau was initially called “Cointreau Triple Sec”, however in order to differentiate itself in the marketplace it dropped the Triple Sec from its name. Cointreau is clear.

Tips of Making a Cadillac Margarita

  • Use quality 100% blue agave tequila. For this recipe, silver or reposado tequila work best as they have more agave flavor.
  • Use good quality ice. If your water tastes weird, it will taint the cocktail. Use bottled water to make ice or buy ice. This is vastly undervalued item when it comes to making a great cocktail.
  • Be sure that when you salt the rim, you avoid getting salt inside the glass. Otherwise your drink will taste like the ocean.
  • Avoid sweet/sour mixes and pre-made margarita mixes. Nothing can be more simple than freshly squeezed limes. Simple syrup is also easy enough to make.
  • Don’t use bottled lime juice. It completely throws off the balance of a good drink.
  • When shaken, the shaker should feel ice cold throughout. If it isn’t cold, keep going. I’ve never had a great room temperature cocktail.
  • Grand Marnier can be served in as a separate shot or poured on top right before serving.
  • This margarita will be a deeper color than a regular margarita due to the color variation in the ingredients.

How to Make a Cadillac Margarita

Step 1: (optional) Using a lime wedge, rub the lime around the edge of the margarita glass. Then run the outside of the glass with coarse salt. If you want only the taste of salt but don’t want those big chunks in your mouth consider using agave instead of the lime wedge. Set aside.

Here is how the glasses might look different when you chose to rim the glass with lime or with syrup. With lime the salt will come off much easier. Kosher salt or other coarse salt work well.

Step 2: Fill a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Add premium tequila, 1 ounce of Grand Marnier, fresh lime juice, simple syrup and shake vigorously until the shaker feels very cold.

Step 3: Fill your glass that you rimmed earlier with good quality ice. Attach strainer and pour margarita into glass.

Step 4: Have shot of Grand Marnier to enjoy as a shot with this drink or….

Step 4b: Pour shot of Grand Marnier on top of margarita on the rocks. You can also “float it” using a spoon. Or enjoy as a shot and serve Enjoy responsibly! If you float the Grand Marnier, it will eventually settle toward the bottom as it is more dense than the rest of the drink.

I hope you enjoy this Cadillac Margarita!

Other Delicious Margarita Recipes on this Blog

Blood Orange Margarita

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Cadillac Margarita

This top shelf Cadillac Margarita uses premium ingredients of tequila and orange liqueur to ensure a top shelf margarita. 5 from 4 votes Pin Course: Drinks Cuisine: American, Mexican Keyword: cadillac margarita, top shelf margarita Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 5 minutes Servings: 1 Calories: 354kcal Author: Brenda


Optional- For the Glass

  • Kosher Salt for garnish
  • Lime Wheel for garnish

For the Margarita

  • 2 ounces Tequila Use good quality tequila. I used reposado tequila
  • 1 ounce Grand Marnier Cointreau, Grand Gala or other Orange Liqueur can be used as well.
  • 1.5 ounces lime juice freshly squeezed
  • .5 ounce simple syrup or to taste
  • Ice Use good quality ice
  • 1 ounce Grand Marnier as a shot or to pour on top.

Kitchen Equipment Needed to Make This Recipe

  • Juicer
  • Shaker
  • Cocktail Glass


  • (Optional) Rim the outside edge of a glass with a lime wedge. Dip glass’s edge into a kosher salt to create a salt time. Remove excess from the interior of the glass to prevent drink from becoming salty
  • Fill Cocktail Shaker with Ice.
  • Add tequila, 1 ounce Grand Marnier, lime juice, and simple syrup.
  • Shake vigorously until shaker is very cold.
  • Add ice to your (optionally) rimmed glass. Strain and pour into glass.
  • Add extra 1 ounce of Grand Marnier on top of your cocktail or enjoy as a shot on the side.
  • Enjoy responsibly!


  • Use quality 100% blue agave tequila. In this application silver or reposado tequila work best as they taste more of agave and less oaky than an anejo tequila.
  • Use good quality ice. If your water is off tasting, it will taint the cocktail. Use bottled water to make ice or buy ice. This is vastly undervalued item when it comes to making a great cocktail.
  • Be sure that when you salt the rim, you avoid getting salt inside the glass. Otherwise your drink will taste more like the ocean.
  • Avoid sweet/sour mixes and pre-made margarita mixes. Nothing can be simple than freshly squeezed limes. Simple syrup is easy enough to make.
  • When shaken, the shaker should feel ice cold throughout. If it isn’t cold, keep going. I’ve never had a great room temperature cocktail.
  • Grand Marnier can be served in as a separate shot or poured on top right before serving.
  • This margarita will be a deeper color than a regular margarita due to the color variation in the ingredients.

Nutrition Facts Cadillac Margarita Amount Per Serving Calories 354 % Daily Value* Fat 0g0% Saturated Fat 0g0% Cholesterol 0mg0% Sodium 14mg1% Potassium 49mg1% Carbohydrates 32g11% Sugar 29g32% Protein 0g0% Vitamin C 12.8mg16% Iron 0.5mg3% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Tried this recipe?Mention @becomebetty or tag #becomebetty! 22 Like Loading…

Calories in a margarita

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