You only need 4 ingredients to make the ultimate Grand Marnier Margarita. This fresh, easy-to-make drink is the Cadillac of all margaritas. One sip and you will never drink a mix again. Shake one up in minutes!
Ever wonder what separates a good margarita from a great one?
It's all about proportions and quality ingredients. Nothing more than that.
Kevin and I first had a version of these Grand Marnier Margaritas in Mexico and managed to get the bartender to share the basics of his recipe. After a little tinkering at home, these golden margs are one of the BEST drinks to come out of our kitchens.
Forget the mixes; your search for the perfect marg on the rocks is over.
Why you will love this drink
✔︎ Top shelf ingredients. Every ingredient in this rocks marg is top of the line. Quality in, quality out.
✔︎ Easy to make. You only need four ingredients and a few minutes to shake up a smooth, delicious drink.
✔️ It's great for a group. Make one or a batch in no time. Simply add some pico guacamole and happy hour is set.
You only need 4 ingredients to make these delicious Grand Marnier Margaritas.
Lime Juice: Use fresh lime juice as it makes a huge difference in the taste of your drink. The bottled varieties contain preservatives that can impact flavor.
Tequila: Golden margaritas typically use reposado tequila to give the drink its deeper signature color. In a pinch, you can substitute silver tequila but whatever you use, be sure it is 100% agave for a smooth sipper.
Orange Liqueur: Grand Marnier is 100% the best for this drink. It makes the difference between an entry-level and top-shelf margarita. You can substitute Cointreau if you needed, but the taste will be different.
Simple Syrup: All grocery stores have simple syrup on the shelf with the mixers, but it is easy to make your own simple syrup at home (cheaper, too!).
Making margaritas from scratch is so easy, you will never buy a bottled mix again.
Prep your glass. Take a lime wedge and rim the edge of a glass and then invert it onto a plate filled with coarse kosher salt.
Fill a shaker with ice and pour in tequila and Grand Marnier.
Add fresh lime juice and simple syrup.
Cover the shaker and shake vigorously for at least 30-60 seconds. Strain margarita into prepared glass, garnish with a lime, and serve!
We always use low ball glasses to drink our margs because they are easy and approachable. No bell-shaped margarita glasses here! I spill every time I use one and who wants to waste good tequila?
A golden margarita uses reposado tequila, but here's a quick guide to the three primary types of tequila:
▶︎ Blanco Tequila has not been aged at all and is commonly used in flavored margaritas. We love to make a tequila mojito with blanco tequila.
▶︎ Reposado Tequila is a tequila that has been aged in an oak barrel giving it a smooth, more complex flavor.
▶︎ Anejo Tequila has been aged for 1-4 years and is rich in flavor. It is good to drink on the rocks or in a tequila old fashioned.
➤Triple Sec is a drier style of orange liqueur with a lower alcohol content than Cointreau or Grand Marnier. It's versatile and adds orange flavor and sweetness without the hefty price tag. You can pick up a bottle of triple sec for anywhere from $5.99- $15.99
➤Cointreau has a crisp smooth orange flavor and can be served on the rocks or mixed in cocktails. Its alcohol content is 80 proof and is about $25 a bottle
➤Grand Marnier is a mix of brandy, orange essence, and sugar. It's very smooth and drinkable but will change the flavor of a drink especially since it has brandy in it. But be careful, it packs some punch at 80 proof and is around $30 a bottle.
Expert Tips for the Best Margaritas
▶︎ Fresh lime juice is a MUST for the best margaritas. Bottled juices contain preservatives that impact taste. It takes just a few seconds to squeeze your own lime juice. This handheld juicer is one of our favorite kitchen tools. It even has measuring marks so you can easily see how much juice you've squeezed.
▶︎ Use good tequila. The tequila taste shines through in this drink. Use a reposado that is 100% agave.
▶︎ Shake your drink over lots of ice. Shaking the drink for at least 30 seconds not only combines the juice with the alcohol but chills it at the same time. Cold drinks are the best drinks.
▶︎ Grand Marnier is a premium orange liqueur and makes this drink a top-shelf cocktail that will have everyone asking for the recipe.
More margarita recipes
We haven't met a margarita we don't like! Check out all of our tequila cocktail recipes!
Did you make this recipe? We'd love to hear your thoughts! Please rate the recipe and leave a comment below. Your feedback helps us and your fellow readers!
Grand Marnier Margarita
- Kosher salt for rim, optional
- Lime wedge for garnish
- 1 ½ ounces reposado tequila (100% agave)
- 1 ½ ounces Grand Marnier
- 1 ½ ounces fresh lime juice
- 1 ½ ounces simple syrup
- Pour a small amount of kosher salt on a shallow plate. Run lime wedge around rim of a high ball glass to moisten so salt will stick. Turn glass upside down in salt to rim the edge. Fill with ice.Kosher salt for rim,, Lime wedge for garnish
- Pour tequila, Grand Marnier, lime juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously to mix and pour over ice in prepared glass. Serve immediately.1 ½ ounces reposado tequila, 1 ½ ounces Grand Marnier, 1 ½ ounces fresh lime juice, 1 ½ ounces simple syrup
- Fresh lime juice makes the BEST margaritas. Bottled juice contains preservatives and can impact flavor. It only takes a minute to squeeze a lime.
- Make sure your tequila is 100% agave to avoid the fillers that are used in some tequilas.
- Simple syrup can be found at the grocery store but is easy (and cheaper) to make at home.
- Out of Grand Marnier? You can use Cointreau in a pinch.
- Shake your margarita for at least 30 seconds to completely emulsify the juice with the other ingredients and lightly dilute the ice in the shaker. Your drink will taste smoother and be icy cold.
Nutrition info not guaranteed to be accurate.
This is also great if you put alot ice and make frozen margaritas in a ninja or magic bullet.
I agree wholeheartedly with the use of fresh-squeezed lime juice. That is essential to a good margarita. You can use the best margarita that money can buy, but if you mix it with a sour mix or pre-made margarita mixes that come in a bottle, you're not going to make a very good margarita. I also agree with using Grand Marnier (but Cointreau is also good). However, I do suggest a few variations on the recipe.
First, I would avoid anything actually named "Gold Tequila." They usually contain artificial color and sweetner, and not 100% blue agave. Perhaps you meant reposado tequila which has a gold color? I use 1800 Reposado. It's a very good,100% agave tequila that is inexpensive. You don't have to spend a lot to get a good quality tequila.
Second, I would double up on the tequila in the recipe. I use 2 parts tequila, 1 part Grand Marnier, and 1 part lime juice and only a small amount of sweetener (see below), i.e. 3 oz tequila, 1.5 oz of Grand Marnier, and 1.5 oz of lime juice).
Third, I recommend using agave syrup instead of simple syrup -- but only if needed. Personally, I find that the Grand Marnier / Cointreau makes the margarita sweet enough, but others find it a bit bitter and in need of some sweetness. If needed, I usually add agave to taste. Start off with a little bit (maybe a half of a teaspoon) and adjust accordingly. You can always add more to make it sweeter, but once it's too sweet there's no fixing it then!
I agree that using a cocktail shaker full of ice and shaking vigorously is important. It doesn't come out well if you just mix the ingredients together by stirring.
* I meant to say, "you can use the best 'tequila' money can buy..."
I agree with your called recipe, but the recipe listed is still overall great. Yes, agave syrup is definitely better and has much more natural taste.