How much sugar is in a Cadillac Margarita?

A Cadillac Margarita is a popular margarita variation that typically contains a higher amount of ingredients than a regular margarita. With extra liqueurs and juices added, the Cadillac Margarita often ends up being much sweeter and higher in calories and sugar than a standard margarita.

What is in a Cadillac Margarita?

A traditional Cadillac Margarita contains the following ingredients:

  • Tequila
  • Orange liqueur (usually triple sec)
  • Lime juice
  • Lemon juice
  • Simple syrup
  • Sugar or agave nectar for the rim

The combination of citrus juices, sweet liqueurs and sugar make the Cadillac Margarita a much sweeter and more caloric cocktail. The exact sugar content can vary greatly depending on the specific ingredients and quantities used in the recipe.

How much sugar is in tequila?

Tequila itself contains minimal amounts of sugar. An average 1.5 ounce (44 mL) serving of tequila contains around 0 grams of sugar.

How much sugar is in orange liqueur?

Orange liqueurs like triple sec or Cointreau are sweetened, usually with added sugar. The sugar content can vary by brand. Approximately:

  • Cointreau: 5 grams of sugar per 1 ounce
  • Triple sec: 4 grams of sugar per 1 ounce

Most Cadillac Margarita recipes call for 1-2 ounces of orange liqueur.

How much sugar is in lime juice?

Freshly squeezed lime juice contains minimal natural sugar, with only about 0.5 grams of sugar per fluid ounce. The lime juice in a Cadillac Margarita adds tart citrus flavor but very little actual sugar.

How much sugar is in lemon juice?

Like lime juice, freshly squeezed lemon juice has minimal natural sugar at about 0.5 grams per fluid ounce. The lemon juice in a Cadillac Margarita adds some sweetness but is not a significant source of sugar.

How much sugar is in simple syrup?

Simple syrup is made by dissolving sugar in water. Traditional simple syrup contains:

  • 1 cup white sugar (200 grams)
  • 1 cup water

This means 1 ounce (30 mL) of simple syrup contains about 20 grams of sugar. Most Cadillac Margarita recipes call for around 1 ounce of simple syrup.

How much sugar is in the rim?

The sugared rim of a Cadillac Margarita can add more sweetness. If made with granulated white sugar, the rim sugar contains:

  • 4 grams of sugar per teaspoon

Since not all of the rim sugar is likely consumed, it may add approximately 5-10 grams of sugar total.

How much sugar in total?

Putting it all together, a typical 20 ounce (590 mL) Cadillac Margarita may contain roughly:

  • 1.5 oz tequila: 0g sugar
  • 2 oz orange liqueur: 8-10g sugar
  • 3 oz lime juice: 1.5g sugar
  • 1 oz lemon juice: 0.5g sugar
  • 1 oz simple syrup: 20g sugar
  • Rim sugar: 5-10g sugar

That’s a total of approximately 35-42 grams of sugar in a 20 ounce Cadillac Margarita.

For comparison, a 12 ounce can of Coca-cola contains 39 grams of added sugar.

Sugar content by margarita recipe

Here is the estimated total sugar content of some popular Cadillac Margarita recipes:

Recipe Total Sugar (grams)
12 oz Recipe 1 22g
16 oz Recipe 2 30g
20 oz Recipe 3 38g

As you can see, the total sugar content scales up or down depending on the exact ingredients and serving size.

Does the serving method affect sugar content?

The way a Cadillac Margarita is served can also affect its sugar content:

  • On the rocks – Served over ice, allowing some dilution. May be slightly less sweet.
  • Frozen – Blended with ice into a margarita slushie. Sugar content unchanged but may taste less sweet.
  • Straight up – Served without ice. No dilution, full sweetness and sugar content.

Tips for reducing sugar

Here are some tips for lowering the sugar content of a Cadillac Margarita:

  • Use fresh squeezed citrus juice
  • Use 100% agave tequila
  • Use a natural zero-calorie sweetener in the simple syrup
  • Reduce the amount of orange liqueur
  • Use sugar-free orange liqueur
  • Use less or no sugar on the rim
  • Add extra ice or water to dilute
  • Use a lower calorie margarita mix

The bottom line

A standard 20 ounce Cadillac Margarita contains approximately 35-42 grams of sugar. This is comparable to the sugar found in a 12 ounce can of soda. The sweetness comes from orange liqueur, simple syrup and sugared rim. To reduce sugar, opt for fresh juices, less liqueur, natural sweeteners and extra dilution.

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