Grand Marnier Margarita

5 from 1 vote
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The Grand Marnier margarita is made with Añejo tequila, Grand Marnier, honey syrup, and fresh lemon juice. Añejo is barrel-aged tequila with darker oak and vanilla flavors, giving this cocktail a warmer feel that complements the sweetness of the honey. It’s the perfect winter margarita

A golden margarita made with Grand Marnier with a salted rim and lemon wheel garnish.

Why I Love This Recipe

The caramel flavors give the cocktail more character and give it more of a spirit-forward presentation. While you can use Blanco tequila, I highly recommend you try Añejo or Reposado first.

Once you go with real ingredients, you will never go back. Real margaritas are made with natural ingredients. No mixers or artificial sweeteners. For a classic margarita—I always use fresh lime juice and simple syrup in place of a store-bought mix.

This cocktail is no exception. Honey syrup is used as a sweetener while lemon juice is an even more balanced alternative to lime juice. Consider it the tequila Hot Toddy served cold.

Ingredients

  • Añejo or Reposado tequila: aged tequila is critical for this recipe thanks to its warming effect. The barrel lends color, oak, and vanilla that compliment the Grand Marnier, honey, and lemon.
  • Fresh lemon juice: always opt for freshly squeezed lemon. A citrus squeezer is the best way to extract lemon juice. Invest in one if you enjoy making cocktails. If you must use premade, try ReaLemon.
  • honey syrup: honey syrup is simple syrup made with equal parts of honey and water. It’s easier to make than simple syrup as the honey will more easily dissolve in warm water, unlike sugar. Save what’s left over for a Bee’s Knees.
  • Grand Marnier: Grand Marnier is an orange-flavored French liqueur made from cognac and orange flavor. It’s really flavorful, complex, and a step above your typical orange liqueur. Have you ever added Grand Mariner to your Sangria? It’s worth a try.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities below.

Step By Step Instructions

Step 1.

To make honey syrup, combine hot water and honey in a glass and stir until the honey is fully dissolved. I usually heat water in a glass measuring cup in the microwave for 20-30 seconds and stir in honey.

Step 2.

For the salted rim, take a lemon wedge and coat the rim of an old-fashioned glass. Dip in margarita salt, rotating until coated.

Dipping the rim of a chilled glass into margarita salt.
A hand holding an empty chilled glass with a salted rim.

Step 3.

Combine tequila, honey syrup, lemon, and Grand Marnier in a cocktail shaker. Add a cup of ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds.

Pouring reposado tequila with a double jigger into a cocktail shaker.

Step 4.

Pour straight into the old-fashioned glass with the (now crushed) ice or over a giant ice cube. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

Pouring a margarita from a cocktail shaker into a chilled glass with a salted rim.
A golden margarita made with Grand Marnier with a salted rim and lemon wheel garnish sitting on a wooden cutting board.

Expert Tips

  • Chill your glasses ahead of time in the freezer to keep your drinks cooler for longer. This is one of my favorite tricks in the summer.
  • Skip the salt rim and add a tiny pinch of salt directly to the margarita. This brings out the flavors and adds a little saltiness that plays beautifully in every sip without being overwhelming.
  • Don’t attempt to squeeze raw honey directly into your cocktail shaker. It will clump and fail to mix properly when added to a cold solution.
  • Use “dirty” ice from the shaker, fresh ice cubes, or pour over a large ice cube for the ultimate presentation/experience. Bagged party ice is my favorite for margaritas, especially for a crowd.

Frequently Asked Questions

What tequila do you recommend for margaritas?

There are several mid-range budget tequilas that are great for margaritas without breaking the bank. Look for Milagro, Cazadores, Espolòn, Altos, Teremana, Hornitos, and Corralejo.

Can I substitute blanco tequila?

Yes, blanco tequila works in this recipe but it will render a lighter and brighter-tasting margarita that’s not as complex.

Margarita Variations

  • looking for a spicy kick? learn how to make easy spicy margaritas using homemade infused jalapeño or habañero tequila. It only takes 24 hours to infuse delicious heat.
  • If you like mezcal, you can easily make a mezcal margarita with egg whites or my spicy mezcal cocktail.
  • My mango margaritas are one of the most popular drinks on this site. They can be served frozen or up on the rocks. It’s one of my favorite cocktails for the summer.
  • If you love watermelon, you have to try my blended watermelon margaritas. The watermelon flavor is refreshing and goes perfectly with salt and tequila.
  • If you like Palomas, look no further than my simple grapefruit margarita, which has very similar Paloma vibes.
  • If you have Aperol sitting in your cabinet and don’t know what else to do with it, try my El Chipilo cocktail, which is almost a margarita made with Aperol.
  • Lastly, you can always make the tried and true Tequila Sunrise if you’re short on ingredients—a highly underrated cocktail when made with freshly squeezed orange juice.

More Margaritas You’ll Enjoy

Enjoy this recipe? If you made this cocktail, please leave a ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ star rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments!
5 from 1 vote

Grand Marnier Margarita Recipe

Servings: 1 cocktail
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
The Grand Marnier margarita is made with Añejo tequila, fresh lemon juice, and honey syrup. A refreshing and warm, winter buzz.

Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces Añejo or Reposado tequila
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 ounce honey syrup, 50-50
  • 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
  • Lemon wheel for garnish

honey syrup (makes 1/2 cup)

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions 

  • To make honey syrup, combine hot water and honey in a glass and stir until the honey is fully dissolved. I usually heat water in a glass measuring cup in the microwave for 20-30 seconds and stir in honey.
  • For the salted rim, take a lemon wedge and coat the rim of an old-fashioned glass. Dip in margarita salt, rotating until coated.
  • Combine tequila, honey syrup, lemon, and Grand Marnier in a cocktail shaker. Add a cup of ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
  • Pour straight into the old-fashioned glass with the (now crushed) ice or strain over a giant ice cube. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

Notes

Chill your glasses ahead of time in the freezer to keep your drinks cooler for longer. This is one of my favorite tricks in the summer.
Skip the salt rim and add a tiny pinch of salt directly to the margarita before shaking. This brings out the flavors and adds a little saltiness that plays beautifully in every sip.
Don’t attempt to squeeze raw honey directly into your cocktail shaker. It will clump and fail to mix properly when added to a cold solution.
Use “dirty” ice from the shaker, fresh ice cubes, or pour over a large ice cube for the ultimate presentation/experience. Bagged party ice is my favorite for margaritas, especially for a crowd.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 198kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 0.2gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 5mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 17.9g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: Mexican
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About Shawn Williams

My name is Shawn, author behind Kitchen Swagger. I'm a food & drink enthusiast bringing you my own simple and delicious restaurant-inspired recipes.

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5 Comments

  1. So I’m on day 91 posts in a row of a Covid cocktail. Really love tequila and mezcal so when I saw this one I had to try. I really love it and just to be sure I did one with blanco then Añejo tequila. Hands down better with the Añejo. It’s really lovely but I did throw in a jalapeño pepper which gave it a kick. Thank you!

  2. Well, this will teach me to read more carefully. Whatever you do, don’t just pour all the ingredients into the shaker with ice – if you do the honey will clump and not mix in. Make sure the honey is dissolved before pouring into the shaker with ice.

    I’ll have to try again another time.