Golden Margarita: An Excuse to Break Out the Gold Tequila

Golden Margarita Tequila Cocktail Recipe
Gold tequila and Grand Marnier combine to make a fresh, shaken Golden Margarita. Plush Studios / Photodisc / Getty Images
  • 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 serving
Ratings (21)

Get out your gold tequila for this popular variation of the classic Margarita which specifically calls for gold tequila.  The recipe is fun to mix up and very easy, so it's perfect for any summer party.

The Golden Margarita was a very popular recipe before our most recent tequila revolution which opened up tequila drinkers' eyes to the possibilities of truly great tequila. A few decades ago, gold tequilas were the norm and Jose Cuervo Especial Gold was the tequila of choice. Today, we have many more options and although gold tequilas are still not the best, there are some decent choices.

That said, don't hesitate to use another type of tequila in this recipe. Blanco tequilas are now the first choice for almost every margarita.

  • Beyond the tequila, this recipe is a lot like the original Margarita, though it does have a bit more of a citrus bite because both lime juice and sour mix are used. 
  • While optional, I do believe that the splash of orange juice helps balance the drink out. It also gives the drink a nice, golden color.

There is yet another version called the Golden Grand Margarita. It is the same as this recipe but specifically ​uses Grand Marnier as the orange liqueur. Otherwise, triple sec, curacao, Cointreau or any other orange liqueur will do for this recipe.

What You'll Need

How to Make It

  1. If you like, rim a chilled margarita glass with salt.
  2. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  3. Shake well.
  4. Strain into the prepared glass.
  5. Garnish with the lime wedge.

Finding a Good Gold Tequila

If you're searching for gold tequilas, you will find a noticeable difference in prices. It is notoriously the cheapest style of tequila with the likes of Cuervo and Sauza selling for less than $15 a bottle.

However, there are a handful of good gold tequilas available and you will want to look for the word joven on the label to find the best. Orendain and Casa Noble make good joven tequilas.

Clearing Up a Bit of Golden Margarita Confusion

It is important to note that gold tequila does not refer to the tequila's color alone. If that were the case, any reposado or anejo tequila would qualify. Gold, or joven, tequilas are a specific type of tequila and they often include flavor and color additives. If you do want to use a reposado tequila, your Golden Margarita will be the best possible!

Also, don't confuse this Golden Margarita recipe with Jose Cuervo Golden Margarita. The latter is a ready-to-drink margarita mix that blends Cuervo Gold with Grand Marnier. Because it also includes artificial sweeteners and coloring agents, this made-from-scratch Golden Margarita is a better option. Plus, you can customize it to fit your taste and that is simply impossible with any bottled cocktail .

Needless to say, I do not recommend the margarita mix.

How Strong is the Golden Margarita?

This margarita is not the weakest drink you can mix up. When made with an 80-proof tequila and 70-proof liqueur, it can have an alcohol content of around 20% ABV (40 proof).