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drive this: pink cadillac

Recipe: raspberry syrup & raspberry pink cadillac margaritas

It’s rare that I plan ahead to shoot a relevant recipe and have a post ready before some holiday with an associated food theme. Honestly, I hadn’t planned this one at all because I don’t usually care. But it just so happens that Jeremy and I had been testing cocktail recipes (I made them, he drank them) and one was a margarita. That wouldn’t have meant anything except I heard mention of Cinco de Mayo on NPR and realized this would be a good and timely recipe to share with folks. Regardless of Cinco de Mayo, it’s a perfect cocktail for the summer season – a raspberry pink Cadillac margarita. The pink part comes from a raspberry syrup, which is straightforward to make and doesn’t have to break the bank. I like using frozen organic raspberries for the syrup because they’re much cheaper than fresh and the flavor is top notch because they are frozen when they are ripe and in season.


frozen raspberries, lemon, sugar, sugar, water

combine the raspberries, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and a cup of water

when the raspberries have broken down, add the rest of the water and the lemon juice

simmer for a few minutes



When you strain the seeds out, you can press on the fruit pulp to get as much out of it as you can, but doing so makes the syrup a little cloudy as opposed to clear. I’m okay with slightly cloudy because no one notices these things when you say the words “raspberry syrup”.

strain the solids out

about 2 cups of raspberry liquid

add 1 1/2 cups of sugar and boil

now you have raspberry syrup



Now that the raspberry syrup is done, you’re ready for a drive in a pink Cadillac…margarita! I’ve read several different sources that give different definitions of a Cadillac margarita. Some say it’s made with reposado tequila, others claim it is made with Grand Marnier instead of Cointreau, and still others insist that the Grand Marnier is floated on top. I know very little about cocktails and even less about booze, I just love fruity drinks. The first time I tasted tequila I thought my left eye was going to pop out of my head. When Jeremy and I began testing margaritas, we used up the last of my reposado tequila, which I had purchased for a party a while back. So that’s why you see a regular tequila instead of the reposado in the photos, but I highly recommend the reposado if you can swing it, because it’s smoother.

raspberry syrup, grand marnier, simple syrup, fresh limes, tequila, kosher salt

juice those limes and save some wedges



The simple syrup is aptly named because it is so simple to make. One cup of water and one cup of sugar, boiled together. Cooled. Done. I’ve seen bottles of it for sale at the booze barn in Boulder. I was so baffled by what I was seeing that I nearly ran my cart into shelves of flavored liqueurs. But I suppose if you are visiting or don’t have access to sugar, water, a heatproof vessel, a heating element, and a utensil for stirring, then sure – you can buy it. Right, so everything goes into a shaker.

the tequila

lime juice

grand marnier

simple (so very simple) syrup

raspberry syrup



I opted out of floating the Grand Marnier on top because I thought that would be too much of a hit of sweetness. Both Jeremy and I prefer the blended balance. Now before you add the ice to the shaker, prep your margarita glass first. Once the drink is shaken, you want to pour it lest the cocktail gets too diluted while you futz with salting the rim.

wipe the rim of the glass with a lime wedge

dip the rim in salt

now add ice to the shaker

after shaking for 30 seconds

strain into the glass



The bits of ice that break off in the shaker make a nice raft of slush on top of the margarita. It’s pink-ish and fruity and tart and salty and sweet and smooth. Make one for yourself or get a pitcher ready. Enjoy it coin-style (as made here) or blender it up with some ice for those particularly hot days. However you make it, you can’t go wrong with a pink Cadillac.

float some fresh raspberries

feels like happy hour

take a sip


Raspberry Pink Cadillac Margarita
[print recipe]
raspberry syrup from The New York Times

2 oz. reposado tequila
1 oz. Grand Marnier
1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 oz. raspberry syrup
1/2 oz. simple syrup
flake or kosher salt for the rim of the glass
1 lime wedge for the rim of the glass
1 cup ice

raspberry syrup
2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen
1 1/2 cups + 2 tbsps granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

simple syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water

Make the raspberry syrup: Combine the raspberries, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 1 cup of water in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Stir until the berries collapse and release juices, about 4 minutes. Add the rest of the water and the lemon juice to the pan, bringing everything to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and skim off any foam. Let cook for 15 minutes then strain the contents through a sieve, catching the liquid and discarding the solids. Place the liquid back in the pan and add 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Turn the heat to medium high. Stir to dissolve the sugar and let the liquid come to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool. Makes about 2 1/2 cups. Store in a jar in the refrigerator.

Make the simple syrup: Stir the sugar and water together in a small saucepan over high heat until the sugar dissolves. Let boil for a minute. Remove from heat and cool. Store in a jar in the refrigerator.

Mix the margarita: Combine the tequila, Grand Marnier, lime juice, raspberry syrup, and simple syrup in a shaker. Pour the salt into a wide, shallow bowl or plate. Wipe the rim of your cocktail glass with the lime wedge, then invert the glass and set the rim in the salt to coat. Set the glass aside. Pour the ice into the shaker, cap it, then shake the cocktail for 30 seconds. Strain the contents into the glass.


more goodness from the use real butter archives

sparkling champagne margaritas strawberry syrup huckleberry syrup violet syrup (and soda)

8 nibbles at “drive this: pink cadillac”

  1. sue | theviewfromgreatisland says:

    Who could resist a Pink Cadillac? Sure it’s only 9 am here, but I’m in, cheers!

  2. Kristin says:

    Sadly, I am sitting here making a grocery list, so it is going to be too easy for me to add frozen raspberries and tequila to my list. These look and sound wonderful.

  3. Bette says:

    Looks like a sombrero! Love the photos and thanks for reminding us to use organic raspberries — berries keep creeping up to the top of the EWG list (and that’s not an honor, LOL).

  4. Jill Hyde says:

    yummy!

  5. 2pots2cook says:

    Oh boy ! I’m in ! Thank you !

  6. Christine says:

    How long does the raspberry syrup last in the fridge? My husband and I are experimenting with syrups for home made sodas and cocktails.

  7. jenyu says:

    sue – Right?! ha ha ha! :)

    Kristin – Mmm, I hope you liked the margs!

    Bette – Yes, I get so paranoid about the chemicals on conventional berries.

    Jill – :)

    2pots2cook – You’re welcome!

    Christine – It lasts about 2 weeks, but I think if you go past 1 week then maybe chuck it into the freezer?

  8. Kristin says:

    We LOVED the margaritas…once we cut the alcohol in half! We are lightweights!! Delicious and lovely.

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