Ryan Shepard
About Author
January 17, 2020
BS+B Recipes

The Smoky Cadillac Margarita I Couldn't Stop Drinking On My Minimoon

Have you ever had a drink so good, you’ve literally gone out and purchased ingredients in order to recreate it at home? Well, the smoky cadillac margaritas I kept inhaling during my minimoon have been my obsession for months now.

The morning after our wedding, Shep and I stumbled out of bed and headed to brunch with our family and friends at Redbird restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. Surprisingly, I woke up that day well-rested and hangover free. My new husband wasn’t so lucky.

He struggled to look like he wasn’t dying inside but I knew he couldn’t wait to just go hydrate and lay down.

After stuffing our faces (cause what they say is true, no one actually eats at their wedding) we said our goodbyes to our parents and bridal party and hopped in a car to head to Palm Springs to start our vacation.

We decided to stay at Las Serenas Villas for four blissful days of rest and relaxation. Every morning a basket full of pastries, yogurt and fresh squeezed orange juice was dropped off at our front door (shout out to Villa 9).  

The pool, where I could be found 70 percent of the time, was no more than 10 feet from our room. I spent hours each day dipping my toes in the cool water, reading books on the covered lounge chairs and sipping what became my go-to cocktail: a smoky cadillac margarita.

If I’m being honest, I literally only ordered this drink so I could lick off all the salt. I was such a freak about it that the bartender gave me a big to-go container of it on my last day.

Try as I might, I haven’t been able to recreate that magical salt mixture just yet. I even reached out to the resort to get the recipe so I could share it. Sadly there are no actual measurements when making this salt.

Per the email I got back, the seasoning is just a simple combination of “...Tajin, Old Bay, mild cayenne powder, red chili flakes, and a little salt & pepper.”

No lie, I tried for over an hour to get the recipe just right, gave up, made a margarita and found some pre-made solutions that work just as well.

In order of obsession, here are my favorite smoky salts that will work with this drink (and frankly, you should a few of these in your pantry anyway).

  1. Hot Steve Sea Salt
  2. Kirkland Sweet Mesquite
  3. Smoked Chipotle Salt
  4. Maldon Salt Company, Smoked Sea Salt
  5. McCormick Grill Mates Mesquite Seasoning

Anytime I need a little pick-me-up I whip up one of these margaritas and fantasize about the glorious days I spent in the Palm Springs sun, awash in my newlywed glow.

Smoky Cadillac Margarita
Smoky Cadillac Margarita

Smoky Cadillac Margarita

Yield: 2
Author: Ryan Shepard


  • 1 ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 ounce agave nectar
  • 1 ounces Grand Marnier, Cointreau or Triple Sec
  • 4 ounces silver Camarena Tequila


  1. Take a lime wedge and circle glass with it. Dip glass into smoky salt
  2. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds
  3. Pour ingredients into rimmed glass. Enjoy!


Feel free to make this cocktail with Mezcal or an anejo tequila.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @ryannicoleshepard on instagram and hashtag it #brownsugarandbourbon
Created using The Recipes Generator
Enjoy! Xoxo.
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