How to Make the Margarita Variation With Orgeat – Robb Report

Let’s just pretend for a moment that margaritas are a summer drink, as opposed to the anytime & always drink we obviously know them as. All of its famous peers are summertime drinks, after all — the classy daiquiri, the extravagant mojito, the portly Tom Collins — and there’s certainly a case where the margarita’s tangy-tart refreshment belongs in summertime. And let’s keep it that the Oaxaca Old Fashioned is for the winter, its deep resonant spiciness a warming presence on a cold night.

When the mixological archaeologists of the future look back and find these two, they will surely be searching for the proverbial missing link, an evolutionary bridge, a cocktail with one foot in summer and one in winter, refreshing but flavorful, freezing cold but warming. And if they’re good, they’ll find the infante.

It won’t be easy for them. The Infante was invented by Giuseppe Gonzalez in 2009 while he was working at Dutch Kills in Long Island City. Gonzalez is quite famous in bartender circles, but I’m not sure even he would call this drink a modern classic. I’ve only ever found it sporadically; It’s in a lonely cocktail book, A Spot at the Bar, written by someone who knew Gonzalez personally, and on the must-have app Bartender’s Choice, but as far as I can tell, that’s it.

That’s pretty understandable, great cocktails are being invented all the time and nobody ever hears about them. But what sets the Infante apart, why I love her and why I’m telling you about it today, is her simplicity and elegance. It’s a common misconception that to make good cocktails, you have to use elaborate and/or difficult ingredients. Not so. On the contrary, if your cocktail calls for clarified tomato water or an infusion of oyster shells, it might be good, but truly delicious ideas tend to be simpler.

In the case of the Infante, that idea is to replace the agave nectar and/or orange liqueur of a margarita with orgeat, an almond syrup embellished with a hint of orange blossom water. That seems easy, but it’s a seismic shift; Where a margarita is a bright refreshment, the Infante, named after golden age singer and actor Pedro Infante, blends that refreshment with a nutty decadence. Tequila is an unusually characterful spirit and the Orgeat folds into that character like a dream, the almond giving body to the spirit’s mid-palate, with hints of orange blossom water on the finish adding a perfumed warmth to the tart lime. It’s a margarita with more depth and presence, one for cooler nights, a margarita to bring a jacket to dinner, even if she might not end up needing it. A spicy and resonant cocktail, the Infante is the perfect cocktail for the start of fall, that time of year when we sometimes have to pretend it’s not margarita season anymore.


  • 2 ounces. Reposado tequila
  • 0.75 oz. lime juice
  • 0.75 oz. organ
  • 3-5 drops of orange blossom water (optional)

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake on ice for 6 to 8 seconds. Strain over fresh ice into a Rocks glass and garnish with shaved fresh nutmeg over a lime wheel, lime zest, or nothing at all.


Reserve bar

Tequila: This cocktail certainly works with Blanco Tequila, but the age kiss of a good Reposado brings some welcome oak and vanilla, helping the cocktail to be more of itself. My favorite brands here are Fortaleza and Siete Leguas, although they can be hard to find at times, so I always like to mention Olmeca Altos, which I think is the best high quality, low price reposado out there that is also widely available.

Organ: Roughly speaking, there are two types of orgeat: the almond-as-pit flavored variety and the almond-as-minor flavored variety. Most drinks that call for orgeat work well with either, but this drink really calls for the former. Lead the way for brands with almonds like Liquid Alchemist, Liber & Co. or Small Hands Foods. You can also make your own if you’d like, but this involves toasting, blanching, and/or pulsed almonds in a food processor. If you’re craving something like this, there are plenty of recipes online, like here.

Orange Blossom Water: This is optional, but it helps. Good orgeat already contains orange blossom water, but this cocktail benefits from a touch more, which you can buy from Amazon or any decent market in the Middle East.

Nutmeg: I’m torn. The original definitely has grated nutmeg, which adds to the spicy richness but also makes the flavor a bit loud and the clarity suffers. Basically, it enhances and detracts from the drink in different ways, but in identical (to me) amounts, so it’s hard to know what to do. If you have it on hand, give it a go — my only recommendation here is that it’s pretty much all flavor, so I add a lime wheel and aim for it with my nutmeg so it doesn’t just float like scales on top of the drink .

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