Advanced Mixology: Margarita Sorbet

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If you’re feeling adventurous and looking for a challenge, this margarita sorbet made using liquid nitrogen could be your next undertaking! I had this at Tales of the Cocktail in July, and it has a wonderful melt-in-your-mouth texture and the familiar flavors of a margarita. I enjoyed the science-lab show as well.

Liquid nitrogen is dangerous! If you feel comfortable using it, please take all necessary precautions. Research its use thoroughly in addition to reviewing this safety primer.


3 oz silver tequila
1 ½ oz orange liqueur/triple sec
1 ½ oz fresh lime juice (strained)
1 oz light agave syrup
¾ oz fresh lemon juice (strained)
¾ oz simple syrup
½ oz water
1 oz fresh orange juice (strained)
2 grams gum arabica


Combine the lemon, simple syrup and water to make fresh sweet and sour. Then combine all liquid ingredients in a deep mixing bowl. Sprinkle the gum arabica on top, then thoroughly mix with a hand immersion blender. Let it set for 5–7 minutes. Transfer the mix into a stainless steel or Pyrex bowl. Slowly ladle liquid nitrogen into the mixture while whisking it with your other hand. Keep doing this until a sorbet forms. Using two tablespoons of the same size, hold one spoon in each hand with each facing the opposite of the other. Dip spoons in hot water, then scoop one spoonful of firm sorbet. Alternate the sorbet from spoon to spoon, back and forth, shaping it into a small oval egg shape. This shape is known as quenelle. Once a quenelle of sorbet is formed, place it onto your serving dish. You can garnish it with the savory lime dust from the recipe below.

Savory Lime Dust


2 oz dehydrated lime dust*
1/3 oz ground pasilla negro chili powder
½ oz ground chipotle chili powder
1 ½ oz sea salt
2 ½ oz fizz powder


Stir all ingredients well in a small, dry mixing bowl. Mixture lasts 6 months.

*To make your own dehydrated lime dust, use a fine microplane to zest off skin of a dozen limes and dry use a dehydrator then pulverize using a mortar and pestle.

Recipes developed by Patricia Richards and Anthony Alba, courtesy of Koerner.

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