Like many classic cocktails, the origins surrounding the Margarita are murky. Some claim a socialite in the late 1930s mixed the drink at a house party. Others assert a Tijuana-based bartender devised the recipe around the same time. Regardless of its origin, the Margarita has been a fixture in American cocktail culture. In turn, bartenders have given many layered takes, modifying the drink beyond its three-ingredient mix of tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur.
But there’s a rendition that Margarita aficionados may want to add to their recipe books: the ITALICUS Margarita. This summer expression refreshes the renowned cocktail by replacing orange liqueur with ITALICUS Rosolio di Bergamotto, a low-proof bergamot aperitivo that champions Italian aromatic citrus.
This Aperitif-like spin isn’t necessarily reinventing the wheel, rather it offers a modern, nuanced (and Mediterranean-inspired) take on the Margarita. The base of the drink is equal parts tequila blanco and ITALICUS. “It’s a perfect match with agave spirits,” says ITALICUS founder Giuseppe Gallo. “It really balances the grassy notes of tequila, adding an aromatic touch to drinks like the Margarita.”
Compared to its counterpart of orange liqueur with an ABV spanning from 30-40 percent, ITALICUS is 20 percent ABV. “It’s a lower-proof cocktail that can also be enjoyed for pre-dinner drinks but is also an all-times [sic] perfect drink to sip on with friends over dinner, at a pool party, or a barbeque.” Gallo says. He finishes the recipe with a half-ounce fresh lime juice, one bar spoon of agave nectar, then swaps out the salt rim for three green olives; “To add a touch of saltiness for umami taste lovers,” he says.
Refresh your Margarita with a touch of aromatic bergamot from ITALICUS Rosolio di Bergamotto.
1 ounce ITALICUS Rosolio di Bergamotto
1 ounce tequila blanco
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1 bar spoon agave nectar
Garnish: Nocellara olives.
- Add the ITALICUS Rosolio di Bergamotto, tequila blanco, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar to a cocktail shaker.
- Add ice, then shake until chilled.
- Strain into a coup.
- Garnish with Nocellara olives.