My affinity for Alinea and Grant Achatz is well known, as I heard tales of the dining experience from countless friends before I too got to experience it’s wonders. One thing that was missing from my dining experience was a little something that Nick P. had mentioned while telling me about his visit. He described the Porthole Infuser created by design firm Crucial Detail specifically for Achatz’s swanky cocktail lounge The Aviary. For their dinner at Alinea they were served a delicious drink in the infuser and the host would come back at different intervals of the night and have them taste the mixture. Each time the flavor profile would change to something miraculous and different.
For our experience, we had this cocktail served in an ordinary carafe and I left feeling like I missed out on something. So upon seeing on the Alinea Group Instagram a simple recipe for a tequila based cocktail named after La Doña María Félix, I decided I needed to make this.
What You’ll Need
- Porthole Infuser
- 3 large strawberries
- 1/2 medium sized Navel or Valencia orange
- 2oz (60g also known as 1/4 cup) roasted cacao nibs
- 7oz (200g) Tequila Blanco (Herencia Mexicana)
- 2 3/4oz (80g) Grand Marnier
- Quarter strawberries, and then slice into a fan like shape (sadly there were no giant strawberries in season for me, so I had to deal with small ones so it looks more janky).
- Slice orange cross-grain into .5cm thick wheels, and then divide those in half
- Roast raw cacao nibs for 15-20 mins at 250-300 degrees
- Place non liquid ingredients into porthole infuser and seal it, making sure everything is tight and not leaking
- Pour liquid ingredients into the spout
- Let everything seep.
They recommend seeping for at least 30 mins and letting it seep in for up to 4 hours. Anything more than 4 hours and the orange rind will make the drink bitter. I left mine in the fridge to seep as I like my drinks cold. Ended up being pretty darned delicious if not a little strong, which is my usual M.O. for drink making, so I felt like it fell in line with what I expected.
Find the original recipe and more detailed instructions on the Porthole Tumbler Blog.