Wednesday, March 2, 2011

aztec conquest

1 1/2 oz Berkshire Mountain Distillers' Bourbon
3/4 oz Lustau East India Solera Sherry
1/2 oz Royal Combier Orange Liqueur
1 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Twist an orange peel over the top.

Last Wednesday, Andrea and I paid a visit to Lineage in Brookline for dinner. For my first cocktail, I asked bartender Ryan Lotz for the Aztec Conquest off of the cocktail menu. Ryan explained that the drink was originally developed with the Bittermens Taza Chocolate Extract for a contest to appear on the extract bottle's label as a suggested recipe. Alas, Boston's own Joy Richard of the Franklin and Citizen won that right, but Ryan was still pleased with his creation. With further tinkering, Ryan discovered that he preferred the drink more with the Bittermens Mole Bitters instead and now serves it on his menu that way.
The Aztec Conquest awakened the senses with an aroma of orange oil and liqueur as well as a hint of sherry. The sip was a sharp orange flavor that was followed by Bourbon and sherry notes on the swallow. With Lustau's East India Solera, the sherry came across more as a grape than a nutty flavor. Lastly, the chocolate from the bitters lingered at the end and paired well with the sherry.


Craig said...

Whoa, this is very similar to a recipe I entered in an Elijah Craig-sponsored cocktail contest last year. Mine was 2 oz. bourbon, .75 oz Oloroso sherry, and .25 oz each Curacao and Cacao liqueur, and a dash each of orange and mole bitters. Originally, I used rum as the base spirit and a sweeter sherry, because I was using a very dry homemade cacao-nib tincture, but adjusted it to utilize commercially-available products and, well, bourbon.

frederic said...

Nice. Creme de Cacao is an underutilized ingredient that I am surprised has not been revitalized with the whole chocolate/mole bitters craze. Perhaps its because most CdC is kind of bottom shelf. Marie Brizard will be our next purchase after whatever crap we have (Leroux or other) dries up unless something better comes along. Mozart is supposed to be rather good but is dry and thus not much of a substitute (beside not being sold around here). I guess I could make my own with grain/vodka, cacao nibs, and sugar -- perhaps a piece of vanilla bean or other.

Looking back, the last time I had a whiskey-CdC drink was Paul Clarke's Two Birds almost two years ago.

Craig said...

I don't personally own any Creme de Cacao myself. It does have a pretty bad reputation, used in choco-tinis and the like. I made my tincture after reading a SF Post article about bartenders utilizing the bitterness of chocolate in their recipes. I steeped Taza cacao nibs (1/2 cup, I believe), a vanilla bean, and a cinnamon stick in some Lemon Hart 151 (back when that was still available - I'm kind of annoyed that I used so much of it for this tincture, actually). No sugar, so I use it with simple syrup or some other sweetener if that's what I'm going for. It pairs pretty well with gin and green Chartreuse.

I still have a fair amount of it left, and use it pretty infrequently (and in very small quantities). If you like, I can see if I have a small empty bottle that I can pour some off into and drop it off for you at Boston Shaker.