Monday, October 10, 2011


1 1/4 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
1 1/4 oz Soberano Spanish Brandy
3/4 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Crème de Cacao
2-3 drop Thai Chili Extract
1 dash Bitter Science Mole Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass.

After attending a wedding in Boston two Sundays ago, Andrea and I decided not to waste our dapper attire and instead paid a visit to the bar at No. 9 Park. Bartender Ted Kilpatrick showcased for us a draft of the larger cocktail menu that they are assembling, and the drink that caught my eye was the Conquistador. The drink created by Brendon, one of the other No. 9 bartenders, utilized some of bartender Sam Olivari's chocolate bitters to work with the Spanish brandy that was invading the Mexican spirit.
The Conquistador began with a smoke and agave aroma from the mezcal, and the sip proffered a rich, chocolaty grape flavor. Next, the swallow contained agave and brandy notes that were chased by smoke and chili pepper heat on the aftertaste. My fears that this drink would be too spicy were allayed after a few sips; indeed, the pepper extract provided a pleasant low level of heat that was not overwhelming in this recipe. In addition, the chocolate from the liqueur and bitters worked well in the drink; Ted commented that cacao makes for a good bridge here for it often acts on angular flavors and makes them more rounded.

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