Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone and summer has now officially started (at least, as far as we are concerned). And when the temperatures rise, a nice refreshing and boozy cocktail is on order.
Enter The Conquistador at Scottsdale’s Virtu Honest Craft, a spicy and sweet blend of tequila, pineapple cordial and Byrrh, a French wine-based aperitif made with wine, mistelle (unfermented grape juice) and quinine. The housemade pineapple cordial is made with Homeboy’s Habanero Hot Sauce, offering some heat to go along with the fruity flavor.
“I was inspired to create the Conquistador because I wanted a light but spicy drink on the menu, and I wanted to incorporate this local hot sauce company that I love, Homeboy’s,” explains Virtu’s Fernando Bambaren. “Homeboy’s Hot Sauce is so good, if you ever get a chance to try it, it will blow your mind!”
The Byrrh in the cocktail, Bambaren continues, “really brings out some unique flavors. Another inspiration for the drink came from reading a cocktail book in which they were using a cordial. I used their idea for the base of the cordial and then tweaked it to make it my own. Pineapple juice and hot sauce go so well together and bring some really great flavors to the table.”
Hot stuff, indeed.
The Conquistador recipe and preparation
- 1.5 oz Reposado Tequila
- 1.25 oz Pineapple Cordial*
- .25 oz Lemon juice
- .25 oz simple syrup
- .25 oz Byrrh
- 4 drops saline
Shaken and double strained into a rocks glass and then garnished with a lemon and mint leaf
*The Pineapple cordial is made with 46 ounces of pineapple juice in a pan, put it over a low heat and cooked down with 2 cups of sugar, 6 bar spoons of Homeboy’s Habanero Hot Sauce – a locally made hot sauce. After it is cooked down (about 10 minutes), 6 ounces of Everclear are added and then it’s left to sit for about an hour at room temperature to let the flavors infuse into the cordial itself.