Today’s cocktail recipe, The Spanish Conquistador, is a cousin of a blood orange margarita– it combines tequila blanco, lime, simple syrup, and blood orange juice with one of my new vermouth discoveries, Casa Mariol Vermut Negre.
As I’ve mentioned a couple of times before, K and I are on a vermouth kick, and our latest find may be our favorite yet! A few months ago, K and I were introduced to Casa Mariol Vermut Negre, a Spanish vermouth, at Barcelona Wine Bar. After one taste, we immediately knew we had to track down a bottle for ourselves. Based on the recommendation of The Wine Press, we discovered that this fortified wine tastes fantastic on the rocks with a squeeze of fresh blood orange juice. While sipping on one of these delicious and easy drinks, it hit me– this would be a perfect variation on a blood orange margarita!
The primary spirit of The Spanish Conquistador is tequila blanco. Here, I used 1 1/2 oz of Casa Noble Tequila Crystal. Next, I proceeded to construct a drink similar to a blood orange margarita. I used a 2:1 ratio for the tequila and blood orange juice. The blood orange adds a brightness to the drink’s flavor and gives The Spanish Conquistador a fantastic, deep fuchsia hue. I am a believer that tequila truly shines when partnered with lime, so I added 1/2 oz of fresh lime juice. In this cocktail, the tart lime adds a sour layer that breaks up the sweet, brightness of the blood orange.
Finally, I added 3/4 oz of the Casa Mariol Vermut Negre. This fortified wine is flavored with up to 150 botanicals, including rosemary, thyme, cardamom, green walnut, and cinnamon. Sipping on this vermouth, you’ll notice a fun interplay between the herbs and spices, rounded off with a caramel finish. This spiciness of the Casa Mariol adds complexity to the citrus-forward body of The Spanish Conquistador. I decided to highlight the subtle herbal notes of the cocktail with the unexpected addition of a young basil leaf for garnish.
The Spanish Conquistador
– 1 1/2 oz tequila blanco
-3/4 oz Spanish vermouth (I used Casa Mariol Vermut Negre)
-3/4 oz blood orange juice
-1/2 oz lime juice
-1/4 oz simple syrup
-1 thin blood orange slice, for garnish
-1 young basil leaf, for garnish
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Strain into a tumbler over a giant ice cube. Garnish with a blood orange slice and basil leaf.