Cocktails are getting hotter, with recipes new and old to really get the taste buds going for anyone who dares. They say that spicy foods are aphrodisiacs, which has to do with their high concentration of piquant substances that stimulate our endorphins, or “pleasure proteins” as they’re sometimes known.
The legendary Bloody Mary, which for many years in cities like London and San Francisco has been synonymous with brunches and hangover cures, is one cocktail with more punch than ever. It is now being updated for the demands of those with a sophisticated palate; in London, pioneering mixologist Tony Conigliaro is spiking his vodka with a dash of radish, all in the name of creating the Holy Grail of Bloody Marys.
Dry Martini in Barcelona serves up a dry martini with wasabi, a root used in Eastern Asian cultures with a dynamite mustard-like flavor unlike that of the chili family – it shoots right up your nose and will have your eyes watering in no time. The Hot & Dry Martini is made with a combination of black pepper and dry vermouth and garnished with a jalapeño-stuffed olive.
Tequila is the old hand when it comes to hot cocktails; if anybody knows their spice, it is the Mexicans. The fashionable spicy guarana margarita is made with white tequila, triple sec, lime juice, a marinade of guarana (a South American stimulant), black pepper and Tabasco sauce – really only for those who like their drinks with an almighty kick. The addition of whiskey creates a spicy but sweet concoction, like the explosive Tennessee, made with jalapeños, honey, a dash of cinnamon syrup, orange peel and a fizzy water top. Just about any iconic cocktail worth its salt has a devilishly fiery counterpart.
DRY MARTINI. C/ Aribau, 162-166 (Eixample)