According to Aztec tradition, the eagle warriors were an elite unit of the Aztec army, considered the most brave and fearsome. They mostly comprised of the bravest noble-born men of Aztec society, but commoners who displayed notable courage on the battlefield were occasionally admitted as well. Eagle warriors were recognizable because they adorned their bodies with eagle feathers and wore eagle-head helmets which made them look like human-eagle hybrids. One of their chief battle weapons was the sling, which was made from the fibers of agave plants. I can only imagine how intimidating it must have been to encounter one of those guys in battle.
It's just about melon season which makes today's cocktail, the Aguila Azteca (means "Aztec Eagle" in Spanish), seasonally apropos. And as you probably figured out by the name, this drink features tequila as its base spirit.
1.5 oz Jose Cuervo Tradicional Tequila
1 oz Honeydew Melon Juice
0.25 oz Canton Ginger Liqueur
0.25 oz Rothman & Winter Creme de Violette
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glassware: chilled coupe
Method: Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe.
According to the PDT Cocktail Book, Jim Meehan was inspired by the Aviation when he created this drink several years ago. Although the drink has a hue that's reminiscent of the Aviation, it is not as dry nor as tart as the gin-based classic. The recipe doesn't specify which of the Jose Cuervo Tradicional tequilas to use--the blanco or the reposado--but I think a blanco is the better call here.
There are no surprises with this drink. You immediately get the shopping list of ingredients upon first sip: melon, ginger, floral violet, bright notes of pineapple and brine from the tequila. This is one I'd recommend especially for those who have a slightly sweeter palate.
*This post is part of a series in which Payman takes on the task of making and writing about every cocktail featured in the PDT Cocktail Book, as well as providing an awesome photo of each drink taken by Vanessa Bahmani Photography.
**Got a question? He can be found on twitter @paystyle, you can email him at email@example.com, or simply drop him a comment below.