Here Comes the Sun King

Piquant heat from tequila infused with fresh jalapeño and Aperol infused with fresh Thai chiles is rounded out by sweet prickly pear syrup in this Bloody Mary recipe.

Here Comes the Sun King

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Stand Time:
8 hrs
Total Time:
8 hrs 25 mins
1 serving
1 cocktail

This labor of love from the infamous Superfrico at The Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas is well worth the small effort to achieve its delicious and uniquely complex flavor. Infusing bittersweet Aperol with Thai chiles lends the drink a mild bite, while a dose of jalapeño-infused tequila adds an earthy, vegetal layer of spice. Prickly pear syrup and agave round out the heat with the sweet for a perfectly balanced sip. Prickly pear syrup can be found at specialty grocery stores or online at


Spicy Tequila

  • 1 (375-milliliter) bottle blanco tequila (such as El Tequileño Blanco)

  • 1 medium jalapeño (1 ounce), unseeded and chopped (about 2 tablespoons)

Spicy Aperol

  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) Aperol

  • 2 fresh red Thai chiles, unseeded and chopped (1 1/2 teaspoons)


  • 5 teaspoons water

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Spicy Tomato Water

  • 7 (3-ounce) plum tomatoes, roughly chopped (3 1/2 cups)

  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves

  • 3 (1-ounce) jalapeño chiles, seeded and chopped (about 3 tablespoons)

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 fresh bay leaf

Additional ingredients

  • Chamoy

  • 6 fresh basil leaves, divided

  • 1 (1/4-inch-thick) cucumber slice

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime) 

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons agave nectar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons prickly pear syrup


Make the spicy tequila:

  1. Pour tequila into a large container. Add jalapeño; cover and let stand at room temperature until flavors meld, at least 8 hours or up to 12 hours. (The longer the mixture stands, the spicier it becomes.) Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer into an airtight container, and discard solids; set aside until ready to use.

Make the spicy Aperol:

  1. Pour Aperol into a large container. Add Thai chiles; cover and let stand at room temperature 15 to 30 minutes. Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer into an airtight container, and discard solids; set aside until ready to use.

Make the saline:

  1. Stir together 5 teaspoons water and salt in a small bowl until salt dissolves. Set aside until ready to use.

Make the spicy tomato water:

  1. Process tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeños, salt, and bay leaf in a blender until completely smooth, about 45 seconds. Place a large fine wire-mesh strainer over a large bowl, and pour tomato mixture into strainer. Stir, pressing on solids and scraping inside of strainer until no liquid remains and solids left in strainer are mostly dry; discard solids. Rinse strainer; place on top of a second large bowl. Place a coffee filter on top of strainer, and pour tomato liquid into coffee filter. Let stand until most of the liquid has passed through coffee filter to yield about 1 cup, about 30 minutes. Discard solids and coffee filter. Transfer tomato liquid to a resealable container; refrigerate until ready to use.

  2. Place chamoy on a plate. Invert a rocks glass onto chamoy, and turn to coat rim of glass; set aside. Combine 5 basil leaves, cucumber, lime juice, agave, prickly pear syrup, 2 1/2 tablespoons spicy tequila, 1 tablespoon spicy Aperol, 1 tablespoon spicy tomato water, and 1/2 teaspoon saline in a cocktail shaker. Add ice to fill shaker. Cover with lid, and shake until well chilled, about 15 seconds. Strain into prepared glass. Garnish with remaining basil leaf. Serve immediately.

To Make Ahead

Store spicy tequila and spicy Aperol in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. Store tomato water in a resealable container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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