King Buzzo

Austin Hartman, Montana's Trail House | Brooklyn, NY

King Buzzo Szechuan Cocktail Recipe

Often described as bitter and grassy in flavor, szechuan buttons offer up a characteristically mouth-numbing, tingling finish that’s not dissimilar to the electric sting of a handful of Pop Rocks. At Brooklyn’s Montana’s Trail House, beverage director and managing partner Austin Hartman incorporates them into a rimming salt for the King Buzzo, a drink built on tequila, fake lime juice (adapted from Dave Arnold’s Liquid Intelligence) and honey syrup, topped off with a splash of sparkling rosé.


Serving: 1

  • 1 1/2 ounces tequila, preferably Tromba Reposado
  • 1/2 ounce honey syrup (1:1, honey:water)
  • 1 generous bar spoon lime acid (see Editor's Note)
  • 1 ounce sparkling rosé, to top

Garnish: szechuan button salt rim (see Editor's Note)

  1. Prepare a rocks glass with a half rim of szechuan button salt.
  2. Combine all ingredients except the rose in a mixing glass over ice and stir until chilled.
  3. Strain into the prepared rocks glass.
Editor's Note

Lime acid:
2 grams malic acid powder
4 grams citric acid powder
94 grams water
Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously until clarified.

Szechuan button salt: Using a food dehydrator, dry one pack (about 50 szechuan buttons) at 135 degrees for 8 to 10 hours, or overnight. Remove the dehydrated flower from the stem base, discarding the stem. Grind flowers in a coffee grinder until powdered, and combine with 2 parts salt to 1 part szechuan powder by volume in a small jar. Shake until well mixed.

Related Punch A-Z

Bar Spoon

(n.) A bartending tool; usually a long, thin-handled spoon used for stirring, mixing, and layering drinks. A good spoon will assist the drink maker in stirring the drink properly to limit aeration of the cocktail. The model with the twist in the handle helps to give extra control. Related More A-Z →