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.
- 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)
- Prepare a rocks glass with a half rim of szechuan button salt.
- Combine all ingredients except the rose in a mixing glass over ice and stir until chilled.
- Strain into the prepared rocks glass.
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.