Hayley Wilson describes this unusual, yellow-tinged highball as “savory” and “malty,” thanks to the complexity of California-made shochu, Fever-Tree’s Light Tonic and a salted saffron syrup. For those who would prefer a store-bought option, Wilson suggests the saffron simple syrup from Maine producer Royal Rose, boosted with a sprinkle of sea salt.
Hayley Wilson, Portland Hunt + Alpine Club | Portland, Maine
- 1 1/2 ounces St. George California Shochu
- 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 ounce salted saffron syrup (see Editor’s Note)
- Fever-Tree Refreshingly Light Premium Indian Tonic Water,to top
Garnish: dehydrated lemon wheel (see Editor’s Note)
- Shake the first three ingredients with ice.
- Fine-strain into a Collins glass, and top with fresh ice.
- Top with tonic water.
- Garnish with the dehydrated lemon wheel, and serve with a compostable straw.
Salted Saffron Syrup
Add 1 cup water and 1 teaspoon saffron strands to a pot, and bring to a boil. Remove the liquid from heat, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes. The saffron strands should be completely dissolved by this point, but if not, strain out any solids. Add 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 pinch flaky sea salt (such as Maldon) and stir until dissolved. Store in an airtight container. Keeps, refrigerated, for up to a month.
Dehydrated Lemon Wheels
Preheat oven, using the lowest setting available. Slice several lemons into quarter-inch-thick wheels. Lay the lemon slices on a sheet pan lined with baking parchment. Place in the oven for about 3 1/2 hours, checking every 30 minutes. (Actual time may vary, depending on oven temperature.) The wheels are done when they’ve changed to a golden-brown color and hardened, but the edges haven’t yet started to crisp and curl. Remove from oven and cool. Store in an airtight container in a dark place. Keeps, at room temperature, for up to a month.