Mr. Ness’ Highland Swizzle

Anthony Schmidt | San Diego

The eponymous Mr. Ness in this cocktail is bartender Jonathan Ness, who was concerned about all of the spent lime shells going to waste after juicing for service. Together with fellow bartender Anthony Schmidt they collaborated on developing a tiki-inspired cordial incorporating those lime shells as well leftover ginger peels and mint stems. Schmidt’s favorite way to showcase their sustainably-minded syrup is through this tequila swizzle riff. “The El Tesoro™ Blanco Tequila enhances the bright green flavors from our process-driven syrup—and vice versa, the cordial showcases the grace of a really well made agave distillate,” says Schmidt. “Like the cordial, the agave is plant-based in flavor with sweetness from the roasted nectar. They’re natural mates.”

Ingredients

Serving: 1

  • 2 parts El Tesoro™ Blanco Tequila
  • 1 part lime juice
  • 1 part Jonathan Ness' Dumpster Demerara Syrup (see Editor's Note)
  • 1 dash Peychaud's® bitters

Garnish: Peychaud's® bitters, fresh mint sprig

Directions
  1. Combine all the ingredients except the garnish in a stainless-steel julep cup.
  2. Fill with pebble ice or cracked ice and using a swizzle stick or bar spoon, swizzle to combine the ingredients while adding a bit of aeration (like trying to start a fire).
  3. Top with more ice.
  4. Dash additional Peychaud's® bitters over the ice and garnish with a fresh mint sprig.
  5. Serve with a reusable straw.
Editor's Note

Jonathan Ness' Dumpster Demerara
1 quart rich demerara syrup (2:1, demerara sugar:water)
1 cup fresh mint stems, tops reserved
1 cup fresh minced ginger (or 1 cup ginger root fiber left over from juicing)
10 - 12 lime shells or zests, juice reserved
1 teaspoon citric acid
1 teaspoon fresh ginger juice

Combine the demerara syrup, mint stems, ginger and limes in a sous vide bag. Heat to 130 degrees and cook for 2 hours. Allow to cool and strain into a container with a sealable lid. Add the citric acid and ginger juice. To help with preservation, you can add 1 ounce of a high-proof neutral spirit.

Note: If you're not using a sous vide bag you can make on the stove top with careful monitoring of the temperature.

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