UPDATE: The polls are now OPEN! Go here to vote for your favorite of ten intriguing cocktails~hopefully you'll pick mine, The Citrus Shock! This contest was such a fun experiment. Good luck to all my fellow contestants! Enjoy! (polls close at midnight on Feb. 15th)
I was excited to receive an email from Matt of Marxfoods.com, asking if I'd like to participate in their Electric Mixology cocktail recipe contest. Of course! Marxfoods sent me a free sample of Szechuan Buttons to use in my cocktail recipe.
Szechuan Buttons are flowers from Africa and China which impart a tingling sensation on the tip of your tongue, and that is just at the beginning! Be ready for a numbing shock, perhaps some popping, then a citrus-like feeling with a hint of herby-citrusy flavor, then a salty sensation (not flavor, sensation!) These things are bizarre and fun!
We infused our tequila with buttons overnight, which imparts a mild, numbing, slightly tingly sensation to the entire drink. Amplify this sensation as you drink your Citrus Shock by nibbling on your very own Szechuan Button--you can eat the leaf too!
The Citrus Shock is delicious button-infused tequila flavored with citrus, with a boost of apple brandy and topped off with a gorgeous Szechuan Button and fruit slices. Cheers!
The Citrus Shock
1 ounce Szechuan Button-Infused Tequila (recipe below)
1/2 ounce Apple Brandy (such as Calvados; we used our friend's homemade Apple Brandy)
Juice from Orange Wedge (about 1/8 orange)
Juice from 1/4 Lime Wedge
Juice from Lemon Wedge (about 1/8 lemon)
Garnish: 1 slice clementine (or mini orange citrus fruit) + 1 slice lime + 1 Szechuan Button and 1 Szechuan Leaf
To prepare drink, add Szechuan Button Infused Tequila, Apple Brandy, and citrus juices to shaker with 1/2 cup ice. Shake to mix, strain into martini glass.
To prepare garnish, cut each fruit slice from center to edge on one side.
Fit clementine and lime slices together to form an "X."
Gently tuck Szechuan Button and leaf between slices in center so they stand up on top. Carefully balance entire fruit structure in middle of martini glass, and enjoy!
Szechuan Infused Tequila
Makes enough for 8 Citrus Shocks!
8 ounces tequila
2 Szechuan Buttons
Pour tequila in a glass jar. Crush buttons in a mortar and pestle or finely chop. Add crushed buttons to tequila, cover and let sit overnight or longer.