I wrote about the Verbena after a trip to Las Vegas last summer after staying at the Cosmopolitan and visiting The Chandelier bar.
The Verbena is a yuzu/ginger/tequila cocktail, served on the rocks with a Szechuan Button garnish. The button is really a tiny yellow flower about half the size of a thimble that you chew, and it ignites your tastebuds and gives you crazy tingly feelings in your mouth while you enjoy the tart, spicy drink.
I went home and came up with my best version of the Verbena to share with friends, using the standard margarita proportions and replacing a few items.
- 1 1/2 oz silver tequila
- 1 oz Domain de Canton ginger liqueur
- 3/4 oz lemon or yuzu juice
- 1/4 oz simple syrup
- 1 or 2 Szechuan Buttons
Fill a rocks glass with ice and pour that ice into a mixing glass with all of the liquid ingredients. Shake vigorously and pour ice and cocktail back into the rocks glass. Garnish with 1-2 buttons.
To enjoy this drink, I like to chew the flower until I can feel its effects, then swallow the flower and start sipping. The flower tastes bitter and grassy on its own, but the effects are more potent if you can stand to wait a bit before taking your first drink.
Choice of tequila is up to you, but it should probably be a silver of decent quality, since that has the lightest taste that won’t overpower the ginger. I like Milagros, Kah, Espolon, or Hornitos.
Getting the flowers is a little tricky. We are going to grow some in our garden this spring, but in the meantime, Marx Foods online will ship them to your house overnight packed with ice. They’re a little pricy, but worth it every once in a while.
Drink up! Doctor’s orders.
-The Drink Doctor