The other night I was at Backbar and very much enjoyed their drink of the day, the Mezcal Tonique. I’ve written before about the joys of stocking tonic syrup, but it had never occurred to me to use tonic syrup in a cocktail by itself without soda water; I am definitely going to have to play with this more as a stand-alone ingredient! This is my recreation of the drink from Backbar’s menu description, so the ratios could stand a little more tweaking. The one thing I didn’t have was Yuzu Bitters, so I substituted some homemade Buddha’s Hand Tincture* to fill the exotic citrus role.
1.5 oz mezcal (Vida) 1.0 oz lemon juice 0.5 oz tonic syrup (Tomr's) 1.0 ml Buddha's Hand Tincture Shake with ice and strain.
This reminds me of an Ultima Palabra with a strong citrus sip and smoky nose. This is far less sweet, though, with just the tonic syrup adding sugar. It’s fairly sharp with lots of bright citrus, but the tonic syrup and mezcal give it enough weight to keep it balanced. This strikes me as primarily a warm-weather drink, so I’ll probably put off tweaking the recipe until the spring, but I wanted to make sure I got this up before I forgot it!
* Fill a small jar with thin slices of buddha’s hand peel, add grain alcohol to cover. Wait at least a day or so; keeps indefinitely. Use sparingly.