Christopher Longoria’s Basil Mezcal Sour Cocktail

One great guest bartender, one amazing cocktail—it's just another Thirsty Thursday here on CHOW.

Christopher Longoria’s the bar manager at 1760, a seven-month-old restaurant in San Francisco. He shared his Basil Mezcal Sour recipe with us, but really, “sour” is false advertising. Longoria’s pale green cocktail with a cap of egg-white foam is amazingly balanced—nothing rises up, no flavor dominates, not even the mezcal.

“A lot of cocktails you taste, the flavor is right up front,” says Longoria, an exceptionally vibey dude with a master's in poetry; he studied jazz in Chicago before being signed to a hip-hop label in San Francisco. “I wanted to make mezcal fresh instead of superdense and assertive," he says about today's drink, "use smoke as a nuance, not as a primary thing.” His Basil Mezcal Sour is nuanced like an orchestral sample under a rap beat. Here's how you make it.

Basil Mezcal Sour
Makes 1 cocktail

2 small sprigs fresh basil
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
1/2 ounce Hangar 1 Kaffir Lime Vodka
3/4 ounce mezcal (we used Del Maguey’s Vida)
1 ounce tequila blanco (we used Herencia Mexicana)
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1 egg white
Ice
Pinch celery seed, for garnish
Basil leaf, for garnish

Step 1: To a large cocktail shaker, add the basil, lime juice, and sugar. Muddle vigorously. (Longoria: “A lot of people have that whole, ‘You need to ease the oils out of the mint’ by muddling gently. I’m like, 'Just pulverize it, man.'”)

Step 2: Add the vodka, mezcal, tequila, Cointreau, and egg white. Shake vigorously without ice (this emulsifies the egg white, also known as a "dry shake").

Step 3: Add ice. Shake vigorously.

Step 4: Double-strain through a Hawthorne strainer and a small sieve into a chilled coupe glass.

Step 5: Garnish with a tiny pinch of celery seed and a small basil leaf.

Check out last Thursday's project, Erik Ellestad's Atholl Brose Cocktail. Here's looking at you.

Photos by Chris Rochelle