1 rating

Hump Day Cocktail From ShakeStir: The High Desert Swizzle


The High Desert Swizzle from Tony Klus, at Portland's Kask Cocktail Bar.

Our friends over at ShakeStir have asked the nearly 2,000 (and growing) bartenders in their community to submit signature cocktail recipes for potential coverage on The Daily Meal. Each Wednesday, the drink that snags the most 5-star ratings (according to his or her ShakeStir peers) will be featured on The Daily Meal — along with a recipe, photo, and link to the selected bartender's profile — as part of the new weekly "Hump Day" Cocktail series. 

Our very first winner? Bar manager Tommy Klus at Portland's Kask Cocktail Bar, with his creation, the High Desert Swizzle. His inspiration for the mezcal cocktail: A summer day, Oregon strawberries, and memories of a week in Oaxaca. Says Klus, "The refreshing tart-sweet-smoky drink is surprisingly easy to make. The vinegar in the shrub brightens and pronounces all the flavors of the mezcal."

Thanks to our bartender friends at ShakeStir for contributing, and stay tuned for more Hump Day Cocktails! 


For the drink

  • 1 1/2 Ounce Del Maguey Vida Mezcal
  • 3/4 Ounces strawberry shrub
  • 3/4 Ounces lime juice
  • 1/4 Ounce rich demerara cane syrup

For the strawberry shrub

  • 1 Cup granulated sugar
  • 8 Ounces (by weight) strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 8 Ounces distilled white vinegar

For the rich demerara syrup

  • 2 parts demerara sugar
  • 1 part water


For the drink

In a chilled Collins glass, combine the mezcal, shrub, lime juice, and sugar syrup. Fill with crushed ice and stir (aka swizzle) until the glass gets frosty. Set the lime slice in the glass and serve with a straw.

For the strawberry shrub

In a mixing bowl, stir together the sugar and strawberries. Cover and allow fruit to macerate in the refrigerator overnight. Stir in the vinegar and strain the mixture through cheesecloth into another bowl. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use. 

For the rich demerara syrup

To make the demerara sugar syrup, combine 2 parts demerara sugar to 1 part water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat, transfer to an airtight container, and refrigerate until cold.