Passionfruit Pepperita at Maya, Shanghai. By Jonathan White.
What is it? A Sichuan peppercorn-inspired spin on Maya Shanghai’s menu mainstay. This particular twist by Veronica Bravo was one of two drinks created for a collaboration brunch, pitting Fly By Jing’s love for Sichuan soul food and mala against Maya’s Mexican cuisine. Watered by Tequila Ocho, Tomas Estes’ follow up to the lunch was a masterclass to conclude the brand’s China tour.
How is it made? Bravo picked a margarita because it cuts through spice. This one listed Tequila Ocho blanco, triple sec and homemade agave-pepper syrup. Maya’s Rob Jameson reveals a little more went into it – he added a touch of habanero for an extra kick, while Bravo also added a house sour mix plus a little caster sugar. Blended with ice, it’s then garnished with a star anise and a guaiwei (“strange flavour”) salt rim.
What does it taste like? Picture this: it’s the last morning of your holiday and you’re stuck inside watching rain pelt the swimming pool while your imminent return to work crashes home. What’s going to make you feel better? Margaritas. And what’s even better than margaritas? Frozen margaritas. Passionfruit’s tartness offers the perfect base to kick off a rollercoaster of flavours that provide a welcome distraction from real life. Smoother than the resort surf instructor and just as balanced, this was a sweet and sour delight, only furthered by the welcome influence of the star anise coming to the fore as the glass drained. Delicious on its own, the real test was that it paired with Fly by Jing’s Jenny Gao’s banging kitchen creations while showcasing all that’s good about agave.
Maya 568 Julu Lu, Shanghai, China, +86 21 6289 6889, maya-shanghai.com.