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Cocktail: The Jale Porton at Hotel Shangri-la

The Jale Porton cocktail at Hotel Shangri-la in Santa Monica.

May 27, 2011

Sip in the spirit of South America with the Jale Porton, a unique cocktail that is part of the Hotel Shangri-la's new summer drink menu and served at its Dining Room, Suite 700 and pool bar. Or shake it up yourself, assuming you can locate its niftiest ingredient, a wacky flower appropriately known as the "buzz button." Indigenous to South America and parts of Africa, the flower contains a natural analgesic that, when chewed, both numbs your mouth and makes it tingle — kind of like if Pop Rocks were made from green peppercorns. But when consumed with delicate pisco (a colorless grape brandy native to Peru) mixed with tart lemon-and-lime juice and dulcet cucumber, the buzz button has a lovely way of enhancing both sweet and sour flavors.

The Jale Porton by Cole Apodaca

1 ounce lemon juice

1 ounce lime juice

½ ounce light agave nectar

2 slices cucumber

2 slices jalapeño

1 slice fresh ginger

1 ounce velvet falernum

1 ½ ounces Pisco Porton

Muddle all ingredients but the velvet falernum and pisco. Fill a shaker with ice and add the velvet falernum pisco. Shake and strain over fresh ice. Top with soda and garnish with a cucumber slice and a jalapeño slice. Cut the buzz button in half (length-wise) and place on skewer. Lay the skewer across top of the glass — eat ½ at a time.

Hotel Shangri-la, 1301 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica. (310) 394-2791; http://www.shangrila-hotel.com.

— Jessica Gelt

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