It’s finally fall and your farmers market is abundant with the summer’s bounty of fruit, particularly apples and pears. I have this love/hate relationship with pears that I don’t think I can win. When good, a pear is the best fruit possible. Of course, a pear is at its peak for perhaps all of 90 minutes.
How to save that precious pear flavor? You can follow one of the many recipes to make pear vodka. Or, for these imbibing purposes, simply purchase a great pear vodka. And then concoct this lovely cocktail. The popular St.-Germain liqueur is matched with champagne, sugar, and lemon juice. This a lively beverage that will bubble over your tongue, the ideal accompaniment to a fall Sunday brunch. Sip and watch the falling leaves.
Pear Vodka, St. Germain and Champagne Cocktail
Yield: 1 cocktail
- Lemon slice
- Superfine sugar
- 2 ounces pear vodka
- 2 ouces St. Germain elderflower liquor
Use a wide-rimmed cocktail glass, a marigarita glass. Run the lemon slice around the edge, and then dip into the superfine sugar.
Place the vodka and St. Germain in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Pour into the rimmed glass and top with champagne.
For garnish, a lemon or lime slice is fine, or add a sprig of herb to complement the elderflower liquor.
Source: adapted from About.com
Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS Macro Lens 60mm, F/2.8, 1/80th second, ISO-800
Having brunch? Want something far, far beyond a mimosa? Read on.
In the West Village on 11th Street, just past Hudson, there is The Spotted Pig, the extraordinary restaurant from April Bloomfield. If you can dine there, it is a must. If you cannot, then pick up a copy of A Girl and Her Pig [you can’t miss it, picture of April standing proudly with a pig draped over her shoulders, has to be the only thing like it in the bookstore]. A Girl is filled with lovely, no, exceptional recipes. The Pig is a favorite restaurant for Suzen and me in a city rich in good establishments.
Actually, The Pig became a favorite for me before I ate a bite. Suzen had ordered cocktails. “You will like this surprise,” she assured me. I waited for the waiter.
I took a sip and Suzen saw it in my eyes. “May I?” she extended her hand. I let her sip and saw, I suppose, in her eyes what was in mine.
“Grapefruit?” I suggested.
“Has to be,” she agreed.
Hence the picture, for back home I took down my Aperol and St-Germain, and I split my grapefruit. It was all about the proportions. I kept trying to duplicate The Harlow. I got close, then distant, then closer. But I never got it right.
So yesterday, I went to The Spotted Pig, sat down at the bar, and asked for a deep favor. She smiled, mentioned with pride the drink is her concoction, and let me watch, guiding me through every step.
“There’s no grapefruit?” I asked. It looked like lemon juice she was pouring.
“No,” she laughed. “There are knockoffs all over the city and they all think it is grapefruit but the secret is fresh, really fresh, lemon juice.”
Here is the recipe, straight from The Pig, The Spotted Pig. You’ve seen Aperol drinks aplenty recently and many cocktails using that grand St-Germain. But The Harlow is the one drink that combines them both, and does so powerfully. I cannot describe how refreshing The Harlow is. I can only encourage you to make it yourself and relish every sip.
No grapefruit. Fresh, really fresh, lemon juice.
Yield: 1 cocktail
- 1.5 ounces Aperol
- .75 ounces St-Germain
- .75 ounces fresh, really fresh, lemon juice
- About 2.5 ounces Cava
- About 1 ounce club soda
Select a tall cocktail glass and chill it briefly.
Fill the glass with cracked ice. Pour in the Aperol and St-Germain. Add the lemon juice and stir with a long, slender cocktail spoon.
Add the Cava, slipping down the side of the glass so it does not bubble outrageously. Top off the glass with club soda, to be true to the original recipe. Or, top it off with more Cava, if you desire little less subtlety.
Source: Brian O’Rourke adapted from Biscuits by Belinda Ellis
Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for1/60th second at ISO‑1000