Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Stiff Apertif: The Wild Pear

As a general matter, I don't drink a lot of aperitifs.  Maybe it's just a cultural thing where some people like Italians, who historically have consumed drinks like vermouth prior to meals, like a little warm up to meals with sweet alcohol but for the most part (the occasional port excepted) it's not my thing.  That said, I've been playing around with a couple recipes, wanting to make a proper cocktail that was refreshing and didn't seem too heavy as a pre-meal drink but with sufficient weight to stand on its own.  This led to the following drink, which is one of my favorite original cocktails.

The Wild Pear

1 ounce of pisco (Diablada)
0.5 ounce of pear brandy (Koening)
0.25 ounce of simple syrup
1 healthy dash of angostura bitters
a slice of pear

Stir ingredients and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a slice of skinned pear (preferably ripe). 

Taste (flavor, balance, and clarity):  9
The pisco and pear brandy work really well together.  The pisco gives a rough herbal element that gives way to the pear taste during the swallow.  The simple syrup keeps the drink from being too boozy, while the bitters prevents the syrup and pear brandy from making the drink to sweat and adding a bit of depth.  I though that his was a very easy to drink, though strong cocktail.  Also, I used a very ripe pear for the garnish, which sponged up the alcohol for a nice treat at the end.

Versatility (when and for whom the drink works):  8
This drink works in most occasions.  It can be an aperitif though the cocktail also stands on its own. I will note that though she didn't dislike it, my wife found the drink a bit strong for her preference.  Thus, for those who aren't real big into strong cocktails or brandy flavor this might not be the best choice.

Hassle (Cost and Time):  6
The ingredients are not especially expensive, though I used some nice pisco.  However, it's a fair amount of trouble to make.  First, I strongly recommend using homemade simple syrup.  Additionally, you have to skin and slice a pear.

Overall:  8
I really enjoyed this drink and will break it out with company in the future.  It has a very coherent and crisp taste that transitions nicely between the different elements.  It also makes for a nice presentation with the pear.

Potential Improvements
No real improvements.  I might up the simple syrup to 0.5 ounces for those who like their drinks a little less boozy though.

No comments:

Post a Comment