Friday Cocktails: Spiced Pear Collins
Enlarge Image Credit: Niki Achitoff-GrayThere's a morning each year, sometime in mid-autumn, when I walk outside and find myself raising my nose to the air and taking in a long, deep whiff. Something is different, and that something is magnificent. In those moments, I want nothing more than to capture the essence of the season—preferably in consumable form. So I couldn't have been more thrilled when a recent excursion to New York's Prima restaurant landed me face-to-face with one such opportunity. Immersive and revitalizing, they offered a drink (on their menu as The Last Cocktail) that's an autumnal, frothy mix of gin, prosecco, pear purée, rosemary-infused agave, lemon juice, and powdered cloves. I was soon gleefully reeling at my discovery: a perfectly balanced gin-based cocktail that was thoroughly seasonal, embodying fall's fleeting marriage of sharp brightness and soothing comfort.
I returned home later that night haunted by the combination of sweet-tart pear and fragrant rosemary, so elegantly wed with smooth, floral gin. I set out to decipher Prima's formula and produce my own rendition of the drink, hoping to draw out the same flavor profile without a full bar at my disposal. A rosemary- and clove-infused simple syrup adds pleasantly bitter, herbal notes to a fresh pear purée, shaken with lemon juice and gin until foamy and slightly creamy. Topped off with a small splash of sparkling wine or soda water, it has a crisp, woody sweetness, robust density, and sour, crackling effervescence that manages to evoke the season's invigorating chill, deeply hued leaves, and vibrant patches of warming sunlight.
See the recipe for the Spiced Pear Collins »