As the weather seems to be stuck in the doldrums between summer and fall, I’ve found the flavors I seek both extend the warmth of summer and welcome the cool nights of fall.
The same holds true for cocktails. Groups of friends gather to share the last remaining fruits of summer in the form of exciting, aromatic flavors — while also enjoying the fresh bounty of autumn.
Eau de vie is a little known, fruit-driven ingredient that’s easily available. Pear eau de vie is particularly charming in an on the rocks, Martini-like drink that combines vodka and muddled grilled pears with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a backbone of mint sprigs.
This recipe makes two generous drinks, so invite a friend!
Austrian Sunshine Cocktail
1 Bosc pear, halved
Fresh lemon juice
2 shots pear eau de vie
1 shot vodka
1 Tbs. simple syrup
1 shot sweet vermouth, plus more for misting
2 sprig of fresh mint for garnish
Grill the pear over charcoal or sear in a cast-iron pan until caramelized. Let cool. Slice two pieces and set aside for garnish. Muddle the remaining pear with lemon juice using a cocktail muddler until it becomes a slurry.
Combine the muddled pear with pear eau de vie and vodka in a cocktail shaker. Add the simple syrup, sweet vermouth and ice. Shake and strain through a cocktail strainer into two tall glasses.
Mist some more sweet vermouth over the top and garnish with a sprig of mint and a pear slice for color. Serves 2.
About the author: Warren Bobrow is the Food and Drink Editor of the 501c3 non profit Wild Table on Wild River Review located in Princeton, New Jersey. Warren was an Iron Mixology Judge at the Charleston Wine and Food Festival 2012. He attended Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans in 2011. Warren has published over three hundred articles in fewer than three years since his reinvention from executive assistant in private banking to author. Warren writes with a unique free-form style. He is a writer/mixologist on everything from cocktail flavoring and Biodynamic/organic wines to restaurant reviews. He writes for Edible Jersey, Voda Magazine, Foodista, Tasting Panel, Beverage News and Total Food Service Magazine. Warren is the “On Whiskey” columnist for OKRA Magazine in New Orleans part of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. He was born and raised in Morristown, NJ on a Biodynamic farm.