Promise of Spring

This week’s cocktail was originally going to be the White Lady, which is 2 parts gin, 1 part lemon juice, 1 part orange liqueur, and optional egg white. But, since it’s basically the same thing as the Pegu Club I made in my first post, I decided to nix that and experiment a little. Don’t get me wrong, the White Lady is amazing. I think the lemon blends with the orange liqueur better than the lime, but that’s purely personal preference. So, be sure to try the White Lady and the Pegu Club and let me know which one you think is better!


Cocktail!

All right, onward to this week’s feature drink: the Promise of Spring!  …okay, so that name’s a little pretentious, but it was the first I could think of, and I couldn’t find this cocktail anywhere else. With spring (hopefully) coming soon, maple trees being tapped all around me, and a little tropical fruit to remind me that warmer months are ahead, I thought the name was apt. If you’ve got a better one, leave it in the comments. I’d love to hear it!

Most sour drinks are made with either lemon juice or lime juice. I know, however, that they aren’t the only sour flavors at my disposal. Grapefruit juice is the first alternative sour that came to mind, so I decided to experiment. After polling my friends on Facebook, tasting some grapefruit juice, and looking up other grapefruit-based drinks, I found that I needed a strong, yet subtle sweet to cut the acidity of the grapefruit and balance its signature tartness. With that in mind, I came up with this:

Ingredients:

  • 2 parts gin
  • 1 part grapefruit juice
  • 0.5 part simple syrup
  • Spoonful of cooked pears
  • Dash of maple syrup

The first step is to cook the pears. I cooked one diced pear in 1.5 parts water and 1 part sugar. If your pear is extremely ripe, you may not need to cook it, but this way you get a delicious pear simple syrup for use in future dishes and drinks, so I recommend it.  Once the pear is cooked and subsequently cooled, place a spoonful (fine, if you want a slightly more accurate measure, about 1/4 of a pear) in your shaker and add the 0.5 part simple syrup. Now, we muddle.

I’ll write a separate article on muddling in the future, but I’ll sum it up here: muddling is pulverizing an ingredient in a liquid to release the flavors. After muddling, the solid ingredient is usually shaken with the rest of the cocktail, then strained (unless you’re going for the rustic aesthetic). In this case, make sure you pummel the pear good, but you don’t need to actually puree it by hand.

 Next, add the grapefruit juice, gin, and a dash (i.e. a few drops) of maple syrup. Be careful with the maple syrup – it’s a very overpowering flavor, and unless you plan on eating pancakes with this, a few drops are enough.

 Then shake. I’ll do an article or video on how to properly shake a cocktail in the future as well, but to quickly sum it up: you’re shaking the drink to mix the ingredients, cool the drink, and slightly dilute the drink. As you shake the drink, the ice will both lower the liquid’s temperature and chip, putting more water into the drink. This is a variable that can be manipulated to change the consistency of a drink. But as a general rule, you only need to shake a drink for 5 seconds or so.

Don’t forget to glare at the drink while shaking it.

When you’re done shaking, strain the cocktail into your glass of choice.

Garnish with a few pieces of your cooked pear, and enjoy!

The Promise of Spring exceeded my expectations in every way. Each flavor makes itself known, but none of them overpower any of the others. While very sour, the grapefruit is complimented well by the more neutral sweet of the pear, allowing the other flavors inherent in the grapefruit to come through, along with the herbal notes of the gin. The maple syrup binds everything together and gives it depth.  This cocktail is, overall, slightly more sweet than sour. But, because the sweet enhances the sour rather than extinguishes the sour, I don’t mind it at all.

If you make a Promise of Spring for yourself and/or a friend or two, let me know what you think of it either in the comments or at alex@stagandotter.com!

Heimdall insists you try this drink for yourself!
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