Monday, June 15, 2009

naughty nanny

3/4 oz. gin (Beefeater)
3/4 oz. lime juice
3/4 oz. pear liqueur (Rothman and Winter Orchard Pear)
1/2 oz. yellow chartreuse
1/4 oz. ginger simple syrup

Shake and decant into a round-bottomed cocktail glass. Garnish with a nice slice of fresh ginger.
For this month's Mixology Monday, the RumDood chose a theme of ginger, and I started by thinking about some of my favorite desserts. This brought to mind the common (and delicious) pairing of ginger and pear. Free association got the better of me, and from pear, I began to think about pear-shaped women. This led, inevitably, to a song recollection from my tween-hood in the late 70's: namely, the very first record that I ever owned. That record was entitled Jazz, and the group who put out this fine album was known as Queen. The song was, of course, Fat-bottomed Girls. As tempting as it was to name my cocktail after the song (making an excruciating pun of the "XL" in this MxMo's title), I decided to take a look at the lyrics to find a (slightly) more decorous name. Big fat Fanny? No, that wouldn't do... But the next line, that was promising. And so the Naughty Nanny was born.

So, I had a name and two of the components; but what base spirit? "Obviously, it must be made from London dry gin," in homage to the band's beginnings. Plymouth? No, I wanted something a bit more assertive. What would my naughty nanny give her young, impressionable charge? Smacking my head, "Beefeater!"

To tie these components together, I needed a bitter component that wouldn't overwhelm the delicate ginger syrup. I combed cocktailvirgin's back catalog, and fortunately didn't have to go far. A few weeks back, Fred had visited Rendezvous, and he came up with a variation of the Last Word using pear liqueur. Scott had used Aperol as the bitter in that drink, but thought chartreuse would work quite well. I wasn't quite sure how much chartreuse to add, so I started with 1/2 oz. each of yellow chartreuse and pear liqueur. A quick sampling decided it - I kept the yellow chartreuse to 1/2 oz., and upped the pear to the full 3/4 oz. The result was rather lime-y with a complex sweetness that began with caramel and ended with the ginger. While it was actually on the sweeter side of my preferred palate, it managed to capture some of the best qualities I liked in pear-ginger desserts.

Thanks for hosting, Mr. Dood!

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