Tuesday, April 1, 2014

endicott cobbler

1 1/2 oz Lustau Dry Amontillado Sherry
1 1/2 oz St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur
1 oz Averna
2 dash Peychaud's Bitters

Build in a Collins glass and gently stir. Fill with crushed ice and gently stir again. Add a straw and garnish with an orange twist.

For the new cocktail menu at Russell House Tavern, bar manager Sam Gabrielli commented that he liked the sherry drinks that I made for certain guests, and he requested that I come up with a Sherry Cobbler for the menu. After tinkering a bit, I became hung up on the equal parts dry amontillado-Cynar combination but could not figure out a third ingredient to round out the drink. One evening after my shift, I wandered down to Brick & Mortar and found a seat in front of Matthew Schrage. When I explained my conundrum, Schrage recommended St. George's Spiced Pear Liqueur and made a half scale version that rather worked. I fixed up the proportions and made a drink for Sam; Sam declared that while he liked the drink, it was a bit on the bitter side for a random guest to order it off the menu. Therefore, I swapped the amaro to Averna, brought the pear forward, and added Peychaud's Bitters to dry it out a touch. For a name, I stuck with the pear theme and paid tribute to the oldest living cultivated fruit tree in North America, the Endicott Pear Tree. The tree resides just north of here in Danvers, MA, and is still producing fruit after being planted 380-plus years ago.
The drink itself went live on the menu last night and was designed not only for flavor but ease and speed for assembly (although perhaps not as quick to build as the Scaffa for my night at the Blue Room). Once assembled, the twist added sweet orange accents to the drink's sweet fruit notes. A caramel and grape sip gave way to a pear, nutty, herbal, and lightly spiced swallow. While it is a touch on the sweeter side at first, it becomes less so with ice melt over time. Overall, I was impressed at how the high acidity of amontillado sherry functioned as a backbone here to build the rest of the drink around. Perhaps the Cobbler would be better in the Fall when pear flavors are more common, but Cobblers are perfect for the upcoming warmer weather.

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