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Author Notes: This recipe is based on the Hotel Nacional Special, a delicious cocktail that combines rum, pineapple syrup, lime juice, apricot liqueur, and angostura bitters. It's a very summery seeming drink. I used the same proportions, but took it in an autumnal direction with the slightly smokey flavor of tequila, complemented by pears and ginger. I took inspiration for the pear-ginger syrup from the sharbat (middle-eastern fruit syrup) recipes found in Diana Henry's Salt Sugar Smoke. The end result is a cocktail that is perfect for sweater weather. —hardlikearmour
Makes: 1 cocktail
ounces resposado tequila
ounce pear-ginger sharbat syrup (recipe follows)
ounce freshly pressed and strained lemon juice
ounce Ginger Liqueur
4 to 5
drops Angostura bitters
- Combine all ingredients in a shaker with a handful of ice cubes. Shake vigorously for about 20 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass (or other 5 to 6 ounce glass). Sip.
Pear-Ginger Sharbat Syrup (makes about 1 pint)
organic red pears (about 1 1/2 lbs)
cups granulated sugar (more or less)
ounces crystallized ginger, coarsely chopped
- Wash pears well, then quarter them lengthwise. Remove the cores, and cut the quarters crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Transfer to saucepan with water, and the juice of one of the lemons (about 3 tablespoons). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until slices are soft and translucent, 15 to 20 minutes. The liquid will be a lovely rosy hue from the pear skins.
- Position a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth over a quart glass measure or bowl, and pour the pears and cooking liquid through. Allow the pears to drain for 15 minutes, but resist the urge to press on them. While the pears are draining, wash the sauce pan.
- Transfer the strained liquid back into the sauce pan (there should be about 1 3/4 cups -- if not, adjust the sugar quantity so it is the same volume measure as the liquid). Add the sugar and crystallized ginger. Stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved then increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a full boil. Remove from heat and add the juice from the remaining lemon. Cover and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Strain the syrup into a jar or bottle (preferably one that's been sanitized to increase longevity of the syrup). Cover and refrigerate.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Middle Eastern Recipe
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Cocktail
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for When You Want It to Feel Like Fall