Thursday, 19 September 2013

Mother's Lovely Pear

From the top most branches of Agatha's best pear tree came the King of the Pears. Sweet, fat bottomed, blushing and freckled - deeelish! The perfect pear picked via the use of a long pole with an opening and closing claw at the end operated by string. Mechanisation comes to Mother's Ruin.

The Pear,
gift from the Gods according to Homer, one of the oldest and most digestible fruits. Sublime in unadulterated form, but I just couldn't leave them alone and they are now chopped and steeping in overproof bourbon with bitter herbs to make pear and almond cocktail bitters.

In a spare moment I went to the Westmorland County Show to gaze upon the wonder of the WI  tent. The cakes, flowers and knitting, crowned by a the fabulous gleaming bottles and jars in the gin and jam tournaments. This is how the professionals do it!

And then, just so I could scream and shout a bit a few rounds of magnificent Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling 

A refreshing cocktail for steadying the nerve before competitions and tests of all sorts

A Pear of Cloves
(Brian O'Neill)

1-1/2 oz pear vodka,
 1/2 oz purée of fresh pear
 1/2 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 oz clove-infused simple syrup (see recipe below)
3 to 4 thin slices of pear

In a shaker, muddle the pear slices before adding the remaining ingredients. Fill with ice and shake until cold and frothy. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a slice pear.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Mother's Bitter Helper

Like Janus Mother is looking back in time to the days when bitter medicinal tinctures were added to spirits creating the first cocktail - the Bittered Sling, and also forward to the boom in cocktails and the modern cocktail bitter. In this lucent state she has been gathering barks, roots and leaves (thank you Baldwins ) - sourcing over-proof hooch (easier said than done) and wielding a sharp paring knife.

Combining a bitter base containing herbs such as wormwood, quinine, dandelions and gentian with a heart of warm spice and a fruit top note - bitters add complexity and balance to cocktails. The very opposite of the sparkler and flamingo garnish good bitters impart depth, darkness and intrigue. I'm in the middle of a series of experiments to create the perfect bitters - Mother's Bitter Helper. I've found the ideal bottles, looking like they might contain poison and with a handy dropper for precision cocktail construction.

   For the bitters enthusiast,

The Modern Cocktail

1 1/2 oz good  bourbon
 1 tsp dark rum
1/2 tsp pernod or absinthe
1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 dashes orange bitters

Combine ingredients in a shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, and strain into a cocktail glass.