The "Smokey The Pear In The Wilderton" Martini
When I was in college, I loved going to the local hotel restaurant that shall not be named and grabbing cocktails. For whatever reason they didn’t card 😳 — and because I was young and naive, I always ordered the fresh pear martini, which came with the flavor of fresh pear purée. Or at least I thought it was fresh. It was a gourmet restaurant after all with a strawberry, brown sugar, and creme fraîche desert that I was also in love with. So I swear it tasted fresh okay? 🤦🏻♂️
After graduating and moving to NYC, my tastes matured. After discovering the plethora of mixology bars, I stopped going for the super sweet cocktails and instead opted for new complex flavors, often with a little smokiness. Since moving away from NYC, I still dream of my favorite cocktail, The Colonel, which can be found at The Orient Express in the West Village of NYC.
Looking at their website, The Colonel has since been discontinued 😭 and replaced it with three, what I can only assume are lesser drinks. Just kidding. Not kidding. Ok kidding! The Colonel was mezcal, lemon, lavender simple syrup, and potentially a few other ingredients served in a double old fashioned glass with a single large square ice cube. It tased like an elevated margarita with its smokiness and herbaceous-ness. And it has since become one of my favorite flavor profiles that I seek out, but I have never found one that lives up to that drink either.
Every now and then, I get the hankering for the floral flavors of the floral pear. Strangely, I haven’t been able to find another pear martini with the same floral quality, so I set out to make it myself—but with a twist. Combining my two favorites to make a super drink: Smokey The Pear In The Wilderton! The lavender and lemon aspects would help to enhance the floral qualities of pear and prevent it from oxidizing too much, and this one ends up not being too sweet either! Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Smokey The Pear In the Wilderton
A zero-proof fresh pear martini enhanced with the spices of Wilderton Earthen.
1 oz dried or fresh lavender
1 cup white sugar
1 cup water
2 oz Genmaicha
1 cup hot water
1/2 ripe asian pear
1 ripe bartlett or bosc pear
1 tbsp white sugar or agave
3/4 oz lemon juice
1 oz Wilderton Earthen or Wilderton Lustre
2 oz fresh pear purée
1 tsp lavender simple syrup
For the Lavender Simple Syrup
For the tea
For the pear purée
For the Drycraft Cocktail
Prepare the Lavender Simple Syrup
Prepare your mason jar by disinfecting with a small amount overproof alcohol like Everclear or boiling the glass and lids for a few minutes. If using the boiling method, remove the mason jar and dry with a clean towel. Since the jar will be hot, set on a trivet.
While the jar is disinfecting, put all the ingredients into a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat. Stir gently with with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves. Since making the syrup in the ratio of 1:1 with water, you don’t have to worry about the sugar crystallizing.
Bring to a rolling boil and reduce to a rapid simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Let the syrup cool before handling. During this time, the lavender will continue to infuse into the liquid.
Store the Lavender Simple Syrup in t Direction Store the Lavender Simple Syrup in the fridge and consume within 2 weeks.
Prepare the tea
Hot Brew Method: Prepare a strong brew of Genmaicha by pouring boiling water over either 2 tea bags or 1 oz of loose leaf tea. Let steep, covered for 7-8 minutes and set aside. If you like more tannins and bitterness, you can steep for even longer. Make sure you leave enough time for the tea to cool down before you add to the cocktail. This can be prepared in advance.
Cold Brew Method: You may also cold brew the Genmaicha several hours in advance. Prepare 2 oz of looseleaf Genmaicha in a tea bag and drop into a pitcher of 1.5L of water. Steep for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Prepare the fragrant pear purée
While tea is steeping, cut the pears and throw into the blender. You do not need any additional water because the asian pear already has so much water. Add 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice (about half a lemon). Reserve a few very thin slices of pear for garnish. Put some lemon juice on these slices to prevent them from oxidizing.
Start blending on low speed and increase slowly to highest speed setting. Blend until smooth, but try not to exceed 30 seconds of blending or else your pear will oxidize too fast. If your pear turns brown, then just make sure you add more lemon juice or add a tablespoon or two of sugar to your blend to prevent oxidation.
If there are chunks of pear left, scrape down the sides. If your pears are not juicy enough, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until you achieve an applesauce consistency.
Taste the purée to see if it's sweet or tart enough. If lacking sweetness, add more sugar or lavender simple syrup. If not tart enough, add more lemon juice. Just make sure you like the flavor!
If you do not like pulp, you can strain the puree at this point so all you are left with is juice. The cocktail will be strained before it goes into the glass, so only do this step if you prefer it to be truly pulp free.
The puree will last in the fridge for 2-3 days. If you will not be using it all for cocktails, the puree is great with yogurt, plain water, with a crepe.
Mix the cocktail
Rim the glass with salt if preferred. I suggest using a smoked salt to add even more character to this drink.
Add ice to the glass to chill.
Put all the cocktail ingredients into the shaker, then fill it with ice.
Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.
Pour the cocktail through the strainer into the serving glass. Double strain if desired.
Take one of the thin pieces of pear and tightly roll, securing the loose end with a cocktail skewer and place over the cocktail. Then serve immediately and enjoy!
If you don’t have access to Genmaicha, you can also use roasted barley tea, which also has a smoky, nutty flavor. This type of tea has a stronger flavor and is slightly bitter, so I recommend making sure that your pear is on the sweeter side. You may want to add a sweetener to balance the drink.