Mother Nature, in the form of Hurricane Sandy, came knocking at my city, my door, my life.
On that first day of battering winds, it seemed like a great idea to wait for the storm’s retreat by spending the day cooking. The problem was the 12 story high construction crane swaying outside the window. When it wasn’t shimming side-to-side, it was pivoting like a child’s weather vane.
To super-size my anxiety, the news carried regular coverage of a crane that partially collapsed at an uptown construction site and remained dangling dangerously above the neighborhood, causing a multi-block evacuation. I was hypnotized by this pending disaster, but I pulled back to distract myself in another way.
I secured myself at the opposite end of the apartment to clean out and reorganize my closet. The act was calming and cleansing–and somehow it reignited my interest in food and beverages. With the help of the chatter on Twitter, a cocktail seemed liked the right way to welcome a stormy afternoon. The question was what to make.
We had fresh pears from an upstate NY farm stand, so something seasonal was appealing. Ginger is a comforting flavor for me, and on this particular day of high anxiety, I doubled up the effort to achieve a calmer state. This light cocktail, both in flavor and color, temporarily brightened our lives … until the power went out in Manhattan later that evening.
Yield: 1 cocktail
Glassware: Lowball glass
6 oz (90 ml) Ginger-Pear mixer1-1/2 oz (45 ml) Canton (ginger liquor)1/2 oz (15 ml) gin1/4 teaspoon lemon juice, freshly squeezedCrystalized ginger, for garnish
1. Add mixer, Canton, gin and lemon juice to a shaker filled with ice. Cap the shaker and shake vigorously until well combined, about 20-30 secs.
2. Pour content into a lowball glass with some of the ice cubes, garnish with crystalized ginger (if using), serve chilled.
1. Asian pear lends a more refreshing sweetness to the cocktail, while bosc pear gives a stronger pear flavor.
2. Adjust the quantity of ginger to your liking. You may also add freshly squeezed ginger juice for an extra kick.
Yield: 3 cups (750 ml)
1 asian pear, peeled, cored and chopped
1 bosc pear, peeled, cored and chopped1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar8 slices of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped2 cups (500ml) water
1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stir occasionally. Let it simmer for just a couple minutes.
2. Remove from heat and let it steep for 45 minutes or overnight. Pour content into a blender and pureed. Strain mixer into a clean container. Refrigerate until ready to use.