We usually think of vodka like revenge: It's best served very, very cold.
So while we're used to drinking the spirit in hot weather, vodka's subtle and flexible flavor serves as an ideal base for a cocktail where you want the other ingredients to shine. In this drink we'll be enjoying all fall and into the winter, the crisp flavor of pears is enhanced by the zingy spice of ginger-sage syrup.
The balanced, herby, citrusy cocktail is a perfectly crisp start to any meal.
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
For the Ginger-Sage Simple Syrup:
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
One 1-inch pieces of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
6 sage leaves, bruised, stems included
For the Cocktail:
1½ ounces vodka
1 ounce pear juice
¼ ounce ginger-sage simple syrup
½ ounce fresh lemon juice
2 dashes orange bitters
1. Make the ginger-sage simple syrup: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the water, sugar, ginger and sage. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely before straining the syrup into an airtight container. Store the simple syrup in the refrigerator until ready to use. Make ahead: The syrup can be made up to a week in advance.
2. Make the cocktail: In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, combine the vodka, pear juice, simple syrup, lemon juice and bitters. Shake vigorously and strain into a coupe and serve.