Happy Hour: French Pearl Cocktail

Pegu Club's French Pearl Cocktail

 

At our recent Cocktails Through the Ages event, we savored this refreshing, elegant libation created by mixologist Audrey Saunders of Pegu Club, one of New York City's most renowned cocktail institutions. The French Pearl is a tribute to the Beaux-Arts Neoclassical architectural movement of the late 1800s in France, an era in which sipping pastis was quite fashionable. The “pearl” refers to the visual opacity of the drink—an effect referred to as “louching,” which naturally occurs when any anise-flavored liqueur or spirit meets water. Get the recipe here. 

 

Elena North-Kelly is senior editor at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on ... Read more >

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Raising the Bar: How to Make Better Cocktails at Home with Audrey Saunders

Audrey Saunders of New York City's Pegu Club

 

We tapped the Pegu Club owner and 2013 JBF Gala mixologist to share her tips for better at-home mixology.

 

Simple Syrup, Simply Put

When it comes to cocktails, we don’t want to cook simple syrup; that increases its viscosity. There are exceptions, but we generally don’t want heaviness in a cocktail. Fill a bottle halfway with superfine sugar, which is gritless and dissolves instantly. (I like to repurpose 10-ounce glass soda bottles. They’re ideal for home use and a speed pourer fits perfectly into them.) Fill the other half with filtered, room-temperature water. Cap and shake well. The mixture will appear cloudy at first but will quickly settle. Top off with more water. When it’s transparent, it’s ready for use.

 

Vermouth: Smaller Is Better

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Recipe: Pegu Club's Gin-Gin Mule Cocktail

Pegu Club's Audrey Saunders and her Gin-Gin Mule cocktail

 

This fresh and vibrant cocktail is one of Pegu Club’s signature drinks. “The trick is the homemade ginger beer, which is non-negotiable," says Audrey Saunders, who opened the bar in 2005. “Commercially produced ginger beer is laden with sugar, which suppresses the bright, bold flavor profile of this drink.” Thankfully, the accompanying ginger beer recipe yields a whole gallon, so your Gin-Gin Mules will only be a few shakes away for weeks to come. Get the recipe here.

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