One year I spent New Year’s with a loved one, a lobster, and a comfortable red couch. Another Eve I started it off by cracking open some oyster shells. And ended it by ordering a glass of gin at a bar that was very unfortunately out of green olives. This year, things won’t likely be quite so … spirited. Though, I am planning to make it past midnight.
At the moment, I look to the chairman of the board and some bubbly for a little celebratory encouragement. Sinatra’s advice: come in out of the rain; those torches you carry must be drowned in champagne.
The bubbly doesn’t sing quite as loudly as old blue eyes, but it coaxes to do much of the same. And if we use sparkling wine, it presents us with a very lovely canvas to gild. Should you feel so inclined.
The undertones of rosemary offer up a gentle kick, reminiscent of the recent holiday. While the pear lends a certain cozy sweetness to help us all settle into winter. The effect is subtle, but it’s a festive change of pace from straight bubbles.
So who knows what old Eve and her year ahead will serve up. It’s blank at the moment. Best we can do is toast to it all. To the last drinks of the year and to whatever the next round may bring. Here’s to those that serve sparkling cocktails. Bless them all.
Rosemary Pear Sparkling Cocktails
For the rosemary pear syrup
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 ripe pear, cut into slices
3 sprigs rosemary
Pinch of salt
For the cocktail
Rosemary pear syrup, to taste (recipe above)
A bottle of sparkling wine
A lemon, the zest and a few tablespoons of lemon juice, for garnish
Additional sugar, for garnish
Prepare the syrup the night before you plan on using it by combining the sugar and water in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add the pear, sprigs of rosemary, and salt and heat until the sugar dissolves and the pear softens (about 10 minutes or so). Let the mixture cool and then place in the fridge (pears and rosemary included) overnight.
To make the cocktail, prepare a small plate filled with a few tablespoons of lemon juice and another small plate filled with a few tablespoons of sugar. Dip the rim of a cocktail glass into the plate with lemon juice and then gently roll the edges of the glass in the sugar. Place a few spoonfuls of the chilled syrup into the bottom of your glass; top with sparkling wine and garnish with lemon zest.
-This is not a serious recipe. Taste and adjust as you go. Heck, drink the whole bottle if you have to in the name of research.
-You'll likely have leftover syrup. It wouldn't hurt to drizzle it over pears dotted with blue cheese.
-I left the skin on my pear. You could certainly peel it, should you wish to do so. If your pear happens to break up a bit during the cooking (mine held together) I imagine it's nothing a quick strain couldn't fix prior to serving.