A Gin Cocktail for Everyone
A short while ago, I was approached by Brian Jarusik, General Manager of The Establishment. He told me about an email he had just received from a woman who had come with her husband for their 10-year wedding anniversary. She said that their night with us was one of the best overall dining experiences they have ever enjoyed. She also said her husband, several months later, is still raving about this cocktail he enjoyed while dining with us. She didn’t remember what the ingredients were except for gin and pear puree. She was hoping that she could get the full recipe so she could surprise her husband with one.
I was flattered. This is exactly what we strive for at The Establishment: creating experiences. Not just a great meal with super-fresh, hyper-local, innovative dishes and creative craft cocktails (and arguably one of the best wine selections in the city). But that dining experience that you’ll remember and talk about with friends and family for months, even years later.
The cocktail she was referring to is The Impressionist which, save for a few tweaks, has been with The Establishment cocktail program since the beginning. It is the drink that has turned countless “I don’t like gin” people into “Wow! I normally don’t like gin drinks but this is fantastic” people.
I’m not positive what it is about this cocktail that makes it so appealing to such a wide range of taste preferences or palates, but I have an idea. When creating cocktails, we aspire after balance. Nothing too bitter, too sweet, too tart, too boozy, but somewhere in the middle, with all the aforementioned elements represented. The Impressionist is just that. It has the booze, with an ounce and a half of gin and a prosecco topper. That booze gets leveled off with the hearty thickness of the pear puree. The lush pear puree gets cut somewhat with the tart acidity of the fresh lemon juice, and the lemon juice is smoothed over by the rosemary and clove simple syrup.
We originally started with just a rosemary simple syrup and that played very well with the botanicals of the gin, but kind of got lost in the denseness of the pear puree. So, we added some crushed whole clove to the rosemary syrup and it really brought everything together. That “winter spice” element of the whole clove compliments the gin botanicals, the rosemary and especially the pear puree.
The pear puree itself is another adjustment we made that helped elevate this cocktail. In the beginning, we were using a frozen pear puree, which was acceptable, but it tended to be just a bit too viscous. So we started making our own from canned pear halves in syrup. Simply puree the pear halves and adjust your thickness with the syrup.
The piece de resistance of this cocktail is the garnish. About an ounce of Prosecco poured on top and folded in with a barspoon adds just the slightest effervescence. Finally, a singed rosemary sprig. Rub the rosemary around the entire rim of the glass and gently place on top of the cocktail. -FINI.
And there you have it, the life and trials of The Impressionist. If you have not yet enjoyed this cocktail, I highly recommend it for your next visit. Even if you are not a “gin person.” We have included the full recipe for The Impressionist for everyone to enjoy, and perhaps recreate on your own. I would like to conclude with a special thank you to the genuinely lovely woman who inquired about this particular recipe and hence became the inspiration for not only these recipe notes, but this entire story as well. We hope to see all of you, sooner rather than later at The Establishment, and let us talk food and drink! View Full Recipe
Until then - Cheers!