Featured Cocktails

Lucky Pear
Steve Dorsey, Rio Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas

Makes 1 serving

Pear Chips
1    firm-ripe red or yellow Bartlett pear
2-inch  piece of vanilla bean
1/4    cup granulated sugar
Fleur de sel

Cocktail
1    well-ripened pear, chilled
Juice of 1 lemon
1-1/4    ounces (generous 2 tablespoons) vanilla flavored vodka, chilled
1    ounce (2 tablespoons) rock candy syrup*
1/2    ounce (1 tablespoon) cointreau
1    dash orange bitters or bitters
Red pear chips

To make pear chips, preheat oven to 300ºF convection or 325ºF conventional. Place a silpat or piece of parchment paper on the back side of a baking sheet.

Slice unpeeled pear vertically into paper-thin slices (1/16-inch or less). Discard core. Lay slices in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean and combine with sugar. Lightly sprinkle top side of pear slices with vanilla sugar and a pinch of fleur de sel. Reserve leftover vanilla sugar for another use.

Bake 20-25 minutes until lightly browned and dehydrated. While hot, peel slices off tray and return to tray to cool completely. Best used within 4-6 hours.

To make drink, set a cocktail glass in the freezer to chill. Peel, core and chop pear. Place pear in a cocktail shaker; muddle well with a cocktail muddler or flexible spatula. Add 2-3 ice cubes and remaining ingredients. Shake well and strain through a large holed Hawthorne strainer or mesh sieve. Pour into chilled glass and garnish with a pear chip.

*Rock Candy Syrup is double strength simple syrup. To make, combine 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a strong boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until slightly syrupy. Cool.

Note:  For more servings, double or triple recipe and whirl all ingredients in a blender.

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