1 firm-ripe red or yellow Bartlett pear
2” piece of vanilla bean
¼ cup granulated sugar as needed, fleur de sel
1 well-ripened pear, chilled
juice of 1 lemon
1 ¼ oz. vanilla-flavored vodka, chilled
1 oz. rock candy syrup (recipe follows)
½ oz. Cointreau
1 dash orange bitters or bitters for garnish, salted red pear chips
Rock Candy Syrup:
1 cup sugar
½ cup water
Preheat oven to 300°F convection or 325°F conventional. Place a silpat or piece of parchment paper on back side of a baking sheet.
For pear chips: Slice unpeeled pear vertically into paper-thin slices (1/16th 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.
For 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.
For rock candy syrup: Rock candy syrup is double-strength simple syrup. To make, combine sugar and water in saucepan. Bring to a strong boil; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until slightly syrupy. Cool.
Note: For more servings, double or triple the recipe and whirl cocktail ingredients in a blender.