By now (hopefully) most of you have recognized and appreciate that I try to keep my cocktail reviews positive and focused on the drinks and bars that I think you’d most enjoy. However, upon further reflection, I do think it’s important to also talk about cocktails that I haven’t been as happy with. As with food, cocktail preference is an extremely personal matter and to each his or her own.
Well, in a first at A Seat at the Bar, I’ve stumbled across a cocktail that I didn’t like and couldn’t finish. Despite containing some ingredients that I typically enjoy quite a bit (e.g., Mezcal, rosemary, etc.), combining them with some odd partners-in-crime (e.g., pear shrub, ginger, cardamom) simply didn’t work for me.
The cocktail name is AH-PEAR-TIF and it is a blend of Pear Brandy, Mezcal, pear shrub, ginger syrup, cardamom bitters, bitter lemon, and rosemary. First off, that’s a lot of ingredients – yet far from an unheard of quantity – and there are some aggressive flavors that have to achieve harmony and balance to make it work. The sweetness of the pear, smokiness of the Mezcal, acidity from the shrub and lemon, tanginess of the ginger, and aromatics of the cardamom and rosemary is a complex combination for anyone less than an experienced mixologist.
The offending bar will remain nameless. However, I’m betting this is more of a bartender execution issue rather than a completely bad cocktail concept. In a few months I may even go back to give the cocktail a second chance. Cheers!