The Cocktail Gadabout #80

Mile High Pear Cocktail, Coltharp, Seven Grand, LA 2017 (Imbibe #66)

[May 1st, 2017] Mixing with scotch is tricky, mixing with absinthe even trickier. But, oddly, the two mix well with each other. The Mile High Pear Cocktail isn’t the first I’ve seen the two flavour bullies together in a drink, and I was immediately drawn to the recipe due to the seemingly odd lineup of ingredients. The recipe calls for an American single malt, which I barely knew existed. My feeling is that any lighter bodied single malt will suffice. Stay away, therefore, from the peated beasts of Islay (where, incidentally, I once did veterinary work by boat). I used a bottle of Nikka Japanese single malt and the results were amazing.

When rinsing a glass with a spirit, the key is to do just that, rinse, and then discard any excess liquid. Most perform a rinse by pouring a small amount of the liquid into the glass, tipping it slightly more than 180 degrees towards the sink and then rolling the glass so that the liquid coats as it gently empties. Hopefully that makes sense.

Lastly, do not skip the lemon in this drink under any circumstances. It is the glue that binds the more dominant flavours. All ingredients are readily available but hopefully you already have some at home as the single malt and absinthe are potentially pricey. I used Rothman & Winter’s Orchard Pear but there are other lesser pear liqueurs on the market. Remember, pear brandy and eau-de-vie are not the same as pear liqueur.

Anyway, light an outdoor fire this spring and enjoy!


2 oz Light-bodied Single Malt (preferably American)
½ oz Pear Liqueur
¼ oz Simple Syrup (1:1)
2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
2 dashes Orange Bitters
1 twist Lemon
Absinthe Rinse


  1. Stir ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled, absinthe-rinsed Old Fashioned.
  2. Garnish with lemon.

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