Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Dec 27, 2012

Spiced Pear Margarita

For New Year's Eve, I'll be in tucked away in a log cabin in Big Bear with a few of my close girl friends.  There will be plenty of champagne and good wine, and of course, a specialty cocktail to ring in the new year.  All of us love our margaritas, so I'll be making this winter version from The Kitchn that uses pear and holiday spices.  If you plan on making this libation, be sure to start preparing the simple syrup a couple of days in advance so the spices have time to steep.  For the pear brandy or eau-de-vie, I used J Pear Liqueur by J Wine Company, which the fine folks at K&L Wine Merchants highly recommended.  Here's to a new year and plenty more Lush Chef treats!

Spiced Pear Margarita
Ingredients for the spiced simple syrup:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 8 whole cloves
Ingredients for the spiced sugar:
  • 1/2 cup fine granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
Ingredients for the cocktail:
  • 1 1/2 oz silver tequila (I used Patrón)
  • 3/4 oz pear brandy (I used J Pear Liqueur)
  • 1 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 3/4 oz spiced syrup
To make the spiced simple syrup:
- In a small sauce pan, add all the ingredients, stir and bring to a boil.
- Lower heat to medium-low so it simmers for about 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool before transferring to a container in the fridge.
- Let the ingredients steep for 24-48 hours and strain the spices.

To prepare the garnish:
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
- Take a chilled coupe and lightly dip the rim in the simple syrup.
- Dip the glass in the spiced sugar and set aside.

To make the cocktail:
- In a shaker filled with ice, add all the ingredients.
- Shake and strain into your prepared glass.