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 31, 2013

Forbidden Pear Cocktail

You can do champagne, and then you can really class it up and do champagne cocktails for New Year's Eve.  Whether you're hosting a party and pouring cocktails all night or want to do something special for that midnight toast, this Forbidden Pear cocktail is sure to impress your guests.  It's a slight twist on's Forbidden Apple recipe, which is also a slight twist on a traditional champagne cocktail (sugar, bitters, champs).  Isn't almost any cocktail a twist on something classic? used Calvados, which is an apple brandy, Grand Marnier and some Angostura bitters.  Instead of Calvados, I used J Pear Liqueur, which I included in a Spiced Pear Margarita for last New Year's Eve.  I absolutely love this stuff.  It's made by J Vineyards & Winery in Healdsburg, California using Bartlett pears and has hints of cinnamon, vanilla and honey — perfect for winter.  If you can't find this particular liqueur, feel free to use any kind of pear brandy, as well as your favorite aromatic bitters.  I had recently finished making a batch of aromatic bitters for my little Bitter Revenge line to give out during the holidays.  I left out the orange twist, as I wanted to taste more of the pear notes.  I can't wait to make this drink for friends and really kick off the New Year, or just find an excuse to celebrate anytime this winter.  It's a rich, slightly sweet libation that makes any special occasion feel a little more luxe.

Forbidden Pear 
  • 3-5 dashes of Angostura or aromatic bitters (I used my Bitter Revenge "Et Tu, Brute" house bitters)
  • 1/2 oz Grand Marnier
  • 1 oz pear brandy (I used J Pear Liqueur)
  • 4 oz champagne (I used Moet Chandon's Imperial)
  • Optional - orange twist for garnish
- Add the bitters, Grand Marnier and pear brandy into a champagne flute.
- Top with champagne.
- Optional to add the orange twist.