Pale End of the Day cocktail photo

Pale End of the Day

An exceptional vermouth-centric cocktail with a refreshing body and comforting winter flavors

NO 193
NO 193
Pale End of the Day cocktail photo Pale End of the Day cocktail photo

Recipe

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir until the sides are frosty
  2. Serve in a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with pear slice
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Adapted From

Vermouth, Brad Thomas Parsons, 2015

Tucked between the pages of Adam Ford’s loving history and guidebook Vermouth, this amazing drink skillfully balances a fruity and refreshing profile with ingredients as crisp and wintry as a pale November day. And while we don’t really keep an archive of best-named cocktails, this one would be on it. It sports a keenly poetic epithet—one that references both the color of the drink as well as the light seen in early winter: the kind where the sun is low and the sky is dressed in a cool pale blue. With a finer vermouth this drink can be simply magical, harboring a personality that perfectly accompanies long dinners and holiday toasts.

The pale end of the day resides in a rare category of vermouth-centric cocktails. This particular recipe is built around blanc vermouth and works by combining that ingredient’s fruity and mild bittersweetness with fragrant pear. It’s a simple one-two punch that is endlessly drinkable and visually stunning, flashing a color that emulates the meat of the pear that floats inside it. The drink smells mostly like vermouth, with subtle notes of pear and a little spice for those who choose a spiced pear liqueur. The sip is sweet, sour, and engaging on the front of the tongue from the vermouth. It finishes with pear and herbs from the vermouth, followed by a little heat at the end and a lingering sweetness.

As aforementioned, this drink is built around blanc vermouth and shines brightest when built around a carefully chosen variety of high quality. We absolutely love Del Professore Classic Bianco Vermouth in this recipe. It’s a bit more expensive, but undoubtedly worth it. In the same way that a quality whiskey makes an old-fashioned, the expressiveness of this bottle carries the drink beyond a simple two-dimensional affair. The original recipe calls for vodka, but we prefer it with gin; as we found the abrasiveness of vodka distracted a bit from the drink’s delicate flavors. We employ a gin with a clean, martini-oriented profile that isn’t juniper heavy and lies closer to vodka on the spectrum. We used St. George’s spiced pear liqueur in this drink and it was magnificent, but a classic pear liqueur will work just as well. The original recipe specifies to “stir until almost freezing” which is a strange request, as it is physically impossible to freeze a drink while stirring. We rounded down and stirred the drink until the mixing glass became frosty on the sides before serving it into a chilled glass.

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