Friday, January 17, 2020

Cockney Stairs

This was my entry for Bombay Sapphire's Most Imaginative Bartender competition a few years ago. I just never got around to posting it. It really is just a touch of English time in a cocktail. Not the most imaginative thing I've ever done but it is a pretty tasty drink. It's definitely better as a batched drink. 

1/8th Honeycrisp Apple
1/8th Red Delicious Apple
1/8th Bartlett Pear
1/8th Starkrimson Pear
15 Black Peppercorns
5 Cardamom Pods
4 Allspice Berries
1 Star Anise Pod
1 1/2 oz. Bombay Sapphire
1/2 oz. Raw Honey
4 1/2 oz. Hot Water
1 1/2 oz. Whole Milk

Using a mortar and pestle, pulverize the peppercorn, cardamom, allspice, and anise. Dice the apples and pears. Bring water to a boil. Add 4 1/2 oz. of the water and all the other ingredients aside from the milk and gin to a french press coffee maker. Stir lightly and apply the cap. Froth the milk using a steamer or motorized frother. Add the gin to an Irish coffee glass. Once the cocktail has steeped for approximately 2 minutes strain the cocktail into the glass. Top with the frothy milk.

The inspiration for this drink was a trend I've seen in coffee shops repurposing their tools. I've seen coffee shops use a milk steamer to make hot chocolate and even small servings of mulled wine. The heat helps the infusion process and aromatics. A go-to nightcap of a friend is boiling water, with a lemon peel, and just a touch of gin. I decided to take the flavors just a little further with some juicy, sweet, and floral apples and pears along with some spices. Adding some warm milk turns this drink adds a touch of British heritage, softening out any intense edges that may have over intensified in the infusion process, as if you were having a nice midday tea. 

The name come from cockney rhyming slang where one would use phrases like "Apples and Pears" to replace works like "Stairs". There is some peculiarity in that the phrase "Apples and pears" became so widely known to people who didn't understand cockney slang it's actually fallen out of fashion. 

Excerpt from Austin Powers Goldmember:
Nigel: Don't you remember the crimbo din-din we had with the grotty Scots bint?
Austin: Oh, the one that was all sixes and sevens!
Nigel: Yeah, yeah, she was the trouble and strife of the Morris dancer what lived up the apples and pears!

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