A few weeks ago, I went to New York city for the first time since I really got into cocktails. I showed up with a long list of cocktail bars I wanted to visit, far more than I could ever make it to in one weekend. There are just so many great ones! And a lot of them are clustered together in the East Village: PDT, Death & Co, Amor y Amargo, and Mayahuel are all within blocks of each other. It's almost ridiculous.
One place I was very excited to visit was Pegu Club. It had a very different feel from the speakeasy-style bars: bigger and more elegant. The drinks all had a classic feel, and each one was crafted to perfection. There were very few unusual ingredients on the list. It was a reminder that simplicity can still be incredibly impressive.
I ordered the French Pearl: gin, Pernod, lime, simple syrup, mint. It's a creation of Pegu Club's owner, Audrey Saunders. She seriously has a way with cocktails. The Old Cuban is one of her recipes. She also invented the Earl Grey Martini. Her recipes have the feel of classics that have been around for ages. I think I am officially a die-hard fan.
The French Pearl is just perfect. It's like these ingredients were just begging to end up together in the same glass. Sweet and citrusy with that wonderful hint of anise. Everyone should try this cocktail.
French Pearl2 oz. gin
1/4 oz. Pernod (I used Herbsaint)
3/4 oz. lime juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup
5-6 mint leaves
Muddle lime juice, simple syrup, and mint leaves in the bottom of a shaker. Add gin and Pernod. Fill shaker with ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass or coupe. Garnish with mint and/or lime if desired.
Recipe adapted from the James Beard Foundation.