Liven up your taste buds with the fresh and fruity La Pera.

Liven up your taste buds with the fresh and fruity La Pera. (Barbara Haddock Taylor)

"Seasonal" and "classic" are buzzwords nowadays in the cocktail world, denoting the use of fresh ingredients to revive old standards.

Often, the trend falls flat; occasionally, though, it's wildly successful. It seems only fitting, then, that at Chazz: A Bronx Original, innovation comes as effortlessly as the restaurant's name implies, with the perfect pear cocktail, La Pera.

The restaurant, a fairly new addition to Harbor East, specializes in coal-fired pizza and Italian-American fare. But the bar program is hand-crafted for the season, rather than the cuisine. Adam Blake, head bartender, explains his intent: "A good drink should be simple and approachable. For the fall, I wanted to create a drink that was crisp and comforting …kind of like jumping into a pile of leaves as a kid." He's hit all three marks with La Pera, a versatile martinilike cocktail of pureed pear. Blake says Chazz tries not to reinvent the concept, but only to liven it up with fresh, quality ingredients. Blake chops, then purees, half a pear every time he makes the drink, adding pear vodka to accent the fruity flavor. St. Germain creates sweetness, while a splash of lemon juice rounds out the taste. The drink is smooth, balanced and incredibly fragrant.

Think biting into a Bartlett … only, spiked. It's that close to the real thing. And, as far as I'm concerned, a much better way to get my daily serving of fruit.

How to Make La Pera

1 1/2 oz. Absolut Pear vodka

Half a pear for 1 oz. pear puree

1/2 oz. St. Germain

1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice

Chop and puree pear; mix with vodka, St. Germain and lemon juice with ice in a shaker; strain into a chilled martini glass; garnish with a twist of fresh lemon peel.

Where to Get It

Chazz: A Bronx Original

1415 Aliceanna St., Harbor East

(410) 522-5511