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La Pera, Chazz : A Bronx Original

"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


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