I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Rosemary Pear Martini

I always think it’s nice to start off the Thanksgiving celebrations with a special cocktail and a few nibbles.  It sets a convivial mood and keeps everyone occupied while the last touches of the meal are being tended too.  Frankly, I like to have everyone’s hands busy while I am trying to get the food on the table so they stay out of my way!

This lovely little tipple is redolent of fall, with a hint of woodsy rosemary and sweet juicy pear.  I love to have the rosemary simple syrup around to sweeten other cocktails or a cup of tea, so make whole batch. The elderflower liqueur is optional, but adds a secret floral undertone that really brightens the drink.  I love this as a sophisticated martini, but you could also up the amount of simple syrup and serve it over ice topped with soda as a long drink.  And increase the amounts as much as needed to serve your guests.

Rosemary Pear Martini

For one drink:

1 Tablespoon rosemary simple syrup*

2 Tablespoons pear vodka (such as Absolut Pear)

½ Tablespoon St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur

½  cup pear juice (such as Ceres or Looza)

Place all the ingredients over a handful of ice in a shaker or pitcher.  Shake or stir well.  Strain into a martini glass.

For a pitcher:

¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons rosemary simple syrup

¾ cup pear vodka

3 Tablespoons St. Germain Liqueur

3 cups pear juice

Place all the ingredients in a pitcher over ice.  Stir well, then strain into martini glasses.

Makes 6 drinks

*Rosemary Simple Syrup

In a medium saucepan, stir together 1 cup sugar and one cup water.  Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve, and drop in a handful of rosemary stalks.  Stir to submerge the rosemary and boil for 3 minutes until the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from the heat, cover the pan, and leave to cool.  The syrup can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 1 cup

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