Backwoods Fiddler

As served at RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay, $14

Fresh and easy does it! RM Seafood lead bartender J.R. Starkus was looking for fresh, great-tasting and approachable cocktails with which to populate his fall list. But they also had to be easy to make when the restaurant’s bar is hoppin’—as is often the case—and hopefully easy for guests to replicate at their own events. So he created one!

“At RM Seafood we focus on seasonal, sustainable ingredients,” Starkus says. “I like to make all kinds of cocktails, but always keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be complicated to be great.” Combining Hangar One’s spiced pear-flavored vodka with real pear purée and a deeply cinnamon-flavored house-made syrup, this one is sure to launch you into fall mode (it’s autumn-matic!) and is even simple enough to bring home for the holidays.

  • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ½ ounce cinnamon simple syrup (recipe below)
  • 1½ ounce Funkin pear purée
  • 1½ ounce Hangar One Spiced Pear vodka
  • 1 dehydrated, cinnamon-dusted pear chip for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a pint glass, add ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and float the pear chip garnish on the surface of the cocktail.

Mise en Place: Cinnamon Syrup

Bring a 50/50 ratio of water and sugar to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to medium and add 2-3 whole cinnamon sticks. Allow to steep—tasting periodically—until you’ve reached the desired flavor intensity (about 10 to 12 minutes). Remove from heat, cool slightly, then strain through a cheesecloth or fine strainer and refrigerate.

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