I was a theater geek in high school. In general, high schoolers are always putting on different faces and trying out the different sides of their blossoming personalities. On the stage all that posturing was sanctioned. I especially loved how the lighting made everything more seductive or more foreboding just by a simple switch of the color and angle of the beam. For a short time we all looked better than our insecure, pimply selves. It was smoke and mirrors, of course, but in a play you knew exactly what to say which, as a teenager, was such a relief.

I still love setting a scene. Decorating a nice table, putting out candles and lowering the lights to have friends over for dinner makes me look more together than I actually feel most of the time. Consider this cocktail a helpful prop in setting the right mood for a gathering. The rye and pear juice are remarkably complementary and adding the Pimm’s inserts a tawny element that keeps it from being too sweet. The ginger and Pecan Wood Smoked Maple Syrup are what really give this drink interest and will put you into Cool Mixologist category. Go ahead and use these props to make yourself look more suave or more creative than you otherwise may feel. We all need a little smoke and mirrors sometimes.

1 oz rye whiskey
2 oz pear juice
½ oz Pimm’s
½ tsp Pecan Wood Smoked Maple Syrup
1 thick slice of fresh ginger
Ice

Put the first five ingredients in a glass. Muddle the ginger a bit with a spoon. Stir and add ice. Makes one showstopper of a drink.

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