The French Pearl* is currently in regular rotation at our house. It's a member of the gin-plus-citrus-plus-pastis-plus-something-else family of drinks. (Other outstanding members include the Corpse Reviver II.**) We first encountered it at the Pegu Club*** (its bar-of-origin) during our Glorious Gluttony Tour 2008-09, and it goes a little something like this:
2 oz ginNote: This recipe is taken almost verbatim (with the addition of various parenthetical embellishments) from here, except that I use Herbsaint (our local absinthe substitute, commonly found in Sazeracs) instead of "Pernod Absinthe" because that's what I've got in my bar, and if it's good enough for a hundred-ish years worth of high-tone New Orleans drunks, then it's good enough for me.
1/4 oz Herbsaint
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz simple syrup
1 mint sprig
Muddle (which is to say, mash together) the mint with the rest of ingredients in a cocktail shaker, add ice, shake well (extremely well—icy icy cold!), double strain (which is to say, use the cocktail strainer-thingy but also pour it through a mesh kitchen-style strainer to remove the mint chunks and any pulpy lime bits), and pour into a chilled cocktail glass.
* If your brain, like mine, rests firmly in the gutter, then this name sounds decidedly dirty (though I'm pretty sure that wasn't the intention). I have, in fact, come up with a precise alternate definition for a French Pearl, but I won't sully this family-friendly blog with the details.
** "Corpse Reviver II" (or alternately, "Corpse Reviver No. 2")—best drink name ever. "Opening in theaters this weekend, Corpse Reviver II: Return of the Reviver!"
*** For a former bartender, going to the Pegu Club was like going to Mecca. Bartenders tend towards the OCD (at least drinky-drink bartenders—I can't speak for beer slingers), and this was an obsessive-compulsive's paradise, each tool and item in its place, each step conducted with ritualistic grace, not a wasted motion. Mmm... perfectionist-licious!