The French Pearl was a flagship cocktail at Audrey Saunders’ now-closed Pegu Club in New York City. It’s a perfect example of why Saunders is regarded as the reigning queen of the American cocktail revival; each flavor is perfectly balanced, and the drink is a feast for the eyes, nose, and tongue.
The pearlescent white color comes from the pastis (an anise liqueur). Anise liqueurs display an effect called “louching” when introduced to water, as the formerly-clear spirit becomes white and opaque. The effect is stunning, like a glassful of cool white mist.
Gently muddle the mint leaves in a shaker, with the lime juice and syrup. Add the remaining ingredients and ice. Shake well, and then double-strain through a fine mesh strainer into a chilled cocktail or coupe glass. Garnish with a mint sprig poked through the center of a lime wheel.
- French Pearl Cocktail recipe at the James Beard Foundation