Helen can’t quit smoking

Maybe you have heard about the famous French dessert “Poire belle Hélène”, also known as Birne Helene in Germany. In Germany there is a very famous movie (almost everybody knows it) made by a famous comedian in 1991 where a dispute about the proper recipe for Birne Helene is one of the running gags. But I’m not telling you this because I want to discuss the correct ingredients for this dessert but rather to explain where the idea for today’s cocktail came from.

Ok, maybe one essential information on the dessert: Basically all the recipes for it are somehow prepared with pears (in the worst cases these are canned ones) and chocolate sauce, chocolate coating or something like that. So pear and chocolate are also the genuine characteristics of today’s cocktail recipe. But I also wanted to make something different and altered the chocolate tones a little bit by emphasizing the more original approach to chocolate in a Mexican-Aztec way.

The basis of the drink is the outstanding Moor-Birne from the German distilling house of Scheibel. The warm, aromatic and even minimally smoky notes of this pear brandy are combined with Mozart Dry Chocolate Spirit. The Mozart Dry Chocolate Spirit already is quite a different chocolate spirit and less sweet than for instance crème de cacao would be. It offers dry cocoa and vanilla notes that work excellently with the Moor-Birne. In order to emphasize the Mexican element, I have used cinnamon syrup as a source of sweetening and also risked using a particularly phenolic, intensely and cold smoky Mezcal: the Derrumbes Michoacan Mezcal. A little eggwhite adds the necessary texture to the drink while simultaneously rounding off the interplay of ingredients.

In terms of taste I was actually somewhat surprised by the result, because the smoke of the Derrumbes Michoacan Mezcal bestowed a somewhat profligate element, cold ash and notes of tobacco smoke upon the cocktail, but without disturbing the overall picture. Quite the contrary: the smoke notes are the X factor of the drink.

Recipe:

4.5 cl Scheibel Moor pear
2 cl Mozart Dry
1.5 cl of Zimtsirup
2 cl lemon juice
0.75 cl Derrumbes Michoacan Mezcal (do not increase the amount!)
½ egg white
1 Dash The Bitter Truth Chocolate Bitters

Preparation: First, do a “dry shake” without ice in your shaker. Then add ice, shake again vigorously for about 30 seconds and finally strain into your pre-chilled glass filled with fresh ice cubes.

Glass: punchbowl cup or small dessert bowl

Garnish: any smoking utensil (a tobacco pipe, a broken cigarette or the like)

Buying sources: At specialized retailers or online

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