Pearls adorn the necks and wrists of classy ladies around the world. One evening two classy ladies (Ms. Wulf Cocktail Den and our friend Sonia), one fine gentleman (our friend Joel, who is Sonia's husband), and I (definitely not a lady and occasionally a gentleman) went into the Den to create a new gin based cocktail. After experimenting with various gins, fruits, vegetables, and bitters, the Reston Pearl is the result of our very fun efforts.
2 ounces gin (we used the Botanist)
.5 ounces honey syrup
4-5 small cucumber chunks
2 dashes Lem-Marrakech bitters from Bittered Sling
Muddle the cucumber and gin at the bottom of a shaker, add ice and the other ingredients, stir with the subtle strength of a pearl diver, and strain into a chilled glass.
You're probably wondering about the name. Seems pretty random, doesn't it? You'd be correct, except Sonia and Joel live in Reston, Virginia, and "Pearl" was Sonia's nickname when she was a girl.
The gin and cucumber give the Reston Pearl a crisp taste, the honey syrup adds a little sweetness, and the bitters bring in a hint of tartness. Although the muddling process is the same as with a Mint Julep, you can use a little more force with cucumber than you would with mint. The honey syrup isn't hard to make, and if you have any left over you can use it in a Cool Summer Breeze or A Thief In The Night. If you can't get the specific bitters from Bittered Sling, another citrus flavor, e.g. orange, will work well.
So when will the Reston Pearl adorn your taste buds?