The Usual
© Wendell T. Webber

After a night on the line, most chefs have a go-to drink, from cheap beer to a house bartender’s expert cocktail. Here, star chefs reveal their favorite drinks.

At the Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa Valley, chef Chris Kostow drinks local—super local. “We do a really good eau-de-vie here that we make with apples from the garden,” he says. “Straight up, really cold, that’s pretty good drinking—like Napa Valley moonshine.”

Eau-de-vie, a clear fruit brandy, is a powerful spirit that packs a serious punch. For those who don’t care to drink it straight like Kostow, here are six easy-drinking cocktails to make with eau-de-vie.

1. Pear Brandy Kami Kazi 
Pear eau-de-vie gives this citrusy cocktail a nice pear flavor without watering it down.

2. Gin Blossom 
Bartender Julie Reiner likes to pair intense apricot eau-de-vie with aromatic spirits likes juniper-scented gin.

3. Mr. Stair 
This savory pear sour also includes St-Germain for a nice floral finish.

4. Brasserie Lebbe 
This fizzy cocktail is like a pear tart in a glass.

5. Valencia 
Upgrade a mimosa with apricot eau-de-vie and a couple of dashes of orange bitters.

6. August Collins 
This fizzy summer drink features the unlikely combination of Scotch, raspberries and pear eau-de-vie.

Related: 10 Wine Cocktails
15 Beautiful Cocktails
23 Classic Cocktails

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