Shannon Tebay moved from her job at New York City's highly regarded Lower East Side cocktail bar, Death & Co., to take the position of Head Bartender at the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel in London. Ironically, she is the first American to take this hallowed job at the oldest cocktail bar in the city—it has been open since the 1890s. The bar regularly makes the list of best bars in the world, and has even made it to the top of the list. Tebay's path to bartending was somewhat circuitous, but every step along the way was based on her passion for creativity, which she brings to every cocktail she creates.
Tebay prefers to use a cocktail spoon to gently mix this drink and coax the flavors out of the ingredients until it tastes just right. But how do you know when it's ready? She recommends using a small straw to taste as you stir, and when the drink is bracingly cold and has a smooth, silky texture, it's ready. She uses a Hawthorne strainer, a utensil with a flat metal back and a handle, with a coil wrapped around the top edge. The coil fits snuggly on top of the mixing glass, making it easy to cleanly strain the cocktail into the glass. Tebay likes to use pint glasses to mix cocktails. They are sturdy and cause less breakage behind the bar. She uses 1 large ice cube to serve the drink. Smaller ice cubes melt a little too quickly, causing too much dilution and resulting in a cocktail with quickly muted flavors.
This Old-Fashioned–style cocktail gets a fruity kick from pear brandy and gentle sweetness from honey; the bourbon adds a bite without overpowering the drink. Pear brandy is a highly aromatic and unsweetened liquor made from fermented pears.