It’s true fall and your farmers market is abundant with fruit, particularly apples and pears. I have this love/hate relationship with pears that cannot be solved. When good, a pear is the best fruit possible. Of course, a pear is at its peak for all of 90 minutes it seems.
Still, Suzen and I have been looking and we have some wonderful fall pear recipes to share with you. This is the first one, a pear cocktail from Martha Stewart. Now the recipe below is exactly what Martha says, and it uses pear nectar. The recipe is good, but there are alternative paths to explore.
For example, I prefer fresh pears, over nectar
And, this recipe uses bourbon. Martha is a bourbon woman. My Suzi is not. Sometimes, the power of bourbon can overcome the delicacy of pear. So, here is what I suggest. First, make this recipe as you see it below to get that base feeling for flavor. Then, try these changes:
- · Use a fresh pear, not nectar. Peel and slice the pear, then muddle it. To get a fluid [like nectar], and not just muddle mush, add some liquid like some simple syrup and the lemon juice. Then keep muddling away. When you shake your cocktail, really, really shake it.
- · Alternatively, after muddling, put the whole thing, including a few ice cubes and the booze, into a blender — or, much better, a Vitamix. You’ll get a “Pina Colada” style beverage that is cold, thick, and yummy.
- · Change the liquor from bourbon to something less intense. I’ve used gin, Suzen’s favorite. A low alcohol silver tequila would work. Dark, aged tequila may just have too much flavor power for those pears. Pear vodka? Don’t use the commercial versions. I’ll blog a much better homemade version this week.
- · Change the sage for other herbs, certainly mint, perhaps rosemary
Pear Nectar Cocktail with Bourbon and Sage
Yield: 1 cocktail
- 4 sage leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon superfine sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 ounces bourbon
- 2 ounces pear nectar
- 1 red pear slice, for garnish
Muddle sage, sugar, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker until fragrant. Add bourbon and pear nectar. Shake and strain into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with a pear slice.
Source: Base recipe from Martha Stewart Living
Brian and I are working our way through Kim Haasarud’s wonderful 101 Champagne Cocktails. We’ve learned that we like recipes with some sophistication: working with multiple ingredients you can introduce layers of flavor that absolutely confuse your tongue. And that confusion is a terrific characteristic for a cocktail. You tell yourself: I like this. And you immediately ask yourself: what is this.
By having multiple flavors, in little amounts, added to champagne you can truly create enchanting beverages. This cocktail, as with some others we have blogged, uses pear to introduce a pure fruit flavor. And some gin to provide a sting to the drink.
From Kim’s book we have also blogged the Oscar 78, another pear-flavored cocktail that is lovely. That recipe requires more effort than this one. This Pear Royale is a great ice breaker for parties. Yet it is easier to prepare. You can scale this recipe up and have a pitcher ready for your guests.
Or just for you.
Yield: 1 drink
- Simple syrup for cocktail rim
- 2 tablespoons superfine sugar, for cocktail rim
- ½ ounce pear liqueur
- ½ ounce gin
- 4 ounces slight sweet sparkly wine
- Pear slice for garnish
Wet the rim of a chilled champagne flute with simple syrup and dip into a plate of superfine sugar.
Combine the pear liqueur and gin a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Add the sparkling wine and stir. Strain into the sugar-rimmed flute and garnish with appear slice.
Source: 101 Champagne Cocktails by Kim Haasarud.