I love the holiday season. There are Christmas decorations, treats, getting together with friends and family, colder weather (not happening this year!), and cocktails! This is my new favorite cocktail. It is slightly sweet, fizzy, and it feels celebratory. It is not as strong as my usual fall/winter cocktail (a Calvados sidecar), so that means that I can have more than one, and then have wine with dinner without getting too tipsy. I made it for Thanksgiving and will be making it again for Christmas.
I tried this cocktail with many different pear ciders. For the most part, I liked the pear ciders from Normandy the most. They have great fragrance and flavor and are perfect in this cocktail. Bordelet, which I discovered at Momofuku CCDC (seriously, order it next time you are there), and Etienne Dupont are both fantastic. One of the American ciders that stood out from all the ones I tasted was Doc’s Draft. And a word of caution, although widely available, I really did not like the Ace’s Pear Cider, it tastes synthetic. For the brandy, you can get one of the classic French ones, or you can try Clear Creek Distillery’s pear brandy from Oregon.
Adapted from this NY Times recipe.
Ingredients for Cocktail:
- 1 ½ ounces Poire William
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¾ ounce pear-vanilla simple syrup
- Dry Pear Cider
For the pear-vanilla syrup:
- 1 small ripe pear, diced
- 1 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- Make the simple syrup. In a small sauce pan, combine the pear, vanilla bean, sugar, and water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat, let cool, and strain. Refrigerate in a glass container.
- For each drink, combine all ingredients for the cocktail in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into a champagne flute, and top with Pear Cider. To make drinks for a crowd, mix the base (Poire William, lemon juice, and simple syrup) for the number of people who you will be serving, place in a glass carafe, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Once you are ready to serve the cocktails, just pour into the glasses, and top with the pear cider. The base will be cold, so you won’t have to shake it in the cocktail shaker prior to serving.