Name That Spiced Pear Cocktail

Apple, peaches, pumpkin pie—-everybody gives it up for these fruits but how about giving it up and showing the pear some love? Bartlett (also known as Williams), Asian, Green and Red anjou, Comice, Bosc and Seckel pears are overflowing in the local markets this fall. Seriously, what are you waiting for?

It is time for me to give one of my favorite fall fruits some love and create a cocktail around it. Now brandy can be a bit confusing to most folks–running the spectrum from cough syrup mixed with lighter fluid laced with a touch of cheap perfume to a super rich, smooth elixir that will make you forget your first and last name. When it is not distilled from grapes it is called eau-de-vie and, let me tell you, a good pear brandy is a wonderful thing to have as the weather turns crisp.

For this cocktail I used R. Jelinek Pear Williams Brandy which is about $27 for 750 ml. If you would like to try something a bit smoother, go for Clear Creek’s pear brandy, which goes for about $40 for 750 ml. Drink it straight up in a snifter and enjoy the amazing fruity bouquet. Or mix it with a bit of poaching liquid and/or apple cider for those who would like something a bit lighter.


  • Pear brandy
  • Apple cider
  • Seckel pears quartered with the seeds and core removed
  • One cup of sugar
  • A few of each-cinnamon sticks, whole allspice, whole cloves

Here is how you mix it up:
In a medium saucepan, add about two cups of water, the sugar and the spices. Simmer until the sugar dissolves. Now add the pears and simmer on low for about 30 minutes. Remove the pears and let them cool. Reserve poaching liquid for the cocktail.

Straight up- Add one shot of brandy to a snifter and a slice of pear
For a spiced pear cocktail-In a snifter, add one shot of brandy to two shots of poached pear liquid and a slice of poached pear.

For the pear apple cocktail- Add one shot of brandy , one shot of cooled reserved pear poaching liquid, and one to two shots of cold apple cider into a brandy snifter or cocktail glass. Either put a slice of spiced pear into the drink or use as a garnish on the side. If you want to get crazy, add a cinnamon stick as a stirrer and or muddler.

R. Jelinek pear brandy availible at Bottle King
Clear Creek pear brandy available at Magnolia Wine and Liquors 

So grab your snifter and your smoking robe and let’s come up with a name for this bad boy.

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  1. Or if you really want get outrageous, find some Calvados — brandy distilled from apple cider in Normandy. It is not for the faint of heart. Neat, it is a bit like sipping molten steel. But it makes a hell of a flambe for lamb, pork, or any game meat. I was going to suggest a name for your concoction, Holly, but Spiro clearly has one better than I could conjur up. Nice pear, by the way.

  2. All these drink recipes always call for pricey ingredients, stuff most folks don’t readily have at hand. Why is that? And then you have to cook the pears?

    Here’s a simple, “pearish” drink with ingredients folks might actually obtain at a fair price: Irish whiskey, chilled pear nectar to taste and a dusting of nutmeg.

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