My grandparents have two pear trees in their back yard and this year they reached a point where they were sick of picking pears and offered me all the pears that were left on the tree. Of course I jumped at the chance and got a couple bushels out of the deal. I really think I made off better in this deal.
Unluckily for me, it was around the same time as the wedding. Which meant we were out of town just about every weekend so I had to get those pears processed FAST. I canned pears in simple syrup. I made pear preserves. Pear butter. Pear cider. I even gave away pears. There were SO. Many. Pears!
So I ended up with about 1/4 of a bushel and no idea what to do. I had a gallon of vodka on hand (I mean who doesn’t) that wasn’t being used so I decided that pear infused vodka was a delicious and easy way to use up the last of those pears.
If you’ve never had infused vodka you’re just not doing it right! You can pretty much infuse vodka with anything. I’ve seen people do it with candy, fruits, even vanilla beans and other herbs. It’s really simple, and makes for great cocktails. Why pay more for infused vodkas when you can do it yourself?!
All you need is a large mason jar, I used a couple half gallon ones, some vodka, and whatever you’re infusing. In this case I used peeled and diced pears. Put the pears in the jar, cover it with vodka, and let it set somewhere cool and dark.
In our case we have a buffet in our dining room that we use as a liquor cabinet that was perfect for the job. Every once in a while you’ll want to check on your vodka, if the pears have soaked in the vodka and leave some exposed you can add more vodka to the top. But other than shaking it occasionally there isn’t much else you need to do.
Now that vodka has been sitting since the week I got married…so a little over 3 months now! It’s ready for use!!!
Strain out the fruit and put the vodka in a clean mason jar. You can put it in cute swing top bottles and hand it out as a presents, or just hold onto it for yourself. I honestly won’t judge either way.
Because 2015 is coming to a close, and holy cow did this year go fast, some friends and I decided it would be fun to focus on a few cocktails/mocktails for you guys to make! Of course, with all this awesome pear vodka sitting around my house I knew I needed to make something delicous with it. I’m a fan of simplicity, especially when it comes to cocktails, so I made 2 very easy and quite delicious cocktail options!
First up is a quite delicious Vanilla Pear Cocktail! If you don’t have your own homemade pear infused vodka (shame on you) you can buy pear flavored vodka and use it instead! But defintiely don’t skip out on the vanilla bean part its so yummy!
Scrap the insides of a vanilla bean into 1/2 cup of sugar, I prefer super fine sugar for this, and mix thoroughly. Use it to rim the glasses, if you don’t remember how to do that I did a little photo tutorial on my Rum Punch cocktail! Then add 1/2 cup of hot water and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
To create your cocktail you’ll do 2 parts vodka 1 part simple sugar. To fill my rocks glass I used 4 oz of pear vodka and 2 oz of simple syrup. Shake in a cocktail shaker with ice and serve in your glass. You can serve over ice if you’d like.
My second cocktail option is one that’s perfect for New Years Eve, because what is more New Years Eve-y than champagne?! I’m a sucker for a good, dry champagne (or sparkling wine since I definitely don’t have the budget for legitimate champagne). I prefer a moscato champagne, but use your favorite variety. Take 2 parts champagne and 1 part vodka. It’s amazing. The pear adds just enough sweetness to go nicely with the champagne.
You’ll feel extra fancy if you use the fun wide champagne glasses, called a coupe or saucer, versus the traditional flute. I just love them so much more. And I also break them less often. Yes, I break a LOT of glasses in our house. The danger of hand-washing everything.
Plus it always makes me think of The Great Gatsby! But you can use whatever you’ve got handy. If you’ve got pears on hand you can create a cute garnish, but all I had were the ugly chunks, so I left them out!
These cocktails will be a sophisticated and delicous hit at your New Years Eve Party, or you know any given Tuesday! And I know that the cocktails my friends made below will definitely win you some brownie points with your friends.
Grand Mariner Orange Flavored Hot Chocolate, No Bohns About It
Pear Vodka Cocktails, Little Blog On The Homestead
Pomegranate Champagne Spritzer, Cook.Craft.Love
Rosemary 75 Champagne Cocktail, Goodie Godmother
The Paco, An Aiming High Wife