Make the puree for this poached pear and gin cocktail the day before so your happy hour can be truly happy.
The delicate sweetness of pear juice is enhanced in a fool-proof simple syrup. Simple syrup is simply sugar and water. Many recipes call for one part sugar and one part water but I don’t like my cocktails to be extremely sweet. This recipe calls for less sugar and relies on the natural sweetness of the pear.
As for the pears, I like to use over ripe Boscs or Bartletts in a pinch. Bosc pears are usually thinner than the more common and plump Anjou pears. Bosc pears are usually light brown with textured skin. Use very ripe Bosc or Bartlett pears if you can and by poaching the pears in syrup you’ll preserve the flavor without adding too much sweetness.
Gin is a sweet liquor to begin with so I recommend using a more aromatic gin like Hendricks which will add herbal notes. Sometimes I find that too many herbal notes make a cocktail taste like a bubble bath, but you should be okay with this one. Plus, adding a lemon peel balances the sweetness and ads a pop of color.
Pear Gin Cocktail
Makes 4 cocktails
Peel and slice the pear into small pieces. Add to a medium sauce pan with the water and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a slight boil (about 5 minutes) and then simmer over low heat for 10 minutes to poach the pear.
Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature and then puree in a blender or food processor.
Add 2 oz. pear puree and 1 oz gin to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake for 20 seconds and pour into a champagne flute. Use a vegetable peeler to peel a 2 inch strip of lemon peel and add to each glass.
Note: this recipe can be easily doubled or tripled for more guests.
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Photo credit: Ally Jane Grossan