Cocktail Recipe: The Pear Dream

cognac apple brandy St. Germain craft cocktail
The Pear Dream cocktail
Ingredients
  • 1½ oz A. de Fussigny Selection cognac
  • ½ oz Laird’s straight apple brandy
  • ¾ oz pear juice
  • ½ oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur
  • ¼ oz simple syrup
  • ¼ oz lemon juice
Tools
Glass

Libbey 3773 Embassy 5.5 oz champagne coupe

Instructions

This one’s easy: shake the ingredients with ice, and strain into a coupe.

Tasting Notes

In light of what’s happening in Washington DC later today, I’m sure many of us could use a drink. Given how appealing Canada is starting to sound—despite it being the dead of winter—I thought I’d choose one of several drinks I have inspired by the Canadian sketch comedy troupe Kids in the Hall. This one is named for The Pear Dream sketch, which might be the sort of thing you’ll only appreciate if you grew up watching it the way I did.

First, a few notes on the ingredients. Unlike a number of other spirits (notable exceptions being vermouth and Lillet), St. Germain definitely goes bad over time. In addition to turning a few shades darker, it loses some of its brightness and takes on an unwelcome bitter note, so make sure you have a relatively new bottle. Unless you’re churning out a lot of drinks with it, consider opting for the smaller size. As for the other spirits, you have a bit of leeway with the cognac. While your choice will affect the final flavor of the drink, it seems like just about any decent VS or VSOP cognac will get you in the ballpark of what I make. However, when it comes to the apple brandy, do not get Laird’s applejack—stick to the bonded straight apple brandy instead. The former is mostly neutral grain spirits while the latter is pure American apple brandy goodness. Finally, let’s talk juices. I’m usually happier making this cocktail with Meyer lemon juice, but sometimes you have to settle. As for pear juice, if you can/want to juice your own pears, I’m sure that’s great, but I’ve always settled for a bottle of pear juice from Whole Foods.

What you’re going to end up with is a drink that puts pear flavors front and center, hence the choice of cognac as the base spirit. Apple brandy nicely complements pear, and the elderflower liqueur adds a bit of a floral note and some sweetness without being overbearing. The small amounts of lemon juice and simple syrup brighten and round out the drink.

Could you try to add baking spice notes to this or complicate the drink in another way? Perhaps, but as it is, it’s refreshing and easy drinking year round. I like making these for my friends who aren’t cocktail aficionados but are interested in something beyond their usual Greyhound or Vodka Tonic, although I’m perfectly happy to drink one myself.

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