The holiday season is upon us. That means a busy social calendar and entertaining. I saw the recipe for this martini in 425 Magazine, a local publication out of Bellevue.
I must confess that many of my recipe trials happen at dinner parties that I host. While some people like to venture on the safe side when it comes to entertaining, I like to experiment and get out of my comfort zone. I typically use recipes as a reference, but never truly follow the directions. Inevitably, I switch out ingredients or adapt them to create a healthier version.
I featured his particular cocktail as the signature cocktail at an inaugural Supper Club dinner that my partner and I hosted. It was a big hit!
This is a simple martini to make, and the elements can be prepared ahead of time, so that you can relax and enjoy your company. Relationships, gratitude, and love are the foundation of this season after all.
The organic pears this season out of Lake Chelan, Washington, are exceptional. I chose to use the Bartlett variety because I like the flavor and texture of that pear most. However, I think a nice juicy, red pear would render great flavor and a slightly red-tinged simple syrup. This could be beautiful for the holidays.
This Pear-tini has a subtle and complex elegance about it. It is certainly not a “girlie” drink. I served this with some warm rosemary cashews and bruleed brie that my partner made. The combination was heavenly!
The recipe calls for Calvados, a pear brandy from the Normandy region of France. This was not something that I had any experience with. Thankfully, Town & Country had a beautiful option available: Calvados du Pays d’Auge Reserve. It is so delicious.
It is worth taking the time to make the simple syrup from scratch, rather than trying to replace it with a pre-made, artificially flavored pear syrup. Quality ingredients make for a quality end result.
Raise a glass and toast with your loved ones. Acknowledge how privileged we are to live in such a beautiful place. When you identify the parts of your life that you are grateful for on a daily basis, your spirits rise, even when the skies turn gray and the rain starts to fall.
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
2 star anises
Generous splash of Calvados
1 ½ shots of vodka
1 shot of pear simple syrup
½ shot of fresh squeezed lemon juice
Cube pear. Remove the seeds, but leave the skins on.
In a pan, poach pear cubes in water with sugar, star anises, and Calvados. Let the mixture simmer for fifteen to twenty minutes. Strain and cool. If refrigerated, the mixture will keep for a few weeks.
Place ingredients in a cocktail shaker with lots of ice and shake well. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with a fresh pear slice.