|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 19g||7%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||3%|
|Total Sugars 17g|
|Vitamin C 1mg||4%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
As the chilly winds of autumn begin to creep into the cold days of winter, enjoy the warm, inviting taste of a spice pear liqueur that you make yourself. The recipe is very easy and it has all the comforting flavors that make the season great.
A homemade spiced pear liqueur is much like any other liquor infusion. The difference is that it is sweetened to transform it from a liquor into a liqueur. It uses a pear brandy and simple syrup base then adds fresh pear and winter spices.
The resulting liqueur is pleasantly sweet and has a wonderful taste that is perfect for creating seasonal cocktails. Since it takes just a couple of days to finish, it also makes a perfect homemade gift for the holidays.
1 medium pear, sliced
3 pods star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves
4 whole allspice
2 1/2 cups pear brandy
1/2 cup simple syrup
Gather the ingredients.
In a 1-quart canning jar, add the pear slices and spices.
Pour in the pear brandy and simple syrup.
Secure the lid and shake the jar so everything is combined.
Set in a cool, dark place and allow it to infuse for 2 to 3 days. Shake it once a day and give it a taste test on the second day to see how the flavor's developing. Do this daily until it reaches your desired taste.
Once you like the flavor, strain out the spices and fruit using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, squeezing or pressing out any excess liqueur.
Bottle the spiced pear liqueur under a tight seal and add a label with the date and flavor.
Serve in your favorite cocktails and enjoy!
- The standard bottle of liquor (called a fifth) is 750 milliliters, which is about 25 ounces. Since you need to leave room in the jar for your flavoring ingredients and syrup, you will only need about 20 ounces. Go ahead and enjoy the leftover brandy while preparing your liqueur.
- As with any homemade liqueur, it has a shorter shelf life than other liquor infusions because of the sweetener. Store the finished liqueur in the refrigerator, where it will keep well for up to 3 months.
Choose Your Liquor
Pear brandy lays a nice foundation for the liqueur, though you'll want to choose wisely because some on the market already have a sweetener (technically making them liqueurs). Non-sweetened pear brandies (eau de vie) are available from brands like St. George Spirits and Clear Creek Distillery, just read the label carefully. If the sweetened version is your only option, cut back on the syrup in the recipe.
The fun part about making your own liqueurs is that you can experiment and create a custom flavor. Feel free adjust any of the ingredients to develop your own "secret" recipe. It's difficult to go wrong, especially if you do the daily taste test.
- Use a variety of pears. Pear season begins in autumn and runs through winter, bringing with it a number of pear varieties to the market. There's no reason to add just one type to your liqueur. For instance, adding half of both an Anjou and Bartlett pear is a really nice combination. The pears don't need to be sliced any certain way and you don't have to peel them as long as they're washed. If you can fit the pear into your jar, you're good.
- Play with your syrup. While plain simple syrup makes a nice liqueur, there are alternatives. Since this is designed to have a warmer profile, consider switching from white sugar to a darker one. You can use turbinado or demerara sugars in the standard syrup recipe or mix up something like a brown sugar spiced syrup. Either option will add a nice and warm richness to the liqueur.
- Adjust the spices as you see fit. Cinnamon, star anise, and cloves are almost essential to getting a great spice blend, so you can skip the allspice if you like. If you have only ground spices available of any of them, add them to the syrup when you make it and use a little more than you normally would.
Enjoy Your Liqueur
The spiced pear liqueur can be used in a variety of cocktails. It can put a sweet seasonal spin on many brandy drinks or those that call for a pear vodka. Recipes that use pear liqueurs are obvious choices as well, even if it doesn't call for one that's spiced.
To get you started, try it instead of pear brandy in the pear cobbler recipe. It can also take the place of the nectar and spices in the spiced pear caipirini or the infused vodka in the autumn spiced tonic.
How Strong Is the Spiced Pear Liqueur?
A straight (unsweetened) pear brandy is typically bottled at 80 proof, just like grape-based brandy. The simple syrup in this recipe will bring the alcohol content down slightly. The finished liqueur should weigh in around 33 percent ABV (66 proof), which is standard for most fruit-flavored liqueurs.