Almost every month we have a musical jamboree at our house. Musician friends (and their partners) get together for some amazing food, laughter, drinks, and music. I try to have a particular cocktail in mind for these get togethers, and last month Debra told me we should explore tequila. Mary Cass is also a tequila fan, so I knew this to be a good idea.
Enter Imbibe Magazine. Are you surprised to learn I am a subscriber? Didn't think so. Imbibe posted a drink recipe, La Perla, that calls for tequila, pear liqueur, and manzanilla sherry. I knew right away that would be the cocktail to serve at the next Jamboree. The booze locker is full of tequila, so I just needed to find manzanilla sherry and pear liqueur. Or did I? Pear liqueur is easy to make and tastes amazing.
~The recipe calls for two pears. One will be used at the onset, the other 5 days later.
~I used Bartlett pears, because that is what I had, but any type of pear will be fine.
~I used Amaretto as my secondary flavor, you can use something else if you like. Vanilla or maple would be very nice. You could even spice it up with a cinnamon stick.
~A quart sized Mason jar will not hold the steeping liqueur. I started with a jar and then switched to a glass ice bucket covered with plastic wrap for the second part.
2 ripe pears, wash well especially if not organic
1 cup brandy
1/4 cup Amaretto
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Remove the seeds and core from one pear, leave skin on, and chop.
Place the chopped pear in a large sealable jar and top with brandy and Amaretto. If the alcohol does not cover the pear, then add a little more. Place this mixture in the fridge and let steep for 5 days. Give it a little swirl when you think of it.
After 5 days, chop the second pear in the same manner as the first. Add the newly chopped pear, water, and sugar to a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Let cool.
Once cooled, add the pear mixture you just made to the pear mixture that has been steeping for 5 days. Give it a stir and let steep an additional 2 days. Taste. If it has reached the flavor you like it is time to strain, if not, let is sit a couple more days.
First, pour the pears and their liquid through a fine mesh strainer. Strain a second time using coffee filters or a jelly bag. Pour into a pretty bottle or jar and enjoy.
The deep fruitiness of a reposado tequila meets the richness of an elegant pear liqueur, with the delicate flavor of manzanilla tying the ingredients together.
1 1/2 oz. tequila reposado
1 1/2 oz. manzanilla sherry
3/4 oz. Mathilde pear liqueur
Tools: mixing glass, bar spoon, strainer
Glass: cocktail, chilled
Garnish: lemon twist
Stir ingredients with ice and strain into glass. Garnish.
Jacques Bezuidenhout, San Francisco