10 Pear Cocktails to Brighten Your Holiday Spirit

Hailed as a “gift of the gods” by the Greek poet Homer in his epic The Odyssey, the venerable pear has graced civilizations for more than four thousand years. For a chunk of that time, crafty folks have been incorporating the fruit into their alcoholic beverages. Like other fruits, pears are a delicious and creative ingredient, and it’s no surprise that mixologists jump at the chance to include them in their libations. Even though there are plenty of reasons to eat pears for their nutritious value, there are also reasons incorporate pears into more fun parts of the menu. Whether muddled, juiced, mixed, pureed, shaken or stirred, pears present countless possibilities as a cocktail ingredient. Because it’s the holiday season as well as pear season – not to mention National Pear Month – we figure there’s no better time to Continue reading

Pear and Pineapple Green Smoothie

Looking for a smoothie that combines both fruits and vegetables and still tastes delicious? Look no further! This recipe includes a full cup of spinach and several sprigs of brightly-flavored cilantro. These flavors are balanced by the honey-sweetness of pear and the tanginess of pineapple. Add refreshing coconut water as a base, and you’ve created the perfect green smoothie. Ingredients 1 ripe USA Pear, such as Anjou, Bartlett, Concorde, or Comice, cored and cut into large chunks 1 ½ cups cubed pineapple 1 packed cup spinach 10-12 sprigs fresh cilantro 1 cup cold coconut water Directions Place all of the ingredients into a blender and puree at high speed until smooth. prep time: 5 minutes yield: 2 servings Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn

White Sangria with Pear and Cranberry

The holidays are officially upon us! While I love to indulge in a little egg nog, mulled wine, or a hot buttered rum this time of year, sometimes I find myself wishing there were some lighter cocktail options available. I created this festive white sangria with just that issue in mind. My sangria is both beautiful and seasonally appropriate thanks to the addition of a simple cranberry syrup and colorful red and green pears. If you’ve never used pear brandy in a cocktail before, prepare to fall in love! It has an incredible concentrated pear flavor and is a great addition to many different cocktails. I recommend Clear Creek Distillery’s version, which is made exclusively with Oregon grown pears. This is the perfect drink to hand your guests as they arrive at your holiday gathering. Consider pairing this cocktail with Continue reading

Pear Drinking Vinegar: Part 2

I’ve been suspiciously quiet on my drinking vinegar experiment, but I have an excuse. I wrecked it. As in, burnt-sugar-on-the-pan, kitchen-smelled-for-hours wrecked it. But don’t worry! I just finished round two, and the results were wonderful. I tweaked the recipe a bit this time, following the advice of Brook over at Learn to Preserve. Instead of boiling the strained liquid for an hour, I just simmered it for five minutes. The boiling is where I went wrong last time – maybe my proportions were off, but I ended up reducing the liquid down to a gooey, stringy mess in one pan and a crusted, black, stinky mess in the other. This time, I strained my mixture into a saucepan, added ½ cup of honey, and stirred until the honey dissolved. I set the heat to medium-low and let it simmer Continue reading

Pear Drinking Vinegar: Part 1

Over the last year or so, I’ve grown to really enjoy a glass of cold sparkling water, especially when garnished with a few slices of lime or lemon. A local Portland restaurant is taking this drink to a new level by adding a delicious and unusual ingredient: drinking vinegars. Drinking vinegar has just a few ingredients: fruit, vinegar, and sugar. Luckily for me, I discovered they’re actually quite easy to make at home. Drinking vinegars, or shrubs, as they’re sometimes called, have roots both in the colonial South and in Southeast Asia. Chef Andy Ricker of the aforementioned restaurant, Pok Pok, has popularized the trend here in Portland, offering Pok Pok Som in flavors such as tamarind, honey, apple, and raspberry at his Thai street food restaurant. After purchasing a bottle of tamarind-flavored drinking vinegar and realizing just how tasty Continue reading