Aaaaand just like that, we must say “au revoir” to summer. Although there’s still a couple weeks left of summer, everyone’s mind has switched to fall mode (guaranteed there will be PSLs spotted left & right starting today, ugh). Days spent lounging at the pool in our bathing suits must now be traded in for cozy sweaters by the fire, as sandals at the beach make way for comfy boots.
My favorite part about the transition from summer to fall? All of the delicious cocktails! Fragrant berries and ripe watermelon have had their time in the spotlight the past few months, but I’m so ready for fall libations. Aromatic spices, rich, complex liquors instead of subtle, floral notes, and piping hot concoctions rule cocktail menus while helping us keep warm through the increasingly chilly evenings. Many fruits fade away with the long summer nights, but one that holds on tight through the fall are pears! Crispy, tart and sweet, this fruit is perfect for making into syrups, juicing, and infusing into spirits.
Combing the local farmers market, I love to come across fruit or vegetable varieties I’ve never had before. During one of my recent trips, I found what I thought were yellow apples, but were in fact were Asian Pears! This semi-tart fruit has a slight honeydew flavor and remains crisp, which is perfect for salads and cocktails.
I brought my tote full of ripe Asian Pears home and put them through my juicer. I then added the fresh juice to one of my go-to spirits for this time of year: Spiced Pear Liquor. I love the light pear flavor with cinnamon and clove notes that pair so well (pun most definitely intended) with other cool weather ingredients. I decided to go out on a bit of a limb and jazzed up a classic French 75 with these delicious fall flavors. The cinnamon with champagne and the other citrus flavors meld together perfectly for the perfect autumnal sip. I replaced some of the gin with the pear liqueur and added pear juice for a more prominent flavor.
The first drink I tested was leaning too far on the sweet side. On the second go around, I decided to whip up some pink peppercorn syrup to swap out for the sugar called for in the original recipe. It helps balance the sweet flavors while the peppery bite compliments the other spicy notes.
Pink peppercorns aren’t related to black pepper in any way, but are actually dried pink berries that contain powerful peppery flavor for their small size with a subtle fruitiness. I love using them in place of black pepper in recipes, and for topping desserts as well as spicing up a cocktail without the harsh flavor the usual pepper brings to the table.
Fall French 75
- 4 oz champagne
- 1 oz gin
- 1 oz St. George Spirits Spiced Pear Liqueur
- 1/2 pink peppercorn syrup (recipe below)
- 1/2 lemon juice
- 1/2 asian pear juice
Add all ingredients except for champagne and shake with ice for 30 seconds. Strain into flute glass. Top with champagne and stir with bar spoon. Garnish with asian pear slice & lemon twist.
Pink Peppercorn Syrup
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup pink peppercorns
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend. Pour into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 10 mins. Allow the syrup to cool and strain. Unused syrup can be kept for 2 weeks to a month in a refrigerator in a sealed container.
There seems to be cause for celebration every week as the holidays roll around, so keep this recipe in your back pocket for a last-minute get-together or to bring along to festivities! Besides, asian pear juice allegedly can aid in curing hangovers so you can feel sliiightly better when sipping on these at your next fête!
Recipe, styling, and photography by Craft & Cocktails for Jojotastic