30/30, #24: the Home Stretch

It’s been a long Mother’s Day weekend, a busy work week is just a few hours off, and I’m really not in the mood to get all fancy with the liquor cabinet — the couch and the remainder of the Sunday paper just look too inviting. But I’m 23 drinks into this thing, so I can’t stop now.

Nothing I had planned to write about is really grabbing me right now, so here’s a drink I’ve been thinking about recently, being blogged about on the fly; let’s see how it plays out:

The Home Stretch

  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1/2 ounce fino sherry
  • 1/4 ounce pear liqueur*
  • 1 dash Regan’s orange bitters

Stir, strain. That’s it

* for the pear liqueur, the Rothman & Winter Orchard Pear is lovely and light; slightly richer is Xante, a relatively new cognac-based liqueur (disclaimer: a sample of Xante was provided for review).

I love the taste of pears, but have been disappointed with many pear-oriented cocktails: some pear liqueurs taste tinny and artificial, whereas the liqueurs that actually taste like pears are very gentle, and the flavor is easily obscured by other ingredients.

For this drink, I used Hendricks for the gin — thinking its delicate nature might prove a good foundation for the pear — Lustau for the fino and Xante for the pear liqueur.

On first try, I like it — perhaps I’ll bump up the sherry in future versions (I finished the bottle while making this one), but it’s a good balance between the bone dryness of the gin and sherry combo and the richness of the pears. My jury is still out on Xante; the first taste I had of the liqueur turned me off as slightly artificial, but subsequent experiences have warmed me to it, though I’m still having a tough time imagining many cocktails that would use it to good effect. In this drink, its richness isn’t shining through, so the Rothman & Winter may be a better bet for future versions .

All in all, a respectable effort — not dynamite by any means, but not a sinker either.

Has anyone tried working with pear liqueurs to good effect? I’d love to have some ideas to work with.

This drink is part of 30/30, a series of 30 drinks in 30 days — or as much as I can keep up before collapsing in a weary, booze-addled heap.

3 Responses to 30/30, #24: the Home Stretch

  1. stephen says:

    for some reason i really prefer pear eau de vie as a way to capture the fruit in a drink. especially with gin.

    i’ve really enjoyed hendricks with dry sherry but some styles are fresher than others. a manzanilla like the popular and affordable “la gitana” usually has enough fresh flavors to compare and contrast well with gin and bright fruit expressions.

    the drink does look like it has some tasty concepts.

    cheers!

  2. Benjamin Perri says:

    I am glad Xante is finally available here in Seattle! I have been trying to get it for a long time. A friend of mine brought it back from Sweden and I loved it.

  3. Seamus says:

    I have also found pear eau de vie superior to pear liqueur in drinks mixing. . .

    I made something myself (way back in the day) using. . . from memory. . . rum, pear eau de vie, creme de cacao, Dubonnet, and bitters.

    The recipe is on my blog but I didn’t mix one up for a couple of years now. Not sure it would still be to my taste. . .

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