Homemade Spiced Pear Vodka

There is arguably no other time of year flaunting more distinct flavors than fall.  Perhaps it is due to coming off of summer’s massive bounty, narrowing to a much more finely honed bevy of seasonal produce and the traditional consorting spices.

Though I love the ‘options’ summer’s fare has to offer, I’m distractible and am equally relieved when life becomes a bit more simple with fall’s offerings.   One of my favorites is the arrival of pears.  I love a pear.  They are a self contained still life to me with such a pleasing shape, gorgeous mottled skin and divine flesh.  Their Rubenesque appeal makes me think of…..well, booze.  Not all the time but my first haul of the fall certainly did.

I’d begun fall baking and spontaneously was motivated to try an infusion with pears and fall spices.  It’s a risk when all items fall on my countertop at the same time; they are likely to end up in a jar together, swimming in spirits with fingers crossed over the outcome.  I love the result of this particular Mason jar mixology.  Tell tale notes of cinnamon, ginger and clove intermingled with the delicate flavor of pear in a deep honey amber tone.  The uses are endless in my book from a traditional vodka tonic to more exotic concoctions.  This would make perfect gifts for the holidays and hostess gifts for parties as well.

Homemade Spiced Pear Vodka

Yield: Yield slightly less than 2 cups

I began tasting my infusion at around 5 days, loved the flavor but let it keep soaking. The flavor will deepen with time and I suggest tasting it periodically until the depth of flavor is to your liking. Batches can be made larger for a higher yield by maintaining the proportions in the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 pears, ripe, firm, cored and sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 1/8th inch slices ginger
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 cups vodka
  • Quart jar

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to the jar, seal, store in a dark, cool location. Taste at 5 days. If flavor is desireable, strain vodka into a clean jar and seal until using.
  2. If deeper flavor is desired, continue to infuse until flavor is prefered then strain and seal in a clean jar.

Notes

Infusion duration: 5-14 days

http://boulderlocavore.com/2012/10/homemade-spiced-pear-vodka.html

Some cocktails to try:

 

 

 

The Pear Ginger Snap.  I would whip this up using the Pear Spiced Vodka and substitute some Ginger Infused Vodka (also homemade) for the ginger liqueur.

Sparkling Pear

Cinnamon Lychee Martini

How to Mix a Spiced Pear Martini for Holiday Cocktail parties

Pear Tree Martini

 

Comments

  1. pattypan says

    Wow Toni you really have got the bit between your teeth. Another lovely post. Well done and this sounds really scrummy. I will have to try this one. I haven’t very much of my toffee vodka left so I am thinking maybe I will do both at the same time.

    Take care

    Pattypan

    xx

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      That Toffee Vodka may be on my ‘to do’ list very soon PattyPan! By the way I finally surfaced long enough today to send the email I promised! Sorry it took a bit. Enjoy your weekend.

    • Karen says

      How long do you think this would last? If I made some now, would it be good for Christmas? Or should I wait? Was wondering if the pear in it gave it a shorter life? Or not?

      (Looks wonderful!)

      • says

        Hi Karen! Sorry for the delay in responding. Personally I’d wait until closer to Christmas. The pears will discolor as they infuse so it’s prettiest when it’s freshly made (assuming you want to give it with the pears and spices in it; if not you can make it earlier, strain those items out and bottle it, that won’t go bad by xmas. It takes mere minutes to throw together so I might make it a few days before you give it in case the recipients are too excited to wait out the infusing time. It is really festive and would make a perfect gift with the pears and spices in it!

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      I agree Meeling. The bottles in the photo are 1 cup corked bottles. Considering most cocktails use 1 to 1 1/2 ounces of a spirit per cocktail even at this size you would enjoy 6-8 cocktails from the little bottle. It would be a fun Thanksgiving ‘place card’ idea too. With a little name label and then they could take it home.

        • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

          Hi Jay! I found them at a hobby store and they are food safe. Would be fun to find some vintage bottles at a thrift store too. I loved the size and style of these though.

          • Caole says

            sorry if this is a dumb ? but “seal”? Does that just mean “put a cork in it” or do you mean vacuum, or water bath or????? I REALLY am going to try this but when I tried cilantro olive oil it just got moldy! : ) thanks

          • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

            Hi Caole. I mean to put the infusion in a jar or other glass container with a ‘sealeable’ lid or cover. I put mine in Mason jars and use a traditional lid. I would not suggest a cork as I think that will allow a bit of air and possible evaporation since it does not fit completely snugly. Since this is alcholol it does not mold like olive oil infusions can if not kept air tight (those can go bad since the oil reacts with what you are infusing or can become rancid on its own too; does not happen with liquor).

  2. says

    Toni this looks and sounds divine! I bet the pears just add such a wonderful flavor to this vodka! Somehow I am thinking putting a vanilla bean in there as well would be great too.

    Your images are gorgeous!

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      That would be delicious to add a vanilla bean Averie. When I was experimenting I was only thinking of traditional fall spices but your idea is genius! Next batch.

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      Thank you Sylvie! I ‘tested’ it in the form of a simple Vodka Tonic and just love the flavors.

  3. says

    I am going to have to try this. My grandmother used to make homemade Bailey’s but I have never tried doing anything like this. I also love the suggested cocktails.

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      That sounds good Felice, homemade Baileys. I published recipes last year from my family archives for homemade ‘Kahlua’ (coffee liqueur) and homemade Creme de Menthe. So fun to DIY, don’t you think?

      • says

        I seem to remember her making Kahlua too – she even used to ask her friend who tended bar to keep the old bottles for her so she could clean, sterilize and reuse them. After all she lived through the great depression, so nothing was ever thrown away. I would love to try making Creme de Menthe. I will have to take a little wonder through your archives. I am sure there are lots of treasures there.

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      I was thinking the same Kim. It’s different. Has lots of cocktail use options, from a basic ‘and Tonic’ to cocktails too. In expensive to make as well.

  4. says

    I’m making this!
    I have too many bottles of vodka sitting around. I now have way too many bottles of vanilla extract. I think I’d rather have way too many bottles of flavored vodka … those won’t last too long :) Them party months are coming up too! Visiting your site never fail to put me into a festive mood … whatever the season.

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      I have said before ANYthing can be infused (people tie down your children and pets). You must have some great options in Malaysia with tropical fruits to infuse Ping? Any infused vodka is good with tonic so elaborate cocktailing is only the icing on the cake!

      • says

        Hmm … I’ve never thought of using local fruits. Aunty Choo used to make wine out of anything she can lay her hands on!
        Thanks for the idea!

  5. Treena says

    First of all, I found your website today and quickly became addicted. I want to try EVERYTHING. This is fantastic. Anyway, a quick question – is there a “shelf life” to the vodkas after they have been bottled? I have made other flavors in the past and never know how long they will keep. I want to try a number of yours for the upcoming holidays but don’t want them to go “bad”.
    Thanks for creating this wonderful website.!

    • says

      Treena! What a great start to my day. Thanks so much for your comment and I’m so glad you found me, and some things that spark your interest.

      I actually have spoken with some distiller friends about this very question. In my understanding, alcohol really has no shelf life in the traditional sense of the word. I doesn’t ‘go bad’ like a perishable item. I think the flavors may dim a bit over time from when they are first infused but I don’t know that for a fact.

      For long term storage of an infusion such as this, removing the fruit and spices once the infusion is complete is something I’d recommend. The alcohol will continue to absorb the flavors while the infusing items are in the alcohol and can lead to a taste that is not as desireable (for instance with citrus I find infusing too long can become bitter especially if the peel is on the fruit). There are other infusions such as Cherry Bounce and Hedgerow Gin that infuse for a much longer time and the fruits don’t affect the flavor in the same way (you leave them in until you drink the liqueur, and can eat the fruit too). But for shorter infusions I feel removing the fruit/spices once you get to the flavor you enjoy and then you can keep the infusion as long as it lasts! I keep mine in sealed jars in a cool, dark pantry (don’t keep them in high heat or full light). Hope that helps!

  6. 3petitsprinces says

    Made this on Monday, taste testing today, on Friday. Wow! Delicious! I can’t wait to share it with my friends! I’m also excited to try the many other offerings on your beautiful website! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Jenny says

    Was so happy to stumble on this post! My backyard pear tree has very mediocre fruit but I hate letting them go to waste – this recipe is the perfect use for them! Tasted the concoction yesterday after 10 days of infusing – wow! Almost like pear-scented fireball whiskey except a vodka version. I know it will make fantastic hot toddies this winter! :)

    • says

      Jenny I totally understand your feelings about not wasting fruit! I’ve been driving around Boulder noticing apple trees burgeoning with fruit that is falling to the ground. I’m so tempted to knock on doors and ask to pick! Or harvest for a food bank; such a waste. I love this vodka and we used it in many ways during the fall and winter. I hope it will warm you and yours in the colder months! Thanks so much for your comment.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Spiced Pear Vodka. A simple infusion… October 21st, 2012 pataridzecom [...]

  2. […] Over the past year I’ve shared some cozy appetizers that aren’t run of the mill.  They don’t take a ton of time to prepare but the response will be notable.  I served the Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Roll with crackers for a nosh last Thanksgiving to peckish guest and it was a perfect option to tide people over (with a compliment of Homemade Spiced Pear Vodka Tonics!). […]

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