Colorful & comforting seasonal recipes for savory dishes, sweets and cocktails. 

Sparkling Roasted Pear Cocktail

Sparkling Roasted Pear Cocktail

Happy New Year! What's on your list for 2015?

I hope that your upcoming year is inspiring, delicious and infused with laughter. 

It's pear season, a considerable upside to the onslaught of winter weather, and I love to serve them in dishes sweet, savory and from the bar. Any pear will work for the slow-roasted pear puree, but I used Bartlett for their mild sweetness and hint of citrus. 

The prep work for this cocktail takes less than an hour and involves making the roasted pear puree and rosemary simple syrup ahead of time. It's best to let the puree and simple syrup refrigerate for at least a few hours. There is no ice involved in the drink build, so keeping the ingredients cold, sans the Brandy, will ensure a perfectly chilled cocktail. 

When I roast pears for puree, I make an extra to slice over ice cream or peppery greens if I'm better behaved. The roasted pears melt with each bite and the caramelized sweetness is really lovely. 

Roasted Pear Puree
2 ripe pears, halved and cored
2 tablespoons clove honey
juice of half a lemon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Cut the pears and remove their cores. Whisk honey with 1 tablespoon of hot water. Drizzle a quarter-sized dab of honey syrup onto the cut side and into the core area of each pear, then place cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle remaining honey syrup on the skin side of the pears, then roast in oven for 45 minutes until the skins are wrinkled and the pears are tender and velvety. Let cool, remove skin, then place the roasted pears into a blender or food processor. Add lemon juice and puree until smooth. Store in refrigerator for up to one week. Enjoy leftover puree by the spoonful.

Rosemary Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup Demerara or Turbinado sugar 
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Heat water and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves then add rosemary sprigs. Once it reaches a rolling boil, lower to medium heat and let lightly boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and place a lid on the saucepan to let simple syrup continue to infuse for an additional 10 minutes. Strain into a clean glass jar or container and store in refrigerator for up to one week. Add to cocktails, sparkling water, tea, lemonade, etc. 

Sparkling Roasted Pear Cocktail
Serves 1
1 ounce roasted pear puree, chilled
1/2 ounce rosemary simple syrup, chilled
1 ounce brandy
1 1/2 ounces ginger beer, chilled
fresh rosemary sprig for garnish

Add roasted pear puree, rosemary simple syrup and brandy to a champagne flute and stir until well mixed. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a rosemary sprig. Cheers to 2015!


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