Thanksgiving is just a few days away. In my last post I talked all about what to make for the perfect holiday feast, everything from the sides, to the entrée, and even the dessert. Though I forgot one VERY important part of any great gathering: the cocktail! But fear not, I have swooped in to save the day with another cocktail + dessert pairing using Powell & Mahoney’s Old Ballycastle Ginger. With autumn slowly coming to an end I wanted to highlight the seasonality of one of its great fruits, the Bosc pear, and also get the chance to bake with/drink some brandy (because it’s my favorite of any hard liquor. So good!). The holidays are a hectic, crazy, but fun time of year. Plus, with final exams in the next couple of weeks, I’m in need of a cake and cocktail break. Who here is up for that??
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Now on to this cocktail. Long story short: It’s amazing. If you’re a fan of brandy and/or seasonal cocktails, then this drink is for you. The brandy provides a warm, sweet backbone to this cocktail. Its sweet, floral notes and taste of flowers, fresh and dried fruit, and citrus zest help bring out the ginger, elderflower, and fennel scents from the Old Ballycastle mixer. Add in the pear simple syrup, spiced with ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and you will be instantly transported to a cool autumn night, snuggled up in a warm blanket as the fireplace crackles and burns. You have the cocktail in one hand and a piece of pound cake in the other. Now that sounds like a great time to me.
For Nathaniel’s dessert pairing, a Brandy, Pear & Buckwheat Pound Cake recipe click here!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
Spiced Pear Brandy Sidecar
To Make Pear Simple Syrup:
In a 2-qt sauce pan, heat 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1 pear cubed, 1/2 tbsp ground ginger, 1 cinnamon stick, and 1 pinch ground nutmeg over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the syrup has thickened. Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer, keeping the pears and discarding the cinnamon sticks, into a heat proof container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Yields roughly ½ a cup of syrup.
- Brandy - 3 oz
- Powell & Mahoney Old Ballycastle Ginger - 2 oz
- Pear Simple Syrup* - 1.5 oz
- Lemon Juice - 1 oz
- Cinnamon Sticks - garnish
In a shaker, add the brandy, mixer, simple syrup, and lemon juice.
Add ice to the shaker and shake for roughly 5-7 seconds for the flavors to blend together.
Pour mixture into prepared coupe glasses and garnish with a cinnamon stick and a cube or two of the poached pear from the syrup.