The Pear & Elderflower Collins is a riff on the classic Tom Collins (gin, lemon juice, sugar, sparkling water), updating the original with a double whammy of pear liqueur and pear puree, plus lemon juice, elderflower liqueur and honey. Club soda lengthens the cocktail with some refreshing effervescence before a dusting of freshly grated cinnamon adds a final, fragrant touch.
This bubbly highball was created by bartending vet Naren Young, best known for his time at award-winning New York bar, Dante. Young says there are many different ways to add pears to a cocktail, and he’s yet to meet a spirit that it doesn’t mix with.
Once ripe, the fresh fruit can be muddled or blended into a puree. You can also experiment with bottled pear purees as well as pear liqueurs and brandy, so you’ve got options for infusing your drinks with that trademark flavor. Pair that pear with friendly ingredients like citrus, honey and cinnamon, and you can make delicious concoctions during the fruit’s peak season, which typically runs from late summer through early fall.
Young’s Pear & Elderflower Collins is a choose-your-own-adventure cocktail that calls for either vodka or gin. The former is a more subtle and neutral option, taking a back seat so the other flavors can shine. Gin, with its bracing botanicals, stands up taller in the drink while still complementing the elderflower, pear and lemon. The choice is yours, though you can’t go wrong—either spirit will produce a delicious drink.
- 2 ounces vodka or gin
- 1/2 ounce elderflower liqueur
- 1 teaspoon pear liqueur
- 1 ounce pear puree
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 ounce honey syrup
- Club soda, to top
- Garnish: thin slice of pear
- Garnish: cinnamon, freshly grated
Add the vodka or gin, elderflower liqueur, pear liqueur, pear puree, lemon juice and honey syrup into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice.
Top with the club soda and stir briefly to combine.
Garnish with a thin slice of pear and freshly grated cinnamon.