There are plenty of autumnal cocktails that focus on the most iconic fruit of the season: the apple. From apple brandy drinks like the Jack Rose or the Calvados Sidecar to modern takes on the Appletini, apples drinks are everywhere once the leaves start to change colors. Less common are drinks that celebrate the other essential fall treat: the noble but humble pear. Pear fans will likely appreciate the Pear Tree Martini, which combines spiced pear vodka, elderflower liqueur, lime juice and bitters for a sweet, bright and floral drink that evokes the changing of the season.
The drink’s base is Hangar One spiced pear vodka, though these days that spirit can be difficult, if not impossible, to find in most markets. There are some alternatives, though: Wild Roots Vodka from Portland, Oregon, has a lovely pear vodka, though it lacks the spice of Hangar One’s. France’s Grey Goose La Poire and Skyy Vodka’s Bartlett pear-infused vodka from San Francisco are both good replacements, though they similarly lack the spice element that the recipe calls for.
Absolut has a pear and elderflower vodka, but as the Pear Tree Martini includes elderflower liqueur, it would be redundant and likely too floral. Specifically, the recipe calls for an equal proportion of St-Germain elderflower liqueur. While it’s the most prominent brand of elderflower liqueur—having largely established the style—it does have some competitors. Notably, Giffard and The Bitter Truth each have an elderflower spirit that is comparable in price and quality to St-Germain (though both lack the iconic bottle shape and elaborate design that make St-Germain so recognizable).
Finally, some lime juice balances the drink with much needed acidity, and a dash of Angostura bitters adds complexity and spice without muting the brightness of the cocktail. The result is a juicy and vivid celebration of fall.
- 1 1/2 ounces Hangar One spiced pear vodka, or another pear vodka
- 1 1/2 ounces St-Germain liqueur
- 3/4 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
- Garnish: pear slices
Add the pear vodka, elderflower liqueur, lime juice and bitters to a shaker filled with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Double-strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with 3 pear slices.