I’ve mentioned before, in other Midweek Libation posts, that I love to use fresh seasonal fruit in my cocktails and make the most of whatever is available at the local farmers market. This week is no exception. Take advantage of the ripe juicy pears that are beginning to become available and give them an Asian twist. Presenting the Pear Sake Martini, a think and luscious cocktail, ideal as an aperitif or early evening drink.
The heart of the drink is a good pear puree. This can be made from scratch or purchased like juice from a good retailer. I like to make the puree from scratch and then freeze any that is left over. Peel and core several ripe pears and cut them into cubes. Cook the fruit as you would cook apples to make applesauce, simmering the cubes in a little water and sugar until the fruit is soft and tender. When done, push the fruit through a sieve to get out any unwanted seeds or fibers and to create a silky smooth fruit puree. Store in the refrigerator.
Some readers will not be familiar with Sake as a cocktail ingredient (apart from its role in a Sake Bomb - a drink made by pouring sake into a shot glass and dropping it into a glass of beer). Sake is a delicate Japanese alcoholic beverage (and not a wine as is commonly thought) made by fermenting rice in a process similar to that of making beer. It is relatively inexpensive and complements the earthy undertones of the fresh pear perfectly. Sake can be found in many liquor stores and Asian markets.
To make a Pear Sake Martini, fill a clean cocktail shaker with ice, add 2 measures of good quality gin (e.g. Tanqueray), 1 measure of good quality chilled Sake, and 2 measures of your fresh pear puree. Ginger infused vodka or Absolut’s new pear flavored vodka would also work as a base spirit for this drink. Shake the ingredients vigorously and strain into a well chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a wafer-thin sliver of fresh pear and perhaps a dusting of ginger powder. Enjoy!