Pear vodka is vodka that is infused with pear flavoring. Some varieties of it may contain imitation flavoring, while others may be mixed with real pear juice. Sugar is usually added to this kind of vodka to bring out the flavors and soften the sharpness of the alcohol. Though some like to drink pear vodka by itself, most people prefer to mix it into cocktails. It goes well with a number of other fruit-infused alcohols, as well as several different kinds of soda.
Though widely available in wines and spirits stores, pear vodka can also be made at home. This relatively simple infusion process starts with fully ripe pears. Fruit with firm, sweet flesh that is tender to the bite usually works the best. Red pears are usually sweeter than green or yellow pears, but those making pear vodka should choose their favorite variety. The pears must be washed, peeled, seeded, and sliced into pieces about the size of a man’s thumb.
Good-quality vodka is the next necessary ingredient. Slightly more expensive brands with a smooth, crisp flavor usually work best. Smooth vodkas usually mix easily with the pears’ sweetness, while harsher varieties may develop an unpleasant bitterness that overpowers the flavors of the fruit. Though this recipe usually calls for plain vodka, one may substitute vanilla, currant, melon, or even citrus-flavored vodka for an extra facet of flavor.
One must fill a mason jar to the top with pear slices, adding as many as possible without crushing them. The vodka goes in next, filling the mason jar to the brim. The lid should go on the mason jar as tightly as possible to avoid contamination. Once lidded, the mixture can brew in a dark, cool place for up to a month. Some cooks like to gently shake vodka infusions every few days to help the flavors distribute, but this isn’t necessary.
When the vodka is ready, one must simply strain out the fruit and bottle it. If using plain vodka, instead of pre-flavored, one may want to add about a cup (about 200 grams) of sugar to the infusion to bring out the pear flavor. Simply stir the vodka until all of the sugar dissolves. A wine bottle with a cork or a new, clean mason jar should keep the vodka fresh almost indefinitely.
The vodka-infused pears from this recipe needn’t go to waste. They can become garnishes to pear vodka cocktails. Some of these cocktails involve simply mixing pear vodka with a citrus-flavored soda. Other cocktails may include vanilla rum, plain vodka, and fruit liqueurs, including those with melon, cherry, orange and apple flavors.