Switch Up the Fall Flavor With These Pear and Whisky Cocktails

How about them pears? While apples tend to steal the spotlight in the fall, pears are just as diverse. And since you can tease out pear notes in many whiskies, take advantage of the season’s fresh bounty and make these whisky cocktails. “The subtle caramel notes of whisky create a lovely dialogue with the subtle sweetness of pears,” says Ricardo Alvarado, bar manager of Mama Delia and Bordel in Chicago. “Together, these two make for a well-balanced cocktail that’s simple, evocative, and powerful all at the same time.”

3 Pear and Whisky Cocktails to Try Now

Nothing Comp-Pears to You: Poached pear is featured twice in this autumnal cocktail, both as a garnish and an essential ingredient.

Get the Recipe: Nothing Comp-Pears to You

The Fall of Whiskey: Cool cider and fresh pear balance out spicy rye in this cocktail, which is meant to capture the transition into Fall.

Get the Recipe: The Fall of Whiskey

The Affordable Pear Act: This riff on the Whiskey Sour uses baking spices and Asian pears to deliver fall flavors and a layer of complexity.

Get the Recipe: The Affordable Pear Act

How to Pick a Pear

Choosing the most appropriate pear and enjoying it at peak ripeness can make or break a recipe. For any variety, select a pear with no bruises or brown spots. Then check for ripeness by gently pressing near the stem—it should give a little. If not, let it further ripen on the countertop. Once a pear is perfectly ripe, keep it refrigerated.

Season: Sept.-Nov.
Flavor: Subtly sweet
Tip: Handle carefully; these bruise easily. They remain firm when ripe, like an apple.
Other uses: Green salads, slaws

Season: Aug.-Feb.
Flavor: Soft, sweetest of the pears
Tip: Buy green and let ripen on the countertop to a yellow-green.
Other uses: Baked goods, savory dishes, cheeseboards

Season: Sept.-Apr.
Flavor: Honey sweet with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg
Tip: Bosc ripen before they’re soft, so they’ll be firm when ripe.
Other: uses Poaching, baking

Season: Oct.-July
Flavor: Sweet with a hint of citrus
Tip: D’Anjou pears don’t change color when ripe; use the firmness test instead.
Other uses: Salads, baking

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