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