A homemade fruit cordial (also known as a fruit liqueur) can easily be made by combining alcohol, sugar, and a fruit flavoring agent: in this case, fresh pears.
I am new to making cordials, having just been introduced to them this fall. I loved the idea of finding another fresh way to preserve the essence local fruit to enjoy in the months to come, though, so wanted to get started with a homemade version right away.
I played with a recipe I found in the November/December issue of Hobby Farm Home magazine, incorporating the ginger-lemongrass simple syrup I wrote about here. I can’t say for sure how it tastes yet, as cordials need time to rest so their flavors develop (that’s the only downside to this recipe: you’re supposed to wait more than 6 months to enjoy it), but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be delicious.
If you envision yourself sipping this next spring, I suggest you get your own cordial started right away…
Spiced Pear Cordial Recipe
yield: about 6 cups
adapted from the November/December issue of Hobby Farm Home magazine
- Simple syrup made by boiling 2 cups sugar with 2 cups of water over medium heat (stir until sugar dissolves, then allow to come to room temperature), or use 2-3 cups of an herb infused simple syrup, like I did
- 6 cups peeled and thinly sliced local pears (I used 6 large bosc pears)
- 1 teaspoon organic lemon zest or Meyer lemon zest
- 2 cups vodka (or brandy, rum, or whisky)
- In a sterilized gallon-sized glass jar, combine pears and lemon zest. Pour the simple syrup over the pears, then add the vodka. If 2 cups vodka is not enough to fill the jar, add as much as is necessary. Cap tightly and shake to combine. Allow to “rest” in a cool, dark place for about 4 weeks, shaking every couple of days.
- Strain the pears out by pouring through a fine-mesh sieve (or use cheesecloth). Pour liquid into sterilized glass jars and and allow to rest undisturbed for another 6 months.
- Strain out any additional sediment through cheesecloth before pouring into sterilized jars one last time. Enjoy as is, over ice, mixed with seltzer or used in cocktails. I imagine it will also be wonderful over ice cream. I think this would make a nice gift when presented in a decorative bottle, as well.
–Winnie Abramson writes the organic gardening and food blog Healthy Green Kitchen.
Photo credits: Winnie Abramson