I always love the idea of pears more than the actual fruit, primarily because—like avocados—their “aw, hell yeah” window is very short. But pear brandy never fails me; the flavour is consistently good, the mouthfeel is never gritty, and the ABV hovers around 40 per cent.
It’s a pure, heady hit of pear, and subbing it in for apple brandy in cocktails is a nice way to shake up your drinking habits. This vermouth-heavy cocktail is a riff on the Star, an apple brandy Manhattan I found in Robert Simonson’s 3-Ingredient Cocktails (a very fine book).
The drink is half sweet vermouth, so pick a nice one. (Once again, I must recommend Carpano Antica Formula, which can be enjoyed on its own over ice.) The equal amounts of vermouth and brandy balance and blend, with neither getting overpowered by the other. To make this Starry Pear, you will need:
45mL pear brandy
45mL sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Combine everything in a mixing glass and stir until chilled. Strain into a coupe. Repeat, maybe this time with apple brandy.