Drinks

Nothing Compears

Exceptional pear spirits to try this autumn
Pear Spirits for Fall
Photos: Courtesy of Peach Street Distillers, J.R. Brillet

It's Spirits Month! Get in on all the booze-filled fun.

Why should apple liquors get all the love? This fall, don't let these pear-based spirits pass you by. Harness their astonishing fresh-pear scent in cocktails with brown spirits like bourbon or brandy, plus just enough lemon and simple syrup for balance. Add a splash of pear to dress up Prosecco or other sparkling wines. Or, if you prefer a straight-up sipper, try a small pour of pear eau de vie—as pure an expression of pear as you can get in a glass —alongside a rich cheese plate for dessert.

Here are five pear spirits to try right now.

Belle de Brillet Pear Liqueur ($60)
Made with Cognac, this liqueur has 20 pounds of fruit in each 750-milliliter pear-shaped bottle. It's sweet but not at all cloying, with lots of honey and vanilla and just a suggestion of pear flavor. Ideal for sipping or sweetening cocktails and a great gift for your host.

Clear Creek Distillery Williams Pear Brandy ($45-$80)
Made in Portland, Oregon, with Williams (a.k.a. Bartlett) pears, this is a soft, subtle sipper that finishes with a burst of fresh pear flavor. Bonus points if you can snag a bottle with a whole fruit floating in it.

Peach Street Jackelope & Jenny Pear Gin ($37)
This "beautiful accident" was created when unaged pear brandy was mistakenly dumped into a gin distillation tank. It's now one of the top sellers at Peach Street, a Palisade, Colorado-based distiller. It drinks like gin, so it's great for gin and tonics and citrusy gimlets, in which it surprises with a pear note on the finish.

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St. George Pear Brandy ($40)
For those who prefer bolder flavors, this California contender packs the equivalent of 30 pounds of organic pears into each bottle for a big pop of round pear flavor warmed with baking spices.  Try it topped with Champagne.

Subarashii Kudamono Asian Pear Eau de Vie ($45)
Most pear spirits are made with the Williams/Bartlett variety, but this one uses round Asian pears grown in Pennsylvania. The end result is fresh and clean with a fragrance that evokes pears as well as apples and grapes.

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