Pear, thyme and aquavit combine for a festive cocktail that is perfect for holiday gatherings. Pair it with Scandinavian Spiced Cocktail Nuts for an instant happy hour!Jump to Recipe
The Festive Pear:
Aquavit is a wonderful spirit year round with its broad range of botanicals but I find that it works especially well with fall and winter flavors and festivities. I especially love the flavor profile of the Norden Taffel Style Aquavit. You can learn a bit more about Norden and Aquavit here: Cranberry Aquavit Tonic
My inspiration for this cocktail was the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and a desire to create a drink and snack for my dinner guests to enjoy while taking in all of the wonderful aromas of the kitchen. The combination of pears and thyme just tastes like fall to me and gives hints at the holiday feast in the works. Paired with the Scandinavian Spiced Cocktail Nuts, this cocktail is the perfect precursor to Thanksgiving dinner.
The pear and thyme simple syrup can be prepared days in advance of the holiday (or anytime you want to make this drink). The key is to allow the mixture to steep while cooling to get the maximum extraction from the fruit and herb. Strain the syrup into a glass jar for easy storage. I used Bosc pears in this recipe, as I love the crisp yet sweet flavor of the Bosc and hints of cinnamon spice. I find the Bosc to be perfect with the Aquavit, although Asian or Anjou pears would be lovely, as well. The slightly minty, earthy quality of fresh thyme gives a nice savory balance to the sweetness of the pear. Lemon juice and bubbly soda water bring the whole cocktail to life and a smile to your guests’ faces! Skål and very happy holidays to all!
The Festive Pear
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 large pear, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 2 ounces Norden aquavit
- 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
- Soda water
- Thyme sprigs and pear wheels, for garnish
- Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small sauce pan, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Remove from heat and add chopped pear and large sprig of thyme.
- Cover and let steep until completely cooled.
- Strain the syrup and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Fill a glass with ice.
- Add the aquavit, 1.5 ounces of the pear-thyme simple syrup, and the lemon juice; stir.
- Top with soda water and garnish with a thyme sprig and pear wheel.