First of all, I hope all of my fellow Americans enjoyed a marvelous Thanksgiving. You know, I don’t mention this often enough, but I am sincerely thankful for all of you—visitors, readers, commenters, followers—and greatly appreciate your support. This blog wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for your constant encouragement. Sometimes I just want to run up to each commenter and give her (or him!) a big kiss on the cheek. And you guys, I don’t even kiss my friends on the cheek. I’m American, not French!
Onward! The holidays are upon us, so what better way to ring them in than with a brand new cocktail series? I had so much fun mixing and photographing my summer cocktails that I decided to host a winter-themed series. For those of you who are new to my way of making cocktails, I should explain that my cocktails are made with basic liquors and fresh, seasonal ingredients. Not a single one calls for refined sugar in the form of simple syrup; I prefer to sweeten mine with fresh fruit, juices or natural sweeteners like agave nectar, honey or maple syrup. I also think that most liqueurs are expensive and far too sweet, so I avoid them.
Today I present my first holiday cocktail, which contains reposado tequila, pear nectar, honey and spices. If you braved the stores this morning for Black Friday deals, you’re going to need at least one of these.
If you’re put off by the idea of tequila combined with pears, please hear me out: reposado tequila tastes quite a bit different from the silver or blanco tequila used in margaritas. Reposado is Spanish for rested, which means that reposado tequila is aged for a short time (between two months and a year) in oak barrels. Bourbon is also aged in oak barrels, so naturally, bourbon and reposado tequila share some of the same oaky flavors. If you have bourbon on hand, feel free to substitute it for the tequila; the drink is good both ways.
- 1½ oz reposado tequila (I used Milagro's 100% agave reposado tequila)
- 3-4 ounces pear nectar (I like R.W. Knudsen)
- tiny dash of cinnamon
- one drop vanilla extract
- light drizzle of honey
- half of a lemon, juiced
- cinnamon stick, to garnish (optional)
- Fill a double old-fashioned or high ball glass with ice.
- Pour in the tequila and pear nectar. Add the cinnamon, vanilla and honey to the glass. Squeeze in half a lemon's worth of juice.
- Mix by pouring into a cocktail shaker or another glass, give it a shake or stir well, then pour it back into the original glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.