What always seems to happen at this time of year is a mad race from garden to kitchen to jar. Nothing ever slowly or gradually ripens and awaits harvest. Instead, we go from eager anticipation to complete overload in what feels like a few short weeks, and end up with a long counter full of bowls and baskets and crates heaped. They cry out to not be wasted, to not let the toil of seed to start to fruit be for naught. And so, needless to say, it’s canning, jamming, drying and preserving season. I just canned some pears out of this necessity. Our tree dropped all the fruit at once, and we scrambled to get them all off the ground before the animals grabbed them up. They ripen off the tree, so over the course of a few days, despite our best efforts to consume them rapidly, the big bowl of pears were yellowing and softening way too fast. So now that bowl is condensed into two quarts of halved fruit in light syrup. A delicious winter night’s treat to come.
However, I ended up with excess syrup. The ratio was only 1:8, using a half cup of sugar to four cups of water, since the pears were so sweet on their own. I also ended up with one lonely half pear, too big to force into the packed jars. I hate to waste anything (my philosophy at large is to repurpose over throwing out in most situations), so I put the leftover syrup, the half pear and a small stick of cinnamon into a jar and stuck it in the fridge to deal with later.
Later is now! I tried a bit of my elixir today in some sparkling water and it is amazing. I immediately procured some Bourbon to whip up the following cocktail…because it’s a saturday and the baby is asleep! Cheers to leftover projects…
Spiced Bartlett Bourbon Bomb
2 oz. Bourbon (I used Bulleit)
1 oz. Pear Syrup (see description above)
Dash Angostura Bitters
Put lots of ice into a cocktail shaker. Add Bourbon and pear syrup and shake vigorously. Add ice to a glass, preferably pre-chilled, and pour Bourbon mix into it. Drip a few drops of bitters on top. Garnish with a dried pear slice if available. Enjoy!