Spotlight on Pear Brandy

pear brandy
As a professional bartender for over 15 years I have seen my share of spirits – from the rarest bottles of whiskey to the most unique infusions (pistachio rosé is one that still has me scratching my head). But nothing compares to New Deal Pear Brandy. I promise I’m not being hyperbolic. I use this brandy in everything – from whiskey sours, to variations on a classic mojito. It’s insanely fresh, bright and highly aromatic – giving all of my cocktails a refined taste.
How is it made?
This deliciously fragrant pear brandy is made from macerated and distilled Bartlett pears from a single orchard in Hood River, Oregon. The fruit is brought in and crushed right on site, and then the fresh juice is moved into a fermentation tank. As the juice warms during fermentation it fills the entire distillery with that sweet and distinct pear aroma. It is my absolute favorite time of year to conveniently stop in and say hello to the New Deal team. Once fermentation completes the fermented pears are now ready to be distilled. Head distiller Tom Burkleaux and his team take extreme care to make sure the distillation is as gentle as possible. By running a single pass through their brandy column, they delicately extract the flavors and create a highly aromatic, un-aged spirit.
How do I use it in my cocktails?
When I’m crafting cocktails that beg for a fresh fruit flavor I reach right for this brandy. Distilled dry (without any added sugar) and at 80 proof, it can be used in place of or mixed with nearly any spirit – vodka, rum, tequila, you name it! The trick to using pear brandy is to lean heavily into its culinary counterparts that we’re all familiar with already. Anything that would go good with a fresh pear will make for an insanely delicious cocktail. Often when I’m looking for cocktail inspiration I research what desserts I like that feature an ingredient I’m working with and instantly the excitement of experimenting with ingredients I already have in my kitchen spikes. Pears and maple syrup – yes! Pears and cranberries – obviously! Cocktail creating is just like cooking – it’s all about finding ingredients that harmonize together. A flavor combination I keep coming back to is pears + mint + cinnamon. Combining pear with the warming sensation of cinnamon and the refreshing scent of fresh mint leaves keeps your tastebuds begging for another sip. Try it out in my cocktail Baby’s First Brandy. For an even easier combination I simply soak a vanilla bean in Angostura bitters and use it in my PNW Old Fashioned – a fantastic take on an Old Fashioned that splits the spirit base between pear brandy and whiskey. The oakiness and caramel notes from the whiskey sing with the vibrant pear brandy. Cheers!



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