As the husband and I sat in front of the 7 1/2 foot Christmas tree late this afternoon (note: actually yesterday afternoon. That tree is officially decorated as I speak) sipping not on this cocktail, but the cocktail that shall be number five, we agreed that none of the first five have knocked it out of the park. Another slow start, though I think we hit a home run by number four last year. Sigh. So much pressure.
If all else fails, I’ll pull a pomegranate or spiced whiskey sour out behind the scenes to tantalize our tastebuds.
I think next year I’ll do the best of the best to-date. Twelve of the cocktails we’ve loved in the however many years I’ve been doing this. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve not lost hope for this year. I still have a few tricks up my sleeve. Like a gingerbread White Russian. And maybe a cranberry gimlet. But, I’ll make you a deal, if we don’t hit a homer by the time number seven has been consumed I’ll dust off a favorite from Christmas past.
I should get to it, though. Telling you about the pear vanilla prosecco. Because the aforementioned 7 1/2 footer (a mere sapling this year because I wasn’t in the mood to decorate a good third of the tree while teetering on a ladder) only has lights on it at this point. Which means the real work begins tomorrow.
Pear vanilla prosecco is a wonderful concept. And I’m not sure how I feel about the fact that I sacrificed one and a half vanilla bean pods from Penzey’s for a cocktail that didn’t deliver what I was looking for. I was looking for kapow! Vanilla!!! And kaboom! Pear. Instead, both flavors were so subtle that they got a bit list in the bubbles of the prosecco.
If I was to try this one again I think I might add some pear liqueur, which could just be an excuse to buy one of those bottles with the whole pear in it. As for upping the vanilla….perhaps a little vanilla vodka? Which might be too faux. The original recipe did call for two whole vanilla beans (there’s gold in them thar hills), but I just couldn’t bring myself to use that many. That may have been a tactical error on my part.
Okay. I have to ask. How many cocktail blogs have you read where the writer says, “Meh, it was just okay, but lemme share the recipe with you, anyways?” Refreshing, isn’t it? Reality is that if I mixed and mixed and only shared the twelve I truly loved I’d have to start working on this little venture in September. Hmmmmmm….
Vanilla Pear Prosecco
Vanilla pear syrup:
2 pears, cored and cut into chunks
1 1/2 whole vanilla bean (maybe try 2, maybe this is truly where I went awry)
2 tblsp sugar
2 tblsp lemon juice
3 c water
Put the above into a saucepan. Bring to a boil on medium heat, then cook until the pears have broken down (15 minutes or so). Allow to cool (I would recommend refrigerating). Strain, discarding the pear, leaving just the syrup.
To serve: Place a 2-3 tablespoons of the above syrup into a festive wine glass, top with prosecco.
PS: the quality of the photos? Kind of shitty, huh? Yeah, I’m been cutting corners all over the place this year. I’ve found that it’s more fun to tell stories about drinks…and to drink drinks…than to photograph drinks. Food photographer I am not. I’ve actually been using the cell phone for the photos, and I think it’s biting me in the behind. Not that you can’t take gorgeous photos with cell phones, but I’m actually more skilled at the “big camera” than the cell camera. I’ll do better. Maybe. But, not on the next cocktail because those photos are already in the can…and they kind of suck.