pear infused brandy

October 22nd, 2010

About a month ago there was an awesome article in the New York Times all about preserving fruit in booze. Be still my heart. I immediately set about collecting some of my favorite fall fruits like pears, concord grapes and plums, then went to the liquor story and picked up some brandy.

Preserving fruit in booze is basically like infusing booze, in fact I’m not totally sure there’s a difference. Simply wash the fruit, add a bit of sugar, put it in a jar and pour some alcohol over top. In about a month, you’ll have some liquored up fruit and tasty booze. The author of the article Melissa Clark suggests that you can even give little jars of the infused fruit as gifts for the holidays instead of the usual jam. I’m not sure I can let go of mine so easily…

So go get yourself some fruit from the market this weekend and start some infusions! Then we can make some delicious cocktails together. Or maybe even bake a tasty dessert tart with the drunken fruit. Yum!

pear infused brandy
makes 1 quart

1 quart seckel* pears, washed
1 cup sugar
2 to 3 cups apple brandy

Place pears inside a large jar and stir in the sugar.
Pour brandy over the pears to cover by an inch.
Cover and store in a dark, cool place (but not the refrigerator) for at least one month.

*I like seckel pears because they’re small and easily fit in a mason jar, but you could also use another type of pear of even fruit if you like.

Comments: 20 Total

  1. Janine

    October 22, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Hi! I love this idea for Christmas.

    What is the process for doing this — do you need to boil the bottles and all that or just put it all together and put the top on? I’ve never done this before.

    What are some other ideas to do with the brandy/pears when they’re ready?

    Thanks for the great idea, love your blog!

  2. Emily @ Darby O'Shea

    October 22, 2010 at 8:38 am

    WHAT do you do with Concord Grapes? I have a bumper crop of them in my back yard, but don’t know which booze to pair them with! Vodka? I prefer the brown liquors, really, but rum definitely sounds gross with grapes. What do you think? Brandy?

  3. Meaghan

    October 22, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Do you leave the pears whole? If I had larger pears, could I cut them? Does that still work? And how long do you think they will last before going bad? Is it indefinite?

    Holy questions, Batman! I just want to make sure I do it right so I can get the people who receive these for Christmas drunk on delicious things, not grossness! :)

  4. leslie

    October 22, 2010 at 11:41 am

    i love this idea! although i would be partial to doing it with vegetables – red pepper infused tequila or cucumber infused gin? yum. i never knew it was so easy!

  5. kickpleat

    October 22, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    This summer I took some sour cherries, put them into a cute jam jar and topped the whole thing with bourbon. The resulting liquor was amazing (I always top up the jar) and pink. The boozed-up cherries are very boozy and a nice surprise at the bottom end of a manhattan. Booze + fruit, hello!

  6. Lisa (dinner party)

    October 22, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Seckel pears are the cutest fruit in the world.

  7. Dana

    October 22, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    What a great idea! I’d definitely appreciate these as a Christmas gift. And the cherry bourbon a few comments up sounds like a great combination too!

  8. kelly

    October 22, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    You don’t have to boil the jar, although you could if you wanted. The idea with this is that the alcohol does the preserving, so you don’t have to worry about the sanitizing and boiling stuff. Obviously you should start with a clean jar and fruit though.
    Concord grapes would be fantastic with brandy or even bourbon. there’s a great recipe in the article i referenced.
    i did leave my pears whole. i’m not sure what would happen if you cut the pears. i think the worst that could happen is the pears turn brown. since they’re preserved in alcohol, they should last for months.
    i made jalepeno infused tequila last year, and sweet goodness it was tasty, although remember to take the seeds out!
    can i come over?! because that sounds awesome, and i love the idea of just topping it off each time. brilliant!

  9. freshanfrugal

    October 24, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    I love you so much. Can I just say that without sounding the least bit creepy? I love you so much. Every time I have a craving that I can’t quite put my finger on, I click on your site and boom! There it is. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  10. alexis

    October 24, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    mmm this sounds absolutely delicious. maybe I’ll mix apples, black tea and brandy? I recently tried a cocktail of brandy with an earl grey tea simple syrup (and a few other ingredients) and it was incredible!

  11. Julee

    October 25, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    I made this when the article came out a month ago – I used concord grapes, Italian plums and figs (white and reg). For the figs and plums I added vanilla, cloves and orange extract on top of the sugar. For the grapes – just the sugar and brandy. You really should wait 90 days to open. I have tons of brandy left so I might go and do some more now – to get me into February.

    Do you think you could pick this up in 90 days with a few recipes a few cocktails, desserts and maybe something savory with cheese?

  12. Anne

    October 26, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    I am house sitting a pear tree right now, and as sitter, have rights to the fruit. This is a great idea!
    Do the pears have to be ripe?

  13. Julee

    October 26, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Fruit should be in its optimal state but slightly under ripe is fine – over ripe will fall apart fast.

  14. Megan Gordon

    October 29, 2010 at 12:09 am

    Loving this. Big time. I was lazy and didn’t do much canning over the summer, but I’ve vowed to fix it this fall and winter with some fruity infused liquor. This looks like a fine place to begin…

  15. Echo

    November 18, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    I just stumbled upon your blog and just wanted to say it’s completely wonderful! I just made some infused booze as well! . I can’t wait!

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