Infused gin can make a good gift
You can do it yourself with just a few ingredients.
One thing I love about this time of year is coming up with thoughtful gifts for friends and family members.
The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for everyone, so making the time to handcraft a gift is a great way to express how much you really care for the recipient.
Our food writer, Addie Broyles, alerted me to this delightful sounding recipe for a batch of spiced pear gin from the book “Edible DIY: Simple, Giftable Recipes to Savor and Share,” by Lucy Baker.
The book lists recipes for an array of great makeit-yourself foodie gifts, and includes an entire chapter on boozy treats.
Most of the recipes are infused spirits like sweet tea vodka and applespiced bourbon, and there are instructions for how to create liqueurs such as ginger liqueur and limoncello. The Spiced Pear Gin caught our attention because while gin isn’t typically a go-to base spirit for winter drinks, this one really celebrates the flavors of the season with the combination of pear and warm baking spices.
This particular recipe takes a few weeks to marinate, so it won’t quite be ready in time for Christmas or New Year’s
In the late fall, when pears come into season, I always buy a whole bunch of firm ones for our kitchen fruit bowl. Then I check them obsessively and impatiently each day until they are soft and juicy and perfect for eating. To me, a perfectly ripe pear is a symbol of the harvest season — plump, sweet, and comforting. This gin makes a wonderful gift for Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hanukkah. The gingery flavor of cardamom is a natural match for pears, but if you don’t have any, you could substitute half a vanilla bean. For a festive drink, pour two tablespoons of Spiced Pear Gin into a Champagne flute and top with sparkling wine. Eve.
Unless you’re like me, in which case you might feel comfortable taking certain liberties with the recipe.
In this case, I’d likely infuse all of the ingredients at once if I were Combine the pears, any accumulated juices, and gin in a large glass container with a tight-fitting lid. Put the container in a cool, dry, dark place (like the back of a closet) and let it rest for 2 weeks, shaking once after 1 week. Add the simple syrup, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, and star anise (if using) and let it rest for 2 more weeks. Line a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth. Pour the liqueur through the sieve and into a large pitcher. Discard any solids. Transfer the liqueur to 1 large or several small bottles. It will keep for a year in a cool, dark place. Makes about 6 cups. under a tight gift-giving deadline. If not, this is a good one to tuck away for next year’s holiday season. actors dialing down their personae to squeeze them into an econo-box of a car.
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Spiced Pear Gin can make a great holiday gift.