Homemade Pear Liqueur

The weather was freaking spectacular today.

Frost and fog early on gave way to a gloriously sunny afternoon: the autumn foliage here in the Hudson Valley has never been more beautiful. At sunset, the thinnest imaginable crescent moon hung in the sky, illuminating clouds that looked like wisps of smoke.

I wish I could have bottled it all up to enjoy a few months from now…just like this homemade pear liqueur.

pear-cordial-text

I first gave this boozy fruit-infused delight a go last fall; I couldn’t wait for pears to come back into season to make another batch. It’s based on the recipe for Pear Cordial in the November/December 2011 issue of Hobby Farm Home magazine.

You’re supposed to allow the pears to rest in the liquid for a month, then strain them out and wait for another six before drinking it…such torture! I believe I only held out for 3 months total last time (since I wanted to give a few little jars of it to friends as holiday gifts), but it was still great.

Do your best to wait as long as you can…the end result will be a smooth and sweet adults-only treat imbued with the essence of pear. This liqueur goes down easy so do keep in mind there’s a fair amount of alcohol in here: it’s potent!

Drink in small amounts “as is”, over ice, mixed with seltzer, or use it to gussy up winter cocktails. I imagine a spoonful or two would also be wonderful over vanilla ice cream.

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4.25 from 4 votes

Homemade Pear Liqueur

Servings: 6 cups

Ingredients

  • simple syrup made by dissolving 2.5 cups of sugar in 2.5 cups of water over medium-high heat stir until sugar dissolves, then allow to cool to room temperature; feel free to infuse your simple syrup with some big chunks of fresh ginger as it cools (I did or maybe add a sliced whole vanilla bean and/or a couple of cinnamon sticks)
  • 6 Bosc pears very ripe, preferably local, peeled and sliced
  • zest from 1 organic lemon
  • as much vodka or brandy, rum, or whiskey as is needed to fill up the jar

Instructions

  • In a sterilized 1/2 gallon-sized glass jar, combine peeled and sliced pears and lemon zest. Strain the simple syrup if you infused it with herbs, etc., then pour over the pears. Add the vodka. Cap tightly and shake to combine. Allow to “rest” in a cool, dark place for about 4 weeks, shaking every couple of days.
  • Strain the pears out by pouring through a fine-mesh sieve (or use cheesecloth). Transfer strained liquid into new sterilized glass jar(s) and and allow to rest undisturbed for another 6 months.
  • Strain out any additional sediment through cheesecloth before pouring into sterilized jars one last time.

This post was originally published in October 2012.

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26 thoughts on “Homemade Pear Liqueur”

  1. This is a fabulous treat. Made the simple syrup with vanilla and ginger. We already drank half the bottle with friends before I came back today to see if there were any suggestions as to how to use the pears and whoops, I see I had forgotten about the 6 month resting period. Luckily we made 2 bottles! Thanks so much for posting this.

    Reply
  2. have just been given a bag of pears, was wondering what to do with them
    so guess what i will be making with them.
    Thanks very much.

    Reply
  3. Curious – the recipe says to just peel the pears, but the picture looks like they are sliced up. Just wondering if whole / not cored pears are fine or not. I have two huge boxes of very ripe pears i’m looking to do something quick n easy with :)

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Jeannette,
      You are correct: the pears should indeed be sliced and I’ve corrected the recipe to reflect that. You are, of course, welcome to try it with whole pears…I just don’t know how it will work out!

  4. Thanks for the quick response! I think I will try the recipe as is and see how it turns out. :) Sounds like it would be really good mixed with sparkling water to lighten it up a bit. Glad you have had luck infusing whiskeys. I think I will do one of each because I have plenty of pears!! :) Thanks again!

    Reply
  5. I have a ton of ripe pears so I am definitely going to try this! I have a couple questions though. I’ve infused vodka before with lemon and I mixed it with a lighter simple syrup. Have you tried using a different simple syrup ratio? I’m just guessing that the final product is somewhat syrupy and was wondering if I could use a 2:1 water/sugar ratio or something like that. The lemon liquor I made was pretty thin at room temperature, but thickened quite a bit when storing it in the freezer after it was finished. My second question is have you made this recipe using whiskey? That sounds pretty good to me, but I’ve never tried anything like that. Thanks and can’t wait to try this!

    Reply
    • I didn’t find the final product syrupy, but of course you are welcome to try a different ratio. I really like the sweetness of the recipe as written, though. I have not tried this with whiskey, but I have made other fruit-infused whiskeys and loved them!

  6. 3 cups water to 3 cups sugar? that sounds VERY sweet to me…is that correct? I just picked up my order of pears and will be making a batch this weekend..thanks…

    Reply
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    • Thanks so much Donalyn…I am not at all used to any type of video chatting so it was a new experience for me! Great to meet you, too ;)

    • I think so! I believe I read somewhere you can make a liqueur/cordial with Granny Smith apples. Might be nice with a vanilla ginger simple syrup!

  11. Love this one, Winnie! I have some very ripe pears so this sounds ideal. I’m starting my homemade holiday gift list, so this will be a lovely addition!

    Reply
  12. I recently made a kumquat liqueur and I’m having to be equally patient to open it. Love the idea of a similar drink with pear.

    Reply