Winter is the time for hearty drinks full of flavor, so we are always thinking about ways we can make cocktails with big bold flavors. Scotch is a spirit that definitely packs a big bold flavor and a nice boozy punch, so when the weather turns cold, we turn to scotch cocktails! The Peaty Pera fits the bill, combining scotch whisky, amaro and pear to make a nice hearty winter cocktail!
We recently have been getting in some really great pears as the winter pears are finally fully ripe and ready to go. Most people don’t realize that many of the great pear varieties like the Anjou or Bosc actually need to be chilled to ripen due to the unique way that pears ripen.
Pears, unlike apples, ripen from the inside out, so to fully allow the fruit to ripen, they need to be exposed to cold to prevent the pear from rotting. Traditional varieties like the Anjou or the Bosc actually need to be exposed to temps below freezing for 4-6 weeks to fully ripen, which is why they start appearing in the dead of winter!
Since we have these great pears in season now, we figured a cocktail that combined two of our favorite winter flavors would be a real winner. We had made some homemade pear nectar for our Pink Pear cocktail so with that handy, it was only natural to use in the Peaty Pera. The homemade pear nectar was naturally sweet tart with a bright pear note and body that adds a decadent smoothness to a cocktail.
Scotches have a rich malted flavor that works really well with sweet fruits like ripe pears and berries, so pairing it up with some pear nectar made perfect sense.The smokey flavors from the peat used to roast the malt imparts a deep dark flavor reminiscent of a roaring fire on the hearth which really works in a winter drink.
A good winter drink needs to have a nice layer of spice and one way to bring some rich spicy complexity is to mix in a little amaro. We chose to use Amaro Lucano, an Italian amaro that has a nice blend of herbs and spices, with a great finish of warm baking spice and hint of bitterness. A splash of fresh squeezed lemon juice adds a bright citrus note that brings out the fruity notes of the pear.
The drink was a little tart and we needed to bring the drink into balance with some added sweetness. Not wanting to just add sweetness, we decided to layer in a little more flavor by adding a bit of thyme simple syrup (you can find a recipe for that in our Thyme to Shine cocktail) which really worked well with the flavors of pear and the amaro.
Give the Peaty Pera a try on one of these cold winter’s night and you are sure to enjoy the warming heartiness that a great scotch cocktail can bring! Cheers!
- 1.5 oz Scotch
- .75 Amaro Lucano
- 1 oz pear nectar
- .75 oz Thyme Simple Syrup
- .5 oz Fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
- Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and stir until fully mixed.
- Pour into a cocktail couple.
- Garnish with a pear slice.