Apparently I am on a bit of a martini kick lately! With last week’s Amarula martini and this week’s pear and cinnamon spiced martini I’m getting into a little bit of an obsession. Maybe it is because I love martini glasses. They are so elegant and classy. I could drink water out of them and still feel like a graceful, high flyin’ lady. However, martini glasses do lend themselves to easy spills… So much for the graceful part! Anyway, I still love how pretty drinks look in the delicate glasses.
Actually, when we moved to Tokyo, I was floored because I couldn’t find martini glasses anywhere! I finally found them last May in an upscale shopping area near our apartment. They cost a little more that I intended to pay, but I adore them. It is rewarding to come home on a Friday to a comfy chair, a good book or TV show, and a fun cocktail in hand. Oh so nice.
This particular martini is one of my favorites of all the Cocktail Friday posts. I made a simple syrup using honey, diced Asian pear, cinnamon and ground ginger. After allowing the syrup to simmer then steep to intensify and deepen the flavors, I poured 2 oz into a shaker with 4 oz chilled vodka and some ice. Shake shake shake…pour…sip. Awesomenesss.
In Japan, there are some very interesting and wonderful fruits in season right now. Figs are beautiful, white peaches smell so sweet, and Asian pears are a staple in every produce department. This week I went to the store and stocked up on these delicacies. After making fig jam, and a salad topped with the peaches, I decided something creative had to be done with the pears. Cocktail Friday was the answer!
The cinnamon gives enough heat to make the cocktail more unique than the ubiquitous Peartini (gag). Peared (ha…get it…peared…instead of paired? Sorry…) with the ground ginger, the cinnamon also helps to balance the crisp freshness of the pear itself. I made enough of the simple syrup to last for a while because I loved the flavors so much.
Non-alcoholic option: Make the simple syrup and pour tonic or soda water into the glass. Stir to dissolve and add ice.
Pear and Cinnamon Spiced Martini
Makes 2 Martinis
For the simple syrup:
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 Asian pear, peeled and diced
Combine all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a steady simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, watching carefully and stirring frequently to avoid scorching. Strain the syrup into a small glass bowl and allow to cool.
To assemble the martini:
8 oz. chilled vodka
4 oz. pear and cinnamon simple syrup
In the shaker, combine the simple syrup and vodka. Add ice and shake well. (*note: My rule of thumb that I learned working as a bartender in college is to shake until your hand can’t stand the cold anymore- I know, sounds painful, but it is a good gauge.)
Pour equally into two martini glasses. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and pear skin if desired.