or What kind of Hospitality Gift is That?
I was hosting a lavish barbecue on the first sunny Saturday in a while when one of the guests turned up at the door bearing an ordinary tin of pears. I tried to look pleasantly surprised and grateful, as good hosts do when presented with a gift, but my furrowed brow betrayed me. “You said you like a challenge, so how about a cocktail with these?” were her innocent words.
I can’t deny I like a challenge. However, having put considerable thought into clever cocktail and food pairing, I was not thrilled with the prospect of adding an unanticipated flavour profile to my feast. As I was about to pretend to forget about it, a gust of hickory smoke wafted into the house from the Weber grill, and like a cartoon finger beckoned me outside–pears and all.
So I smoked those babies. Laid them under the dome of the kettle grill until they sucked up enough gorgeous hickory smoke to enter a parallel universe of pear flavoured nirvana. I brought them gently back to earth with some calvados, vodka and bitters for one of the most weirdly wonderful, groovy, harmonious taste sensations ever. My friend was most pleased.
I used a hand blender, but a blender or food processor would work just as well. If you don’t have Calvados, substitute brandy.
1.5 oz vodka
0.5 oz calvados
dash of Angostura bitters
2.5 oz blended BBQ tinned pears plus their juice and ice about 50-50
Stir together and pour into glasses rimmed with brown sugar
Photo credits: Michélle Lawson