This Vermouth and Pear Cocktail Is Ideal for Crisp Evenings

Photo: Claire Lower

3-Ingredient Happy Hour3-Ingredient Happy HourThe weekly drink column featuring super simple yet delicious libations.

I always love the idea of pears more than the actual fruit, primarily because—like avocados—their “aw, hell yeah” window is very short. But pear brandy never fails me; the flavor is consistently good, the mouthfeel is never gritty, and the ABV hovers around 40%.

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It’s a pure, heady hit of pear, and subbing it in for apple brandy in cocktails is a nice way to shake up your seasonal drinking habits. This vermouth-heavy cocktail is a riff on the Star, an apple brandy Manhattan I found in Robert Simonson’s 3-Ingredient Cocktails (a very fine book). The drink is half sweet vermouth, so pick a nice one. (Once again, I must recommend Carpano Antica Formula, which can be enjoyed on its own over ice.) The equal amounts of vermouth and brandy balance and blend, with neither getting overpowered by the other. To make this Starry Pear, you will need:

  • 1 1/2 ounces pear brandy
  • 1 1/2 ounces sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine everything in a mixing glass and stir until chilled. Strain into a coupe. Repeat, maybe this time with apple brandy.

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