Spike It: Ginger Pear Moscow Mules
I like to tell everyone that I was completely deprived because I never even tried ginger beer until I was at least 28 years old. It happened to be in my very first Moscow mule, which I completely adored, but I was all over the ginger beer itself before anything else.
While I was lucky enough to grow up in a home where my mom cooked every night, we had a lot of the same (delicious!) staples, and her cooking focused more on comfort than it did on adventure. I’m sure that also had to do with feeding four mouths other than her own, and the last thing she wanted to do was cook a new, exciting meal for us to turn our noses up at it.
So it’s safe to say that I don’t think she ever even purchased ginger root. She would cook with ground ginger, but the fresh stuff never graced our home, and it wasn’t until I started cooking myself that I fell in love with it. The hint of spice that comes with fresh ginger is so refreshing and lovely.
And I’m sure that directly contributed to my becoming downright obsessed with ginger beer. When I was pregnant, ginger beer is what I’d sip on to ease nausea, and a glass poured over ice on an autumn Saturday night tastes like heaven.
And all of this means that I fell hard for Moscow mules. Sure, I think the pretty copper mugs had a thing or two to do with it, but the refreshing flavor with a little ginger bite is almost exactly what I’m craving. Every. Single. Time.
For these Moscow mules, I used one of my favorite fall fruits (one that I deem extremely underrated): the pear! There is nothing as delicious as a juicy, ripe pear. And combined with the ginger beer … ah! It’s heaven in a (fancy, frosty, copper) mug.
Ginger-Pear Moscow Mules
Makes 1 cocktail (and is easily multiplied)
2 ounces vodka
1 ounce pear cider
1 ounce vanilla ginger syrup (recipe below)
4 ounces ginger beer
Fresh pear slices, for garnish
Fill a copper mug with ice. Stir the vodka, pear cider and vanilla syrup together in the mug. Top it off with ginger beer, drop in a few pear slices and serve!
Vanilla Ginger Syrup
Makes 1/2 cup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
1 vanilla bean
Add the water and sugar to a small saucepan. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean and add them and the whole pod to the saucepan along with the ginger.
Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, then set it aside to cool to room temperature.
*If you’re making this ahead of time, store it in the fridge with the vanilla bean pod and ginger still in the syrup. If you’re using it as soon as it cools, remove the ginger and the pod. This will make about 1/2 cup of syrup — you can keep it stored in the fridge for a week or so.