What’s fall without your favorite ripe fruits muddled into a bright whiskey sour like this fig and pear whiskey sour? While I’ve done both fig and pear drinks in the last few months, a trip to the fridge meant I had plenty of both on hand, and plenty ripe ones at that. I’m firmly season-centric with this pear and fig smash/sour featuring some lovely McConnell’s Irish whisky.
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While working on this cocktail, I nosed some of my newer whiskey bottles, and this Irish whiskey already had a bit of pear and apple flavors on the nose, so I wanted to blend that sweet fig notes as well. I’m always choosing base spirits for cocktails based on aromas, so if you find me in the kitchen with six open bottles of whiskies and spirits, you’ll know what’s going on.
McConnell’s Irish Whisky
First, about McConnell’s Irish Whisky. You all know I love whiskey, but mostly dabble in American whiskies. A lot of Irish whiskies seem a little too tame to me. But this McConnell’s has a finish and taste that really reminds me of bourbon. According to the label it’s aged in bourbon barrels, so perhaps that’s where it’s getting those more aggressive notes.
But it’s one I’ll be sipping neat and working with for cocktails.
On the nose you can tell it’s an Irish whisky. But I get a lot of dried apple and pear notes in the aromas, with that faint grain/barley note common in Scotch and Irish whisky. This particular whisky has a blend of single malt and grain whiskey and perhaps it’s the grain whisky that’s giving the taste that extra kick. Flavor-wise, the mouthfeel is on the sides and back of the mouth, leading to a great, malty finish. There’s a back note of smoke in the finish, and it’s a lovely neat sipper for me.
Seasonal Whiskey Sours are the Best
Whiskey sours might be more common in summer, but paired with ripe fruit from any season, a freshly shaken sour can be a revelation. This cocktail muddles figs and ripe pears with some Besamim spiced liqueur, full of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and allspice. Add some lemon, simple, Irish whisky and dash of bitters and you’ve got a great cocktail.
If you don’t have the Besamim from Sukkah Hill Spirits, a little allspice dram will do.
My Fig Sour (https://www.instagram.com/p/CGIzak_lquf/) a few weeks ago was such a hit on Instagram (and at the house) I knew I wanted to use my remaining figs in a sour again. One box of ripe pears later I had a combination of figs and pears that created a fabulous flavor combination and mouthfeel.
One of the things enjoyed most about the fig whiskey sour was the creamy mouthfeel from the muddled fig. With the soft texture of muddled pear added, the cocktail was even more perfect than the original fig sour.
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Fig and Pear Whiskey Sour
- 2 slices fresh pear chopped
- 2 small fresh figs chopped
- 1/4 oz Besamim spiced liqueur
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- 2 oz McConnell’s Irish Whisky
- 1 egg white
- Garnish: dried pear
- Combine pear, figs, lemon juice and spiced liqueur in a shaking tin and muddle well. Add simple syrup, whiskey, and egg white. Add ice and shake for 60 seconds. Double strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with a dried pear. The double strain will take a while given the muddled pears and figs, but it leaves enough texture in the cocktail that the mouthfeel is amazing.