Jennifer Farley

Jennifer Farley

About Jennifer

The holiday season is a wonderful time for bringing family and friends together, and it’s also a great time to experiment with fun and unique cocktails. Eggnog, mulled wine and even cranberries often take center stage, but did you know Stemilt apples and pears are also great options for creating cocktails? It’s very easy to make them into simple syrups, either using the whole fruit or just the peels. Since many fall and winter dessert recipes call for peeled apples and pears, this is an excellent way to make use of the entire fruit.

I’ve created two recipes for apple and pear simple syrups, along with some basic example cocktails that you can try incorporating them into. But those are just some ideas to get you started! These can be used in so many ways depending on the type of cocktails and liquors you prefer. For example, do you love hot toddies? Try adding either of these simple syrups to your next one! Add a bit to taste depending on your preference for sweetness. They’ll add a fruity depth that you won’t get from honey.

However you use them, consider these simple syrups your new holiday cocktail staple!

Apple Simple Syrup

Yields approximately 2 cups

Note: This is a great way to use up the peels if you have a recipe calling for peeled apples (for example, apple butter.) However, you can also swap out the peels for chopped apples.

  • 1 cup firmly packed Stemilt apple peels (I used Pinata apples. However, any variety will work)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the apple peels, sugar, water and cinnamon stick to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Turn the heat to low and simmer for an additional 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
  3. Allow the syrup to cool, then strain out the solids. The syrup can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to one month.

Warming Apple Gin Cocktail

Yields 1 serving (can easily be scaled up)

  • 2 ounces apple simple syrup
  • 2 ounces good quality gin
  • 2 ounces apple cider
  • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice, or to taste
  • Cinnamon stick for garnish
  1. Combine the simple syrup, gin, cider and lime juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously to combine.
  2. Pour into an ice-filled glass and garnish with the cinnamon stick. Serve immediately.

Pear Simple Syrup

Yields approximately 2 cups

Note: If you have a recipe that calls for peeled pears, you can substitute 1 cup of firmly packed pear peeled in place of the chopped pears.

  • 1 cup chopped, unpeeled Stemilt pears (I used Bartlett pears. However, any variety will work)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the pears, sugar, water, cinnamon, and nutmeg to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Turn the heat to low and simmer for an additional 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
  3. Allow the syrup to cool, then strain out the solids. The syrup can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to one month.

Citrus Pear Cocktail

  • 2 ounces pear simple syrup
  • 2 ounces fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 2 ounces good quality brandy (pear brandy is an excellent choice)
  1. Combine the pear simple syrup, orange juice, and brandy in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously to combine.
  2. Pour into an ice-filled glass and serve immediately.