This post is in partnership with A.O. Smith. We’re sharing a fun + festive cocktail recipe using pears, gin, and the kicker – infused ice cubes. Enjoy!
The holidays are going to look pretty different for most of us this year, but we’re working to find creative ways to celebrate and keep spirits (pun intended?) high. To kick things off, Kim has already put up our Christmas tree, and we’ve started stringing holiday lights wherever we can find a place for them. With decorations up, our next step was to experiment with festive flavors to create the perfect holiday cocktail treat beneath the flow of our tree – naturally. But we kicked it up a notch by adding ice cubes infused with pear, lemon zest and cinnamon.
Using Filtered Water to Elevate Recipes
Infused ice cubes can’t be made without water, obviously, so let’s start with the elevated basics! About a month ago, we installed the A. O. Smith Main Faucet Filter under our kitchen sink. Installation was a breeze, and our existing kitchen faucet was up and running with filtered cold water in about 30 minutes. If you can turn a wrench, you can install this filter. No plumber required, promise!
This straightforward filter can be installed on nearly any kitchen faucet and works to keep 99% of chlorine, lead and other contaminants out of our water. Coffee, tea and drinking water all taste noticeably different in the best way, and we like knowing that we’re keeping unnecessary nasties out of our bodies.
Infused Ice in a Starring Role
To make the infused ice cubes, we used Anjou pears, lemon zest and a healthy dash of cinnamon. Anjou’s are mildly sweet, and the flavor played nicely with the cinnamon and lemon zest for the infused ice cubes, which became the star of the show. Seriously, the ice makes this cocktail!
Tip: If you’re not sure which pear you should use in your recipes, this is a great resource.
The combination of clean water, a slice of pear, cinnamon and lemon zest completely elevated this holiday cocktail.
The Simplest Syrup
In addition to the ice cubes, the simple syrup was also made with filtered water from the kitchen faucet. As the name implies, it’s pretty much the easiest. A 1:1 ratio of water to sugar gets heated in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Done!
We think that the splash of simple syrup brings an extra hint of sweetness and balance to the recipe, but you could also try a squeeze of agave syrup if it’s already in your cupboard.
The Festive Finale
Once the ice cubes were ready, we eagerly whipped up the cocktail base. We’d never played around with making infused ice before, but a few of our favorite local cocktail bars have wowed us with frozen flavors in the past. The only problem with this recipe, if you can call it that, is that it turned out to be dangerously delicious!
Gin? Pears? Cinnamon? Lemon zest? Yes! It all works together to create a cocktail that is somehow All the Things. It’s delicately sweet, but not cloying. It’s citrusy, but not tart. It’s served cold, but will certainly warm you up from the inside out! The cinnamon warms your soul and gives you the warm fuzzies.
Many elements of this recipe could be adjusted to taste. You’ll notice in the recipe card below that we made a pear puree, but you could just as easily swap in some fresh apple cider. The one non-negotiable, though, is the infused ice! As the drink is consumed and the ice melts, the pear and citrus flavors shift and change in proportion. This makes for a cocktail that tastes noticeably different at the end than it did at the beginning! It’s an adventure in a glass.
The final product is a gorgeous warm amber color that’s just right for the holiday season. We recommend adding a cinnamon stick to act as a swizzle for blending the flavors as the ice melts into the drink. Please be sure to enjoy these drinks responsibly in the cozy confines of your home. These mild, pleasant flavors can have a way of sneaking up on you!
Festive Pear + Gin Cocktail with Infused Ice Cubes
- large ice cube tray
- Microplane zester
- Shot glass or jigger
- Cocktail shaker
- filtered water for infused ice cubes
- 6 thin slices fresh pear for infused ice cubes
- lemon zest for infused ice cubes
- 6 oz pear puree (or 4 jigger shots)
- 4.5 oz gin (or 3 jigger shots)
- 1 oz simple syrup (or 1 shot)
- juice from half a lemon
- dash of ground cinnamon
- soda water, for topper
- cinnamon stick for garnish
- Fill ice cube tray with filtered water, and add a thin pear slice to each cube.
- Zest lemon and generously sprinkle ground cinnamon over ice cube tray. Allow cubes to freeze before continuing to next step.
- To make the pear puree: Peel the skin from 2 small Anjou pears, slice, cube and blend on high. Add water in small increments if the mixture is too thick. Pear puree should look like thin applesauce.
- Fill cocktail shaker with plain ice (not the infused cubes!), and add pear puree, gin, simple syrup, and a generous squeeze of half a lemon.
- Shake vigorously for 15 seconds
- Add one large infused ice cube each to two cocktail glasses. If you made smaller ice cubes, add several to each glass!
- Strain into your cocktail glasses, and add a splash of soda water to top off.
- Optional: Garnish with an extra dash of cinnamon and add a cinnamon stick for swizzling.
- Enjoy responsibly!
Our bar is stocked up for the winter, and we anticipate playing around with all sorts of cocktail flavors as the dark, cozy nights continue. Thanks again to A.O Smith for providing us with fast, filtered water and, as always, we appreciate you supporting the companies that support us!
P.S. If you’re in a cooking and baking mood like we are, check out a few our other favorite recipes! How about the best chocolate chip cookies in the world or this easy and delicious one pot white chicken chili? Feeling a fall sniffle coming on? Whip up this immune system-boosting green smoothie!