When we first sat down to talk about this section, given the fact that the entire issue’s theme is weird stuff, the drink possibilities became endless—and a little scary. Instead of talking about “snake whiskey,” however, we instead will focus on the “weird” phenomenon that is Korean pear juice. For those unfamiliar, many people believe drinking a cup of Korean pear juice before a night of heavy drinking eliminates—or, at least, greatly reduces—the next day’s hangover. It’s obviously difficult to quantify how someone “would have felt” had they not drunk the pear juice first, and no one can quite pinpoint why it works. Australian researchers say that because the juice contains anti-inflammatory agents that protect the brain, it limits headaches and improves the ability to concentrate the next day. They also suggest that enzymes in the juice not only inhibit alcohol absorption into the system but also speed it through the metabolism process quicker.
All I can say is I’ve tried it a few times, and it seems to work. Was it really the pear juice? No clue. Try it yourself, and then visit us online and let us know. All pear juices are OK, but Asian pear juices are better. And Korean juices specifically, for whatever reason, appear to be the best. In addition to suggesting you have pear juice before drinking, we’ve actually incorporated it into a few cocktails. Happy testing!
This cocktail was invented in my kitchen with neighbor T.J. Mancuso as we prepared for his world-famous (if you consider three blocks in my neighborhood the world) Olympic-themed costume party. Plus, he’s the one who turned me on to pear juice. These go down easy because they are sweet with fruit flavors but don’t give you the “too sweet” taste that comes from low-grade sugary mixers. And thanks to the flavored alcohols, it ends with a nice, bright finish.
1 ounce vanilla vodka (we used Svedka)
1 ounce orange vodka (we used Deep Eddy)
1 ounce coconut water (we used Bai Antioxidant Cocofusion)
1 ounce Korean pear juice
Pear slice for garnish
Mix all of the ingredients in a shaker and shake well. Strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a slice of pear.
This is a take on Love Potion No. 69, only we’re replacing pineapple juice with pear juice and adding fire. You can cut the pineapple out altogether or blend it with the pear, depending on your personal taste. Flambéing the fruit gives the drink a little deeper, sweeter flavor.
1 ounce coconut rum (we used Malibu)
1 ounce peach schnapps (we used DeKuyper)
4 ounces Korean pear juice
2 ounces cranberry juice
Pear (or pineapple) ring and a cherry for garnish
1/2 ounce 151 rum (we used Cruzan)
With the exception of the 151, add all of the ingredients, in the order above, to an ice-filled cocktail glass. When ready to serve, float the 151 over the fruit and ignite.
People get very judgy with people who drink martinis, and also with the martinis themselves. Created by writer Colleen Graham at The Spruce, this one is light and refreshing with fruity flavors—and, as she says, can be adjusted to taste by the gin used. (Use the blue Curacao to taste as well, as a little goes a long way.) Now that vodkas come in virtually every flavor under the sun, having that pear flavor adds a nice, smooth, hard-to-place note that complements many complex drinks.
1 1/2 ounces gin (we used Bombay Sapphire)
1 1/2 ounces pear vodka (we used Grey Goose)
1/2 ounce blue Curacao (we used Hiram Walker)
1/2 ounce dry vermouth (we used Dolin)
Dash of orange bitters
Add the liquors and vermouth to a shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass and add the bitters. Garnish with fresh blueberries or your favorite fruit.
For more, here’s three recipes for tropical themed drinks.