snow queen cocktail
New year, same me, but with better cocktails. That’s my true resolution. I’ve been wanting to push myself out of my comfort zone when it comes to cocktails—I’ve been infusing my own liqueurs (like the spiced pear brandy in this recipe) and it’s honestly been so much fun. I love the creativity that comes with creating great cocktails. With so many available ingredients, how do you bring them all together? When I definitively figure that out, I’ll let you all know. Right now it’s just been trial and error and making my husband taste test everything with me. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to get a man to be descriptive? I ask Erik, “So, what do you think?" His response is usually, “it’s good” or “it’s really good!” And I’m like damn it, what does that mean? What is good about it? How’s the flavor? What about the texture? Is it too boozy? Does it need more sugar? GOOD LORD MAN, HELP ME. He is a good sport though. But anyway, I digress.
This cocktail was born out of something delicious I drank when I first moved to San Antonio at a gorgeous cocktail bar. I have no idea what they actually put it in, they are very snooty. But this has been my closest recreation thus far. I was able to read on the menu a couple of the key ingredients but I just moved forward trying to recreate it as best I could. The first thing is the spiced pear brandy (which turned out effing amazing, by the way). I threw some brandy in a mason jar with sliced red pears, a couple of cinnamon sticks, cloves and a vanilla bean and let it sit for about a week. Strained everything out and it was truly amazing. The brandy is transformed and perfect for adding a unique flavor to this cocktail. I decided to name it the Snow Queen, honestly because I could picture Tilda Swinton drinking this cocktail on set as the White Witch. If you know her, please feel free to pass the recipe on. Now, the White Witch cocktail sounds kind of sinister and Tilda Swinton is a queen and thus, here we are. Let me say, it’s really hard to name cocktails. I’m not a creative or punny person in that sense so I feel totally lost when it comes to giving things cute or funny names. That is just not my strong suit.
However, I’m all about the creativity that goes into cocktails. It’s like cooking in that you’re trying to narrow down ingredients, pair flavors together and create balance. I am in love with it. And I hope to keep bringing you awesome cocktail recipes throughout the year! Also, IMPORTANT PSA: If you’re looking for that glorious cocktail crushed ice, Sonic sells a 10lb bag for $2! YES, you read that right. You can pull up to a sonic, and just buy a bag of ice and all your cocktails will thank you for it. WOO!
SPICED PEAR BRANDY:
makes 4 cups
32 oz. brandy
2 pears, not ripe, sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean, sliced in half
6 whole cloves
2 allspice berries
Mix all ingredients together in an airtight jar. Sit on the counter for a week, shaking once daily. Strain brandy through a coffee filter set in a mesh strainer (helps get all the tiny bits of pear out of the brandy). Store in an airtight jar at room temperature for up to 3 months.
Products I used in this recipe:
snow queen cocktail
- 2 oz. bourbon
- 2 oz. spiced pear brandy (see above recipe)
- 1 1/2 oz. cream of coconut, such as coco real
- 2 oz. heavy cream
- 1/2 oz. simple syrup
- 2 dashes black walnut bitters
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- mint sprigs, for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker, combine bourbon, spiced pear brandy, cream of coconut, heavy cream, simple syrup, bitters and nutmeg with some ice. Place the lid on the shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Fill two stemmed cocktail glasses with crushed ice. Strain evenly into the glasses, top with more freshly grated nutmeg and garnish with mint sprigs.