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Spherical Pear Elderflower Martini Recipe

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The pear elderflower martini is one of my favorite cocktails. It is made with pear flavored vodka and St. Germain liquor. If you haven’t tried St. Germain yet, you have to stop reading this now and you need to run to purchase a bottle right away. This liquor is so amazing that even people that never drink alcohol like it.

St. Germain is the first liquor in the world created in the artisanal French manner from freshly handpicked elderflower blossoms. The wild blooms are picked by 40 or 50 men riding bicycles in the foothills of the Alps. In just a few spring days they pick the flowers for the production of St. Germain for the whole year.

Spherical Pear Elderflower -720

It has a very subtle and delicate taste with hints of passion fruit, pear, grapefruit and lemon and it has low sugar content (almost half that of other liquors).

So when I was in molecular mixology mode, I had to try my favorite cocktail in a sphere. This molecular gastronomy recipe uses the Reverse Spherification method created by Ferran Adria and el Bulli team. After a few tests, this is the best recipe I have to offer you.

Pear Elderflower Mix

- 40 g (1.4 oz) Pear Vodka (Absolut or Grey Goose)

- 40 g (1.4 oz) St. Germain

- 40 g (1.4 oz) water

- 20 g (0.7 oz) grapefruit juice

Sphere Mixture Ingredients

- 140 g (5 oz) Pear Elderflower Mix

- 3.6 g Calcium Lactate Gluconate

- 0.6 g Xanthan

Alginate Bath

- 1000 g (35 oz) of water

- 5 g sodium alginate


Start by preparing the alginate bath. Mix the sodium alginate in the water using an immersion blender until the sodium alginate is completely dissolved. If this is your first time doing this, be aware that this may take longer than expected. Let it rest for 24 hours in the fridge so that the air that has entered the mixture disappears and the sodium alginate is completely rehydrated.

Then create the pear elderflower mix by mixing the vodka, St. Germain, water and grapefruit juice. Then mix in the calcium lactate gluconate and finally add the Xanthan and let it hydrate for 1 minute. Then mix it using an immersion blender and leave it in the fridge for 24 hours to eliminate the air bubbles.

You are now ready to start the spherification process! Remove the alginate bath from the fridge. Scoop the pear elderflower mixture with a half sphere 5ml measure spoon and carefully pour it into the alginate bath. It is important that the martini spheres don’t touch since they would stick together. Leave the spheres "cooking" for about 2 minutes in the alginate bath and then carefully remove them using a slotted spoon.

Then rinse them very gently with water and strain them carefully. If desired they could be stored in a sealed container with water in the fridge. To improve the technique read 10 Tips to Create a Perfect Sphere.

Serving suggestions 

- Serve in appetizer spoon

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  • Anonymous

    Add the sugar then bring to the boil for 5 minutes, and stir regularly so the
    sugar dissolves and does not stick. Remove from the heat and cool for 30
    minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.


  • guest

    Can calcium chloride be used instead of calcium lactate or does it matter?

  • guest

    Can calcium chloride be used instead of calcium lactate or does it matter?

    • Anonymous

      It matters because calcium chloride is salty and will alter the flavor of the main ingredient.

  • Cathy Tom Yih

    Thank you for this wonderful site! I’m having so much fun experimenting but it is a little frustrating.  My first batch of these spheres came out great. Beautiful, light pink spheres.  But whenever I do a second batch… the spoonful of martini seems to have trouble going down beneath the surface and he spheres spread out on top and start to gell up. I tried to do it again but same thing… first go at it turns out beautifully, second group gets all funky on me. Can’t quite figure out what’s going on… can you help?

    • QuantumChef

      Great to hear you are having fun! Is the bath getting thicker with time? Are you using filtered water or water with no calcium content for the bath?

      • Cathy Tom Yih

        hmmmm. well, yes i guess it is getting thicker with time. We are using Arrowhead bottled drinking water. Should I be using distilled?

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  • Jeanette Warne

    how many spheres does this recipe yield?

    • QuantumChef

      Aprox. 8 to 10 spheres.

  • Patrick

    I know you mention not to use frozen reverse spherification with alcohol. Since this has water in and and the St Germain has a lower alcohol content will there be enough dilution of the vodka’s alcohol content of 40 proof to allow it to freeze and use the frozen reverse spherification method?

    • QuantumChef

      It may work. I would try by just trying to freeze a little bit of the mix and see what happens.

  • OH_Gator

    I used the quantities specified, however, I didn’t acheive ANY spherification upon dropping the drink mix into alginate bath using syringe for this task. It just dispersed into the bath solution and disappeared. I used distilled water other “pure” as others appeared to have calcium added; I assume for more mineral taste. In any cae, there was no spherification at all. What might have happened?

    • QuantumChef

      That’s weird…Are you dispersing the alginate in the bath thoroughly? Are you measuring quantities precisely with a digital scale? Are you using this exact recipe or are you modifying it in any way? Why are you using a syringe? Reverse spherification is not normally used for making caviar, it doesn’t work well. Here are some other tips

  • מור-ס סס

    Can I freeze the mixture? And then take a bath??
    Thanks in advance

    • QuantumChef

      I haven’t tried this one but the alcohol level is not too high so it may freeze. It probably won’t freeze really hard so remove them carefully from the mold. If you try it, please let us know if it works, thanks!

      • מור-ס סס

        Thank you for the response
        I done Mojito and succeed freeze
        Excellent spherical result
        I tried today to do spherical ravioli strawberries but the result was flat not spherical
        Components were in solution: 12 oz strawberries – Juice (blended strawberries with sugar)
        Half a teaspoon of sodium lactate
        5 grams of sodium lactate in the bath one liter of water

        What was wrong?

        • QuantumChef

          Glad that it worked! thanks for letting us know. It seems that you didn’t use sodium alginate in the second preparation. Also, you may need to thicken the juice with xanthan so the sphere keeps its shape once it melts.

          • מור-ס סס

            Thanks for the quick response
            How many to put xantan?
            And I did not understand about aligante
            I made a bath of 1 liter of water and 5 g aligant
            Thanks in advance

          • QuantumChef

            You wrote that you used sodium lactate instead of sodium alginate. The amount of xanthan depends on the densitiy of your juice but as a guidance you may want to start with something around the proportion used in this recipe. Here are some tips that can help too

  • Charlie

    how long can you store these for?

    • QuantumChef

      A couple of days in the fridge in a bath of pear elderflower martini.

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  • jack…

    do u think it would work to make a margarita sphere? or any alcoholic drink perhaps? do different alcohols work differently?