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. 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
- 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.
- Serve in appetizer spoon