Pear Brandy

November 25, 2016

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I’ve appreciated Clear Creek eaux de vies for a long time, but I was reminded of it lately because of my love for Rogue River Reserve Blue cheese, which is wrapped in grape leaves that have been soaked in their pear brandy.  Loving the cheese as I do, I went out and bought a bottle.  It was the perfect end to the Thanksgiving feast.

Clear Creek Distillery has set the standard for American fruit brandies for over 30 years, and I’m not the first person to wonder if they also set the standard for the rest of the world For the uninitiated, these clear eau-de-vies pulse with the sunny, complex pleasures of perfectly ripe fruit while maintaining the sharp, bone-dry finish of their European counterparts. As you sip, your thoughts may float to an Oregon landscape: lush rows of fruit trees, the wide Columbia River, a looming Mount Hood…

But here’s what makes this a truly great holiday gift: it cuts richness, so it’s the perfect quaff to end a big long meal. If there’s one thing I know for certain about this winter, it’s to expect a few of those.

I love this mirabelle plum brandy, an homage to the great golden plum eau-de-vie of Lorraine. But I think my favorite is the poire, which is the essence of pear. If you’re looking for a little extra panache, they sell a bottle with a whole pear inside – yes, they grow it inside the bottle. My kind of magic.

 

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