Eight day of Christmas 2020 here, and we are in need of drink! Or maybe five...I am not really sure at this point. And this vanilla bean champagne cocktail is about as festive as it gets and absolutely delicious.
There's a pear in there...
You're god damn right there is, pears and champagne are like a match made in heaven. And the vanilla bean syrup in this cocktail is the syrup I poached pears in for a cake. NEVER THROW OUT POACHING SYRUP. You can use it for so many other things! So for garnish I threw in a poached pear.
Can I use vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean?
You sure can, and I know vanilla beans are expensive, so go for it if you want. But I would try to get your hands on vanilla bean paste, which is kind of a hybrid of vanilla extract and vanilla bean. It is much thicker than extract, but also so so much more flavorful. If you are going with either the extract or the paste, use ½ tablespoon in place of the vanilla bean
Last year I made a pear sparkling cocktail with rosemary, and it was my favorite champagne drink until now...this vanilla bean champagne cocktail is a bit sweeter, but in a good way. And at the holidays, especially this year, making everything a little sweeter isn't gonna hurt.
Vanilla bean champagne cocktail
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup of water
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 bosc pear ripe and gently peeled and cut in half lengthwise
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- cinnamon stick
- Bottle of champagne and champagne flutes
To make the simple syrup
- In a saucepan combine the sugar and water. Heat over medium heat, and stir until combined. Add the vanilla bean and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Add the pear and reduce heat to low and simmer until the liquid has reduced a little and the pear is soft, but not turned to mush. This will take about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool about 10 minutes. Carefully remove the pear (DO NOT THROW AWAY - put in container in fridge for garnish or to eat or...see my tip below) and pour the simple syrup in a mason jar and store in the fridge. This will last a few weeks in the fridge.
To make your cocktail
- When ready for your cocktail, spoon ½ tablespoon of the vanilla bean syrup into a champagne flute and pour chilled champagne on top. It might need to be stirred a tiny bit. Then simply garnish with a poached pear slice, or with a fresh pear slice, or no garnish at all...just drink up!