You longtime drinkers of On the Sauce may’ve noticed a trend: We don’t use vodka all that often. In fact, it hasn’t made an appearance since The Infiltrator cocktail we made for the Tampa premiere of the film with the same name.
It’s not that I don’t like vodka, because I do. It’s just that, as the base spirit for a drink, vodka is basically tasteless, which is good in many cases — especially for Bloody Marys. But for an average cocktail, I don’t tend to gravitate toward it unless it’s a flavored variety I really like. Enter, Stolichnaya Vanil, or Stoli Vanilla.
Stoli Vanilla has been a mainstay in my home bar for quite sometime, mainly because of the delicious twist it brings to a White Russian, or your morning coffee, acting as a little hair of the dog if you had a rough night the day before. Essentially, anywhere a little shot of vanilla would work is a good place for a splash of this flavored spirit.
Now that I know how well Stoli works with pear nectar, this week’s featured drink is way overdue. You can find pear nectar (which tastes like a delicious, ripe pear without the funky texture of the fruit itself) in the international section of your neighborhood grocery store. And for those in the mood to get fancy, Amaro Montenegro adds a whole ’nother layer of depth and intrigue to the cocktail.
2 ounces Stoli Vanilla Vodka
4 ounces pear nectar
1/2 ounce Amaro Montenegro (optional)
1-2 ounces ginger beer
In a rocks glass filled with ice, add vodka, pear nectar and Montenegro. Stir until chilled. Top with ginger beer and give it another quick stir. Garnish with a lemon wedge.