This month’s Last Call cocktail is the perfect bridge between Northern Michigan’s growing season and the region’s fireside months, pairing fresh pears with smoky mezcal and Black Star Farms’ pear brandy.

In Northern Michigan, one telltale sign of the shifting season is when our morning commute is suddenly dotted by ribbons of smoke billowing from nearly every chimney along the route. It’s as if a light switch was flipped overnight and the entire community built their first fall fire on the same evening, the remains of which have been stoked the next morning.

At this time of year, smoke not only belongs in our chimney, but also in our glass. In this cocktail, we marry the last breath of fruit season—fresh fall pears—with the autumnal smokiness of mezcal. Made from the agave or maguey plant, mezcal is a complex cousin to tequila. Ask your favorite liquor store for a high-quality brand, add a bottle of pear brandy from Northern Michigan’s own Black Star Farms, grab a good Michigan-grown Bosc pear and get yourself home to re-stoke that fire.

Cocktail with pear

Photo by Dave Weidner

Bosc Boss Cocktail Recipe

Serves 1

  • 1⁄2 of a lemon, seeds removed
  • 1 1⁄2 ounces high-quality mezcal
  • 1 1⁄2 ounces pear juice
  • 3⁄4 ounce Black Star Farms pear brandy
  • 1 slice fresh Bosc pear crushed ice

Place half a seeded lemon in the bottom of a cocktail shaker and muddle to release the juice and oils. Add mezcal, pear juice, brandy and ice cubes and cover, shaking until cold. Place a piece of a fresh pear and a straw into a rocks glass, surround both with a heaping mound of crushed ice, strain the mixture in the shaker while pouring it into the glass and serve.

Stacey Brugeman is a Leelanau County-based food and beverage writer and editor. Her work has appeared in Food & Wine, Saveur, Travel + Leisure, Eater and Denver’s 5280, where she served as Restaurant Critic. Follow her on Instagram @staceybrugeman.

Related Read: September’s Last Call Cocktail: The Spicy Whiskey Cider Collins.

Photo(s) by Dave Weidner