Taste-Off: Pear vs. Pear

In the battle of the pear-flavored spirits, who reigns supreme: Liquor or liqueur?
Xanté Pear Liqueur and Grey Goose La Poire Vodka

So far in the Taste-Off series we've matched a pumpkin latte and a pumkin beer, and compared two varieties of alternative pasta. In this latest installment, we test a pear liqueur against a pear vodka.

There are several ways to incorporate the flavors and ingredients characteristic of fall in a cocktail. One of them? Opt for a spirit that is flavored with a seasonal fruit, like pear. Below is the tale of two pears, liquor versus liqueur. 


Grey Goose La Poire Vodka

  • Price: About $13 before tax for a 200ml bottle.
  • Alcoholic content: 40%
  • Origin: France
  • Availability: The flavor was released in 2007 and it is available internationally.
  • Ingredients: "The essence of Anjou pears" is blended with Grey Goose Vodka that has been distilled from French wheat, made from spring water that filters though champagne limestone.
  • Label description: Referencing the artistry of the distilling process and premium quality ingredients, this label is très classy.
  • Taste: The consensus was that the vodka has a very clean, natural smell and taste—a close, accurate representation of the flavor of an actual Anjou pear. You could smell the alcohol when first poured, but it was really quite smooth to drink.


Xanté Pear Liqueur

  • Price: Average retail price is $40 for a 750ml bottle.
  • Alcoholic content: 38%
  • Origin: Sweden
  • Availability: Distributed in Europe for more than 10 years, the liqueur launched in Miami and New York in the spring of 2009 and is now available nationwide.
  • Ingredients: Made with all-natural ingredients, the infused cognac liqueur gets its flavor from "sweet virgin Belgian pears found in the garden region north of Liège."
  • Label Description: With phrases like "unimaginable pleasure," "menage-a-trois," and "sweetness of virgin pears," this suggestive label definitely makes you... thirsty.
  • Taste: The sampling inspired remarks like "Jolly Rancher candy," "butterscotch," and "pear-scented Yankee Candle." Compared to the vodka, the liqueur was expectedly sweeter and more powerful. When making a cocktail you would need something to cut the sweetness, like the acidic apple cider used in this cocktail served at Rayuela.
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