Pear soda collins cocktailColumns Food & Drink 

Canned Pears and Sparkling Pear Soda

By Tom Andersen

Recently after a friend delivered a boxload of freshly picked pears, I went about preserving them by canning in a medium sugar syrup. During the process of boiling the pears, I tasted the syrup and found the flavor to be quite good. Since I had two liters of this syrup left over after the canning process, I decided to make pear soda. 

The pear soda recipe requires yeast to make carbonation. While this is not directly a fermentation process for the purpose of making alcohol, fermentation is involved as a byproduct of achieving carbonation. Store bought sodas achieve carbonation by the bottler injecting CO2 into the mix. I don’t have commercial CO2, but I have yeast. Yeast makes CO2, the saturation of which, in a liquid, makes carbonation. 

By combining the right ingredients and letting them sit for a few days, we’ll end up with a tasty fizzy soda.  

Canned Pears

20 small to medium pears, 16 cups water, 9 cups sugar

Boil the water with the sugar until sugar is dissolved. Peel and core the pears. Boil pears in the syrup mixture for 5 minutes or until the pears turn just barely soft. At this point, I begin the canning process. This recipe yields enough to fill 8 sterilized pint jars, which were then sealed and left to cool. To learn more about the canning process, which I’ll write about in a future article, I recommend the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving book or The National Institute of Home Food Preservation website at

Pear Soda

After jarring the pears in the syrup, there were two liters of syrup left over. I strained out the bits, let it cool to about 97°F to 99°F (body temperature, not room temperature which would be too cold) and added ¼ teaspoon of champagne yeast. Note that champagne yeast is a better option than baker’s yeast because it does not impart any flavor. Pour this mixture into a clean two-liter bottle. Leave it in a warm place for a couple days or three depending on the temperature — summer fewer days, winter more. Then into the fridge. Important: if the mixture sits too long, the action of the yeast may blow the lid off the bottle making quite the sticky mess — yes it will.

When your pear soda is ready, serve over ice with a squeeze of lemon. Keep the bottle sealed with a tight cap and store in the fridge. 

Pear Collins Cocktail

  • 2 ounces gin or vodka
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Pear soda
  • Garnishes: pear, vanilla bean

Add the vodka or gin and lemon juice into a shaker with some ice and shake well. Strain into a glass filled with ice. Add pear soda and stir. Garnish with a slice of pear and a vanilla bean pod.

Tom Andersen is a lifelong Felton resident, writer, woodworker, and martial arts instructor. He is writing a book on his family’s recipes dating back to the early 1900s.  

Featured photo: Pear Collins Cocktail The perfect refresher for a fall afternoon

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