Whisky, gin, brandy or vodka
Spices to taste (optional)
Pick over the pears, remove the stalks, and chop the whole fruit, cores and all, discarding any bruised or damaged parts. Put them into a large glass jar so that it is a half full, layering with a small sprinkling of sugar, and cover with your chosen spirit, adding any spices you wish (e.g., a cinnamon stick, fresh ginger, a few cloves) but be sparing with them. Make sure the pears are fully covered. Fit the lid. Leave the pears in the spirit for as long as you can resist it. Remember to keep checking it to make sure the fruit remains covered, or the top layer will go mouldy. The liqueur can be strained and drunk after six months, but if you can keep it for at least two years it will be even better. You can substitute apples for the pears.