The other evening I was sitting with some of my students (I teach a novel writing class at Mediabistro) and the subject of Poire William came up. Poire, of course, is pear in French, and Pear William is an old-fashioned liqueur, sweet and fruity, wonderful for cleansing the palate after a meal, and goes well with cheese and grapes and such.
Many companies, especially in France, still sell the liqueur with the whole pear in the bottle "“ and if you're going to try it for the first time, I highly recommend getting a hold of this more expensive version.
So how do they get the pear in the bottle? Simple, the bottle is attached to the branch of a budding pear tree and the fruit grows inside it. Air is periodically pumped into the bottle so the fruit doesn't rot and some even cut the other pears off the branch so the one pear gets as much nutrition as possible.
Then, before the bottle is filled with the liqueur, the pear is pricked slightly to let the juice out. All this got me thinking: I wonder what other beverages are made this way? If you have one to share, by all means, do tell.