bourbon + spiced pear cocktail | fall cocktail favorites

This week has been a weird one. I’m slowly recovering from being sick with a virus that smacked me down on the couch for a week and a half. And my camera and my car both decided to get sick and die at the very same time. How is this fair?! Don’t we wish all of our mishaps and hiccups could be dispersed over several months’ time, but maybe having all the crap happen at once is a blessing.

I’m posting this delicious cocktail, but at the same time, I’m also on a serious cleanse: no caffeine, no sugar, no booze, no animal products. I’ve made it past week one, so I am feeling rather strong. I did take a slight deviation on Friday, when I met up with two friends at Café Max and had one of Max’s famous matcha green tea lattes, made with almond milk. My friend, Sherrie, who is coincidentally my health coach, couldn’t finish hers. With crazed eyes, I brazenly reached across the table and pulled her room-temperature latte closer to me and slurped up the last, lightly caffeinated drips. It was an enlightening moment on my caffeine dependency.

Ouch. Whatever, I balanced it all out with a round of green juice, so it’s all good.

bourbon + spiced pear cocktail | holly & flora

And if I haven’t mentioned it already, I am thoroughly embracing fall – all of its brilliant color, all of its aromas, all of the cozy, and copious amounts of its fruits and vegetables. I’ll admit that I’m more of an apple-lover than a pear-lover, but I’ve been stepping out of my comfort zone and am finding that I love the flavor of pears, especially when they are either roasted or paired with baking spices.

Or bourbon.

I created a cocktail for the Urban Outfitters blog this past week, and it simply screams so many of my favorite fall flavors – juiced pears, fresh sage and thyme, and toasty, bitter notes of orange peel, allspice, and cinnamon.

bourbon + spiced pear cocktail | holly & flora bourbon + spiced pear cocktail | holly & flora bourbon + spiced pear cocktail | holly & flora

The cocktail itself is a mashup of sweet, savory, herbaceous, and bitter aromas and flavors. I find that adding bitter notes to an otherwise fruity cocktail brings balance to the components of a cocktail and really brightens and sets it off. You can add bitter notes by adding an amaro or tossing in a few dashes of bitters to a cocktail. I always have a batch of bitters developing in my liquor cellar. Right now, I am making a lavender bitters, a celery version, and a cardamom blend.

Bitters are super easy to make, but if you’re not keen on sourcing out the various or possibly obscure ingredients necessary, one of my favorite bitters-makers, Hella Bitters out of Long Island, actually makes a DIY bitters kit. It couldn’t be more simple than using your favorite base spirit, like bourbon or gin, and adding the dried bitter components in the kit. I was really impressed with the quality of their ingredients, and their labels couldn’t be more classy.

bourbon + spiced pear cocktail | holly & flora bourbon + spiced pear cocktail | holly & flora

You can read more on the Urban Outfitters blog for the recipe for this bourbon and spice pear cocktail. And I was beyond happy to make yet another batch of bitters; I have a feeling they’ll show up in a few friends’ Christmas gifts this year.

Get the Bourbon + Spiced Pear Cocktail recipe over at the Urban Outfitters Blog and learn more about Hella Bitters’ Craft-Your-Own Bitters Kit HERE.

Cheers to a much better week than this one! Actually, cheers to an amazing finish to this week! I’m no longer sick, my car is fixed, my laptop is revived, and I have a new camera in my possession. Things are looking up!

Signing off with a few of my favorite ciderific pear, freshly picked apple, or all-things-autumn cocktails I’ve come across recently and wishing you a superb second week of November. November!? When did that happen? I’m still catching up on June.



bourbon + spiced pear cocktail | holly & flora bourbon + spiced pear cocktail | holly & flora

33 thoughts on “bourbon + spiced pear cocktail | fall cocktail favorites

  1. danielle is rooting the sun

    cheers to embracing all the lovely autumn vibrations jayme – something is so crisp and sharp about this time of year. something that pears seemingly compliment perfectly. great cocktail and i absolutely love the sound of the bitters you currently have in motion. xo

    1. Jayme Henderson

      You said it so perfectly, Danielle. I’m always trying to {seriously, no pun intended!} pair my surroundings – the music, the weather, the colors, the feel – with whatever I’m eating or drinking or making. So, pears do contrast nicely on the warm, cozy vibes. Making bitters is addicting – be warned! They are so fab in tea, too! 💕

    1. Jayme Henderson

      I am so with you, Liz! I have been doing all kinds of cocktails with them this month, and I’ve fallen in love with them again. And yes, the week is improving by leaps and bounds, thanks. Today I’m off and am going to soak up the sun and shake it allllll off! 😘 Thank you so much!

  2. jaime

    hi! this cocktail is so enticing–i love that you paired bourbon (which is too often dragged further into the realm of cloyingly dark/sweet) with such fresh, floral flavors. so creative and gorgeous! i’ve never actually mixed drinks with bitters before but i’m such a nut for bitter flavors, acidic flavors, and really any of those subtle-but-totally-necessary contrast notes that enhance other flavors. i’m totally checking out the DIY bitter kit–thank you!

    1. Jayme Henderson

      Jaime, if you love bitter flavors, you will become addicted to bitters. I’m all about those “subtle-but-totally-necessary contrast notes, as well. Cocktail-making is so much like finding just the right balance in wine; isn’t it? Let me know if you make your own!

      Thanks for the kind words – XOXO!

  3. Sherrie Castellano (@withfoodandlove)

    I’d happily share my matcha latte with you any day, anytime, promise. The post turned out really beautiful on UO, woot woot congrats on that!! And, thank you for linking up to my cranberry shrub. Next time I’m in town {and you’re done with Lean + Green} let’s do cocktails, xx!!

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  19. Michelle

    Hi Jayme-

    I’d like to make this cocktail but I cannot find Hella Bitters. Do you suggest any other brands? I’m thinking it will be too much work to make them on my own since I never use bitters. Please let me know what you think. Thanks! Beautiful pictures of the drink :).

    1. Jayme Henderson Post author

      Hi, Michelle! No worries on trying to source that particular bitters. I actually enjoy using a citrus bitters (maybe an orange bitters here) or even going traditional with Angostura bitters. Ango is great to have on hand because you’ll use it in many of the classic cocktails. If you are new to bitters, having Ango and an orange bitters (maybe Regan’s, which is a solid one to have on hand) is a perfect addition to your cocktail arsenal. And thank you so much for the compliment! I took these in my garden a few years ago, and I miss having that massive sage plant!!

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  23. Katie S

    I can’t get the link to work for the recipe, does the recipe live anywhere else? Most link back here

    1. Jayme Henderson Post author

      Thanks for mentioning that you were unable to find the recipe. It looks like the site where I originally shared it (Urban Outfitters) doesn’t have an active link. I am going to simply share it here on the blog and update the photos. Appreciate your letting me know!! <3


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