Two cocktails with pears, sage, and thyme leaves.

spiced pear bourbon cocktail | fall cocktail favorites

cocktails, drinks, fruits, recipes, whiskey

the blog

I originally published this blog post in the fall of 2015 for the now nonexistent Urban Outfitters Blog. It was my first foray into creating paid content for another publication or brand. Since the link to that original post is no longer functional, I’ve given the previous photos a little editing love, retested the recipe, and posted how to make it here.

This bourbon-based pear cocktail contains so many of my favorite fall flavors – juiced pears, fresh sage and thyme, and toasty, bitter notes of orange peel, allspice, and cinnamon.

Alright. Let’s step back into what was going on in my world in 2015, which shares a little behind-the-scenes peek into the cocktail’s inspiration.

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.


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

Closeup of pear cocktail, surrounded with sprigs of fresh sage.

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.

Mixing the pear puree with other cocktail ingredients for the finished drink..
DIY pear puree in a glass jar, used in the pear bourbon cocktail.

I recently made this recipe, and I can say that after nine years, I didn’t need to make any adjustments. My palate and ability to taste for balance hasn’t been compromised over the years! Joking aside, this is the drink you’ll want to make, when you’re cozied up on the sofa with a candle and a good book. It’s richly textured, yet bright, with a bubbly, gingery finish. Let’s go!

Spiced Pear Bourbon Cocktail

  • 1 1/2 ounces pear purée (see below the next photo)
  • 1/4 ounce honey simple (1:1 water and honey)
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces bourbon
  • 1/4 ounce ginger liqueur
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice dram
  • Seltzer or soda water, to taste
  1. In a mixing tin, add the pear purée, honey simple, lemon juice, allspice dram, aromatic bitters, bourbon, and ginger liqueur.
  2. Add ice, shake well, taste for balance, and strain into a strain into a cocktail glass filled with fresh ice.
  3. Top with a splash of seltzer and garnish with a freshly picked sage leaf or thyme sprig.

Recipe Notes

  • This cocktail recipe yields one drink.
  • For the honey simple, combine equal parts honey and water in a small saucepan. Over low heat, stir the honey and water until dissolved and blended. Remove from heat, let cool, and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Finished cocktails with jigger and spoon nearby.

Basket filled with freshly picked seasonal, green pears.

Pear Purée

  • 1 1/2 large pears
  • 6 ounces water
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  1. Peel, core, and coarsely chop the pears.
  2. Purée the chopped pears, water, and lemon juice, in a blender until smooth.
  3. Strain and press the pear mixture through a fine-mesh strainer or chinois, discarding the remaining solids.

Recipe Notes

  • This recipe yields approximately 10 ounces, enough pear purée to make six cocktails.
  • Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Letting the infusion take place in a tall, clear jar. 

Making DIY bitters infusion with dried herbs, bark, and botanicals.

A Few Thoughts on Cocktail Bitters

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.

Two cocktails with pears, sage, and thyme leaves.

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.



PS – 2024 Jayme is still catching up on everything that happened last summer. 😉

Beautiful pear cocktail with sage and thyme leaves for garnish.

  1. Everything you post is dripping with gorgeous! xo, Becca (thedabblist on IG)

  2. danielle is rooting the sun says:

    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

    • 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! 💕

  3. This is such a gorgeous cocktail, Jayme. I love pears in cocktails, and I feel like they aren’t used nearly enough. I can’t wait to try this out! Glad your week is improving!

    • 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!

  4. Edith says:

    Love this, just a beautiful post!!!

  5. jaime says:

    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!

    • 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!

  6. 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!!

  7. […] Jayme Henderson has crafted a Bourbon and Spiced Pear Cocktail that features Fall flavors: juiced pears, orange, allspice, cinnamon, and fresh […]

  8. […] CLICK HERE for Holly and Flora’s Bourbon and Spiced Pear Recipe […]

  9. […] creation was dreamed up by Holly and Flora for the Urban Outfitters Blog. It is complex and at the same time light and refreshing. Potentially […]

  10. […] Bourbon & Spiced Pear Cocktail – Holly & Flora […]

  11. […] BOURBON AND SPICED PEAR COCKTAIL ~ holly & flora […]

  12. […] Photo and Cocktail Recipe from Holly and Flora […]

  13. […] How classy are these cocktails? I can’t wait to try these! Get the Recipe Here […]

  14. […] Bourbon + Spiced Pear Cocktail […]

  15. […] warms you on a chilly fall evening like a little nip of bourbon. This unique Bourbon and Spiced Pear cocktail blends bourbon with the heady spices of thyme and sage and sweetness of the pear. Allspice, […]

  16. Michelle says:

    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 :).

    • 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!!

  17. […] Photo and Cocktail Recipe from Holly and Flora […]

  18. […] pears are one of my favorite treats at Christmas. With this recipe, though, you can up the game with dark, heady bourbon, with some orange peel, allspice, and cinnamon […]

  19. Katie S says:

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

    • 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

Let me know your thoughts!


get the latest posts

Subscribe to my monthly newsletter, where you'll receive exclusive access to the garden-to-glass drink recipes I share here on the blog.

sign me up

let's drink by the season

see all

How to Get Up and Work Out 

The Best Hostess Hacks for Parties

We Ate 19 Macarons So You Don't Have To

Where to Go on Your Next Girl's Trip


For cocktail recipes, scenes at the vineyard, and wine stories, follow along at

join me on



For cocktail recipes, scenes at the vineyard, and wine stories, follow along at

join me on


%d bloggers like this: