What’s the most essential part of any Thanksgiving feast? Well let’s see, you can play it safe and take the classics: turkey and mashed potatoes. No one’s going to argue with you there. Or, perhaps you’re one of those stuffing, or even cranberry sauce types . . . hey, they’re out there! And of course everyone knows you have to save room for pie: pumpkin, apple, pecan, and sweet potato. But if you’re asking me (and I know you’re not, but I’ll tell you anyway) there’s one thing, ONE thing that is absolutely essential to any holiday gathering. Why, the cocktails, of course. Ha! Weren’t expecting that one, were ya?! You know how I roll . . .

Pumpkin Pie Bourbon and Pear Cocktail by HonestlyYUM

Last year for thanksgiving I spiced it up with a little vanilla-cardamon syrup. This year, however, I wanted to showcase another technique for spicing things up: making your own pumpkin pie spiced bourbon. It’s too easy, I repeat, too easy not to give it a try.

pomegranate.spice.cocktail.recipe.9.1Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail
Yesterday I promised to share the recipe for the cocktail I featured as part of the DIY cocktail station, so let’s get right to it. I wanted something creative enough to impress my guests, but […]

Pumpkin Pie Bourbon and Pear Cocktail by HonestlyYUM

Start by picking out your bourbon and your pumpkin pie spice. While the bourbon certainly doesn’t have to be fancy, I do recommend using a fresh spice blend. I grabbed a bottle of the pumpkin pie spice from Oaktown Spice Shop. If you live in the East Bay I highly recommend checking this place out. First off, it smells amaaaazing. Plus, they have some really cool boxed sets that make for really great gifts.

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Bourbon by HonestlyYUM

Start by adding the pumpkin pie spice directly to the bourbon. If the mouth of your bottle is tiny, you may have to use a funnel. Give it a good shake and store in a cool dark place for 24 hours. Every few hours give the bottle a shake to reincorporate the spices.

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Bourbon by HonestlyYUM

After 24 hours strain the spices by pouring the bourbon through a fine mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter. That’s it – you now have your very own pumpkin pie spiced bourbon.

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Bourbon by HonestlyYUM

Now let’s make the pear syrup. Make sure you use ripe pears. Give them a rough chop. You can leave the skin on.

Pear Syrup by HonestlyYUM

Meanwhile, quickly make the simple syrup, let cool to room temperature and add the chopped pears. Waiting for the simple syrup to cool will result in a bright, fresh pear flavor. Using a potato masher, mash the pears to a pulp in the syrup.

Pear Syrup by HonestlyYUM

Next, double strain the pear mixture through a fine mesh strainer lined with a tea cloth. Give the cloth a good squeeze to get all that fresh juice out of the pear pulp.

Pear Syrup by HonestlyYUM

What you’re left with is a sweetened pear juice bursting with bright fresh flavor.

Pear Syrup by HonestlyYUM

On to the cocktail – simply add the pumpkin pie spiced bourbon, pear syrup, lemon juice, and sparkling water to an ice-filled old fashioned glass.

Pumpkin Pie Bourbon and Pear Cocktail by HonestlyYUM

Give a quick stir to combine and garnish with a thin slice of pear.

Pumpkin Pie Bourbon and Pear Cocktail by HonestlyYUM

Time to celebrate!! Now, where are those mashed potatoes?

Pumpkin Pie Bourbon and Pear Cocktail by HonestlyYUM

PUMPKIN PIE BOURBON AND PEAR COCKTAIL

Ingredients:

For the cocktail:

  • 1 1/2 oz pumpkin pie spiced bourbon
  • 1 1/2 oz pear syrup
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice
  • 2 oz sparkling water

For the pumpkin pie spiced bourbon:

  • 375ml bottle of bourbon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice blend

For the pear syrup (makes ~6-8 oz): 

  • 1 cup chopped bartlett pear (~ 1 large pear)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions:

For the pear syrup:

  • Add sugar and water to a small saucepan over medium heat, stir to combine and cook until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  • Roughly chop the pears and add to the simple syrup.
  • Use a potato masher to mash the pears to a pulp in the syrup.
  • Double strain the pear mixture through a fine mesh strainer lined with a tea cloth. Use your hand to squeeze the cloth to get all the juice out of the pear pulp.

For the pumpkin pie spiced bourbon:

  • Add the pumpkin pie spice blend directly to the bottle of bourbon.
  • Shake to incorporate and store in a cool dark place for 24 hours.
  • Give a shake every couple hours to reincorporate the spices.
  • Remove the spices by double straining through a fine mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter.
  • Funnel the bourbon back into original bottle.

For the cocktail:

  • Add the pumpkin pie spiced bourbon, pear syrup, lemon juice, and sparkling water to an ice-filled old fashioned glass.
  • Give a quick stir to combine.
  • Garnish with a thin slice of pear.

(images by HonestlyYUM)