In need of a new, fall drink? Yes? Excellent! Because, I have a lovely pear bourbon cocktail here for you using ripe pears, bourbon, and maple syrup! And, oh yes, a bit of allspice to give it some kick. So, grab that overripe pear on your counter and the bourbon and get to smashing.
What do with overripe pears which are too soft for eating? We all have recipes for overripe bananas, but there is less out there for pears! Luckily for those pears which would otherwise be tossed in the trash, I’m here to help. Back in February, I shared my Pear Quick Bread, and now it’s time for a pear cocktail.
And, believe me, I used some seriously overripe pears making this drink.
Tip: Barlett pears turn a golden green color when very ripe and tend to look a little bruised. When overripe, they start to get squishy in the middle. Cut them in half, scoop out the overly squishy bits, and use the rest in recipes.
In fact overripe pears are rather perfect for this recipe!
To my mind, a bourbon smash should be quick and involve smashing. Yes, I’m a little literal here, but smashing things is fun! 🙂 And, it turns out that a very ripe pear + a potato masher and a strainer produces just the right amount of juice and pulp for the drink.
You just give them a good smash and then press the pulp through the strainer. Some bourbon, a few other ingredients later, a couple of minutes and you’re having a pear bourbon smash!
I did try a few other methods before I hit on this one, but mashing and straining is pretty easy, quick, and not too messy.
Mashing the pears in the shaker? Then you’re left with a mess of pear pulp and bourbon which is hard to get into your glass. (Cocktail fail! One thing a cocktail should always do is get in your glass.)
Pureeing the pears? Too thick! It was like drinking applesauce. You want some pulp but not All The Pulp.
Roasting the pears? Not bad if you can’t wait for ripe pears, but roasting is an extra, rather long, step. I do think that bourbon smashes should be quick, so I shelved the roasting idea.
While I was figuring out HOW to make it (without making a complete mess of my kitchen or staring at the oven for an hour), I did at least decide on the recipe. That was the easy part! 🙂
Pears. Obviously. Bourbon. Ditto. Maple syrup. Yes, since it was so great in my Blood Orange Bourbon Smash. Then I had to think! A little acid – lemon juice here. Some vanilla – either extract or beans are great. But it still needed something! And then it came to me – ALLSPICE. A pinch of allspice and my pear bourbon cocktail went from darn tasty to awesome.
So, enjoy and don’t forget the allspice!
– Happy Drinking, Annemarie
- 1 very ripe pear
- 3 oz bourbon
- 1 oz maple syrup
- 1/2 oz lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or the seeds scraped from 1/3 of a vanilla bean
- 1/4 tsp allspice
Slice the pear in half. Scoop out any overly squishy pulp along with the seeds and stem. Roughly dice the pear and put it in a medium bowl. Mash the pear with a fork or a potato masher. Transfer the pear to a fine mesh strainer set over a wide mouthed measuring cup or another bowl. Press the pear pulp against the strainer to get as much of the juice out as possible, along with some of the pulp.
Once you have the pear juice add the rest of the ingredients, along with some ice, and stir vigorously to mix. Fill two glasses with more ice and divide the drink between them.
If you have a vanilla bean on hand, you will get a really great vanilla flavor from the seeds. Just split the bean, open it up, and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Add them to the mix and enjoy.
You can use the shaker here, either by straining the pear juice directly into it or by pouring it in from the bowl.