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We made it through another week!
And THIS week. Well, it was particularly long for me. So I’m ready to celebrate the arrival of Friday with a cocktail! Are you with me? Good. Let’s do this.
Until this past year, cocktail making wasn’t something I did particularly often. I guess I was kind of intimidated by the whole endeavor. So I always saved my cocktail drinking for nights out on the town. But now I’ve learned how to shake things up at home. And it’s a lot of fun!
One of the most important things I’ve learned for achieving cocktail success at home is to use really high quality ingredients. While I always strive to cook and bake with the best stuff I can get my hands, I think it’s even more important when it comes to cocktail making. Why? Because there are so few components that go into your glass. You definitely don’t want some less-than-stellar ingredients muddling things up.
Unless of course you are making a mojito, then muddle away. Or something like that.
So for this fizz, I grabbed the plumpest looking lemons I could find, a couple perfectly ripe pears, some fragrant thyme and an intoxicatingly fragrant Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean. If you haven’t tried Rodelle vanilla beans yet, I urge you to change that ASAP. There is nothing in this world quite like slicing into a fresh, richly aromatic vanilla bean. It’s life altering.
Oh and do yourself a favor and make up some fresh ice too. That stuff that’s been sitting in your freezer for months = no bueno.
This Vanilla-Pear Spiced Bourbon Lemonade Fizz is like a little teaser for the warm weather that’s on the horizon. The lemonade part of it just screams summer. But the pears, vanilla, thyme and brown sugar give it a warming quality and some real depth of flavor. It’s how we transition through the seasons in style.
And while I’m not one to ever leave out the bourbon (ahem), you can totally skip it for a great virgin cocktail.
- For the Lemonade Base
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/4 cups white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 pears, cored and chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 Rodelle Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean, split
- For the Cocktails
- Crushed ice
- Club soda or seltzer water
- Make the lemonade base. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine all of the ingredients for the lemonade base. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat. Let the lemonade base cool to room temperature. Then transfer it to your refrigerator to chill completely, at least 2 hours or up to overnight. The longer the lemonade base sits, the more the flavors will develop.
- Strain the lemonade base through a fine mesh strainer into a clean container, discarding the solids. The lemonade base can be store in your refrigerator for several days.
- Make the cocktails. Pour about 3/4 cups of the lemonade base over some crushed ice in a glass. Add about 1/4 cup of the club soda or seltzer water and 1 1/2 ounces (about one shot) of bourbon. Stir gently to combine. Serve immediately.
I could totally go for this drink now and it’s not even 8am yet! Love the combination of bourbon and lemonade. Looks delish!
8am is totally acceptable. This is basically a big glass of vitamin C, so it’s cool! 🙂
I LOVE Rodelle vanilla beans! They have them at my local Costco and they are the best! This cocktail looks so packed with flavor, and it’s super pretty, too!
They are the BEST!
So it’s 6:30 am and I’m looking through the ingredients making sure I have it all… and yes! I do! I have a few extra minutes this morning to get that lemonade simple going, then I’ll pop it in the fridge to be ready for 5:00! This is such a delicious concoction and the flavors are so inviting. The addition of vanilla bean is genius! Can’t wait to try this Liz!! A delicious way to welcome Spring! 😀
So glad you all ready have everything on hand, Traci. Enjoy! XO
These look so fresh and delicious! Perfect for Friday cocktailing. Is it happy hour yet?
It’s ALWAYS happy hour! 🙂
There’s really nothing like a fresh delicious ah-dult bevvie to make you feel like a classy lady. LOVE this vanilla-pear cocktail! I need to get a hold of a vanilla bean and add it to all my cocktails, cause that’s just genius! Happy Friday and have a great weekend, love!
Wish we were having a drink together RIGHT NOW, Julia! Cheers!
Giirrrllll this sounds intoxicating!! Literally! Cuz I would drink like 7 of these … and then probably fall asleep. Seriously sounds delicious. And I love making cocktails at home! It feels like an easy way to treat myself. I love the feeling of a Friday or Saturday night (or sometimes a Wednesday ….) when you know you’re going to chill out and make yourself a drink. It’s just nice. 🙂
Oh totally Wednesday! And Tuesday and Thursday…
Would it be socially unacceptable if I drank this right now? (Mind you, it’s 8:42 AM)
Howwww have I not thought of adding vanilla bean to my cocktails?! This is GENIUS! Also, pear lemonade? YES! Ok I’m seriously considering this as my happy hour drink today and I’m thinking I should make a virgin version for all day sipping. Cheers love!
Oh yeah. You got the right idea, Abby!
This drink is so creative Liz — I love the flavors you have going on! The vanilla sounds like the perfect thing to bring it all together!
Thanks, Marcie! Cheers!
I’m ready for happy hour even though I’ve only been up for less than 2 hours. I totally need this delicious drink today. Wish we lived closer together so that we can have Friday cocktail hours!
Ha ha. Totally!
High quality is the only way to go with drinks. The difference is just HUGE! Gorgeous photography- loving those ice cubes. Have such a fun time on the west coast, and talk soon! XOXO
Thanks, Sarah! Let’s catch up ASAP!
Lemonade and bourbon! Sign me up. I need a couple of these with lunch today!
Yes you do, Jen! And so do I!
Perfect timing! The vanilla-pear-lemon combo sounds to die for! It’s not too early for one of these now, is it? 🙂
Never too early! 🙂
Can we have a party please? A party that only contains whipping up fun and delicious cocktail concoctions because I can not get over this bourbon lemonade! Pinning!
Yes. Start planning the party. I’ll be there! With bourbon lemonades!
Ohhhh this is delightful!!!
Wish we were drinking a glass together RIGHT NOW!
I could reallllly go for this cocktail right now. Hurray for Friday! These pictures are beautiful. And I’m going to keep my eye out for Rodelle vanilla beans, nothing better : )
Thanks, Natalie! Cheers!
Loving this gorgeous cocktail! Having a baby around means I don’t get much in the alcohol department anymore but I think that needs to change starting with this bourbon lemonade….I think I may even stay up past 9 tonight just so I can have one…real party animal over here. 😉
Woo hoo! Sounds like a party. Although I’m in bed most nights by 9pm too. HA!
I am kind of scared of cocktail making too! I not really sure why, I think I need more practice 😉 haha! I am loving this, can’t wait to try it!
Don’t be scared. You can totally do it, Annie! 🙂
I passed on a drink during dinner tonight because I was trying to be a good girl, but I’d love to have this one right now. It sounds so good!
Oh yeah, be a little naught! Ha ha.
Oh yesss please! This cocktail looks amazing Liz! I need to get my hands on those vanilla beans, STAT. What a perfect drink for the first day of spring!
Thanks, Alyssa. Let me know if you try it out!
There are not enough pear cocktails. This is a knockout, Liz!!
Agreed! Thanks, Marissa. Cheers!
These look fantastic, Liz! What a creative take on lemonade 🙂
I love Rodelle and what a beautiful and flavorful combination of ingredients! This is the perfect drink to sip on this spring!
Thanks, Ashley. And thanks for sharing on FB! XO
This this cocktail sounds absolutely perfect! I love all these flavors together, especially the vanilla bean! 🙂
Thanks, Beth. Let me know if you try it out!
Oooh I love fruit and herbs paired together!! I never make fun cocktails at home but I really need to start… they are like works of art!! Ripe pears are my fave, so this sounds amazing.
I just love herbs in my drinks. They add some really fun flavors!
I tackled my first cocktail this weekend (okay, it was Sangria..but still) and I really think it will be the first of many!! I think this coming weekend’s endeavor is going to have to be this lemonade. I love anything citrusy and bourbony!
Sangria totally counts! Summer is all about cocktail making, so I suspect you’ll have plenty of time to practice! 🙂
Liz, I also was intimidated by cocktail making. . but I started channeling my inner mixologist and just went for it. I seriously love all the drink concoctions you make!!! this is gorgeous!!!
Gotta just go for it, Alice! Ha ha. Thanks!
I could use this right now!! This is my kind of lemonade!
I could use one right now too, Liren!
Liz!!! Oh my word, I wish a pitcher of this could magically appear before me right now. What a fabulous concoction!
Thanks, Annalise! I’d love to bring you a pitcher!