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Vanilla Bourbon Smash

Vanilla Bourbon Smash

Wow...holy hell it's been a while. So sorry my friends, these last few months have been a journey.

Since my last post, I've decided to leave my career in accounting and finance behind, and pursue a more artistic career. I'm slightly terrified, but equally optimistic! After working as an accountant for five years, I've decided it's time to pursue my passion of jewelry. I've somehow found myself back in school taking metal smithing classes, and it's been a resource of knowledge. I'm enjoying every bit of it, and have been spending the last few months building out my work desk (which is another blog post to come!), reading and collecting countless books, and practicing, practicing, practicing.

And as far as that finance life, I left my corporate job behind to work as a studio manager for an Austin artisan designer. I won't lie, at first I was terrified. For the early years of my life, I believed a 9-5 salaried desk job was the life, and it truly is for some when you find your passion, but I quickly realized it wasn't for me. I have longed to work with my hands and create something, anything! While I'm not necessarily doing that now in my normal work hours, I'm learning what it takes to operate a small and thriving business. It's exhilarating and wonderful; every month is a new month and it's an amazing growing experience.

But hey, let me not bore you with details. That's my life, and I know you came for the cocktails!

This next cocktail recipe is dedicated to my girl Bettina, who's been waiting for a new blog post! I didn't realize Spencer had shared my secret internet life as a blogger with others ;)

So...cocktail recipe...since pears are still in season, I figured why not celebrate the pear, which is in season through the end of winter. An ode to pears!

enjoy a delicious handmade vanilla pear bourbon smash with this recipe

Crisp, delicious, and sweet; this pear cocktail is sure to tie you over from late winter to spring! Of course these days, if you're down in Texas, it's already starting to feel like spring.

homemade vanilla bean simple syrup to compliment a bourbon pear smash cocktail

We'll start this round out with a delicious homemade simple syrup; if you don't make your own already, you should. It's quick, easy, and deliciously customizable. This time around, I'm making a flavorful vanilla bean simple syrup. The recipe is simple: 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 1 vanilla bean scraped. Combine the ingredients into a sauce pan and stir until the sugar is melted and the mixture is boiling. I threw in the vanilla bean husk and simmered it for an additional 10 minutes before pouring into a separate container to cool.

vanilla bean simple syrup to compliment a pear bourbon smash cocktail

Those measurements will yield a generous amount of syrup, which you may or may not use entirely. If you don't want to be stuck with additional syrup, just adjust the measurements to you liking; however, if you do have leftover syrup, there are endless uses for it besides sweetening a cocktail. Pour a little in your coffee or tea, dress a fruit salad with it, bake with it, etc. etc.

treaty oak red handed bourbon whiskey

As far as bourbon, I decided to try the Treaty Oak Distillery bourbon; I've long been a fan of their spirits, from the gin to the rum, but this is my first time trying their bourbon whiskey. Very good, smooth, and much enjoyed alone or mixed into a concoction. Not pictured but also mixed in this cocktail is a splash of Austin Eastciders original dry cider; delicious, local, and the perfect balanced dry cider.

vanilla pear bourbon smash cocktail, a refreshing winter cocktail

This is a refreshing and crisp cocktail, and simple to make! Plus, the addition of seasonal pear makes for some yummy booze fruit, my favorite!

Combine, shake, serve, enjoy!


serves one

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 vanilla bean
2 oz bourbon
1/2 oz vanilla bean simple syrup
1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
dry cider to top
fresh pear slices, for garnish
fresh thyme sprigs, for garnish


For the vanilla bean simple syrup, combine one cup sugar, one cup water, and cut open and scrape the vanilla bean pod into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir until sugar dissolves. Add the vanilla bean husk and simmer for an additional 10 - 15 minutes for additional flavor. Remove husk and pour into a container to cool.

For the cocktail, combine the bourbon, simple syrup, and lemon juice in a shaker over ice.

Shake and pour into a low ball glass over ice. Top with dry cider and stir. Optionally, garnish with fresh pear slices and thyme sprigs.

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