Spiced Pear Cocktail with Rosemary

An elegant Fall cocktail with spiced pear syrup. A garnish of fresh rosemary adds a herbal note which balances the warm, spicy sweetness.
Spiced Poached Pear Cocktail with Rosemary
Spiced Pear Cocktail with Rosemary

Some people hate to see summer end. To those intrepid folks the first chilly day signals the end of everything fun; swimming in the ocean, riding with the top down, prancing in cabana wear.

Well, those people are wrong. Summer is horrible. It’s hot. It’s humid. The only good thing about summer is the tomatoes. And corn. The rest of summer can suck it. Okay fine, swimming is fun but who has time? And yes, if I had a convertible I would probably enjoy driving with the top down, but I have a Subaru and it doesn’t even have a sun roof.

Do I sound bitter? (I think the answer to that is a resounding yes). Long story short, it’s been a long, hard summer and I’m looking forward to seeing it F-off into the sunset. Buh bye, don’t let the pumpkin spiced latte hit you on the way out.

I admit this was my long and slightly psychotic way of telling you that I, Emily, am a Fall person.

Spiced Poached Pear Cocktail with Rosemary
A Comice pear on the left, a Bosc pear on the right along with cinnamon sticks and star anise.

I love sweaters and chilly nights and bonfires. I love root vegetables and roasting things and apple cider doughnuts. And I love pears.

This cocktail was inspired by one we had last year at a wonderful restaurant called Global Palate. Ours is quite different, light as opposed to deep and rich but I wanted to keep the gorgeous pear flavor without having to spend a lot of time and money on poaching whole pears in red wine or port.

My favorite kind of pears for this are Comice which are particularly sweet and juicy. If you can’t find them, Bartletts are also a great choice. Whatever variety you go with, choose ripe ones. When you poach pears for dessert you need them to stay intact which is why slightly under-ripe are recommended. Since these are for syrup, ripe (but not rotten) fruit are perfectly suited.

Spiced Poached Pear Cocktail with Rosemary
Spiced Pear Syrup, use it for cocktails or mix it with club soda for a non-alcoholic drink.

You should feel free to use your favorite mulling spices but be careful not to overwhelm the delicate flavor of the pears. A couple of cloves would be a fine substitute for the star anise but they’re strong so don’t use more than 3. Other nice additions would be fresh ginger (a couple of slices, no need to peel), black peppercorns (5 or 6), maybe a few allspice berries.

Don’t boil the pears, keep the liquid at a gentle simmer so the pears don’t break down. This will keep the liquid from becoming cloudy.

You will end up with about 1 1/2 cups of syrup which will keep in the refrigerator in a clean glass for up to a month. This is enough for 8-10 cocktails, depending on how sweet you like your drinks.

Besides the cocktail, the spiced pear syrup is delicious mixed with club soda for a non-alcoholic drink – a great option for a Fall party when you want to have an choice for non-drinkers.

It’s also fantastic with bourbon and ice (I like this combination so much, I’ll probably blog our version of a Spiced Pear Old Fashioned soon).

Spiced Poached Pear Cocktail with Rosemary
Simple, elegant and stunning. Serve this Spiced Pear Cocktail at a Fall dinner party or a Thanksgiving feast.
Spiced Poached Pear Cocktail with Rosemary
Spiced Poached Pear Cocktail with Rosemary
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5 from 1 vote

Spiced Poached Pear Cocktail with Rosemary

An elegant Fall cocktail with spiced pear syrup. A garnish of fresh rosemary adds a herbal note which balances the warm, spicy sweetness.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 cocktails
Calories: 250kcal
Author: Emily Clifton – Nerds with Knives


For 2 cocktails:

  • 4 oz vodka
  • 1 1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
  • 2-3 oz pear syrup depending on how sweet you like your drinks
  • 1 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

For the Spiced Pear Syrup:

  • 2 large Comice pears (ripe) or other sweet variety, chopped into 1 inch pieces (no need to peel)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 pod star anise
  • 1 strip lemon zest (3-inch), peeled with a vegetable peeler


Make the syrup:

  • In a small sauce pan combine water, wine, sugar, cinnamon, star anise and lemon zest. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce to a simmer. Add the chopped pears and cook until pears are soft and the liquid becomes syrupy, about 30 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean glass jar. Don’t press the pears or the syrup will become cloudy. Discard the solids and chill syrup until ready to use.

Make 2 cocktails:

  • In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine vodka, Lillet, lemon juice and pear syrup. Shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds.
  • Strain into 2 cocktail glasses. Twist the rosemary sprigs a few times to release the oils and garnish each glass.


Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 17mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 9IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @NerdsWithKnives or tag #nerdswithknives!

6 thoughts on “Spiced Pear Cocktail with Rosemary”

  1. Emily, you made my day. I read the first 3 paragraphs of your post out loud to my wife and she figures you are my spirit person given your sassy disregard for summer. Totally agree, summer can suck it….fall and winter rule. BTW recipe looks great too. Contains some of my favourite spices/herbs. Thanks

  2. 5 stars
    I made this for Thanksgiving yesterday and it was DELICIOUS!! You have the best cocktail recipes! I made the grapefruit rosemary cocktail for a holiday dinner in 2019 and it was also a huge hit, so I came back for more. Also, I ate the pears with greek yogurt after I made the pear syrup. Really excellent in every way. Thank you! Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving!

    • Thank you so much! That’s wonderful to hear. And spiced pears with Greek yogurt sounds absolutely delicious! Hope you have a wonderful holiday too ❤️


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