The Vanilla and Pear Pairing Old Fashioned

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My variation of @gintensiv‘s Vanilla and Pear Old Fashioned replaces the orange blossom water with orange liqueur (which, believe it or not, another site said was a perfectly fine substitution, and because it’s what I have, that would be our friend the Gran Gala). I also caramelized the pear slices with brown sugar instead of granulated sugar, and added a couple extra dashes of orange bitters, because, as you know, I like a bitters-heavy drink.

And the verdict is… kinda meh, to be honest. I think I was hoping for more pear and/or vanilla flavors to “pop” when I sipped it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s delicious, but I think I was hoping for more from the pear/vanilla combo. I also found it a bit too sweet, courtesy the simple syrup. I’ll continue to tweak this one over time to see if I can bend it to my particular taste. Stay tuned!

The Vanilla and Pear Pairing Old Fashioned

0.0 from 0 votes
Difficulty: Easy


Prep time


Total time (assumes simple syrup made beforehand)



I happened across a video on Instagram by @gintensiv of a Vanilla and Pear Old Fashioned, and was immediately hooked. Because the flavor of bourbon will often have notes of pear and vanilla, it’s only natural that the pairing (pearing?) of real pears and vanilla in an Old Fashioned would make for an excellent combination.


  • Vanilla Simple Syrup
  • 1 cup 1 Granulated sugar

  • 1 cup 1 water

  • 1 tbsp 1 vanilla bean paste

  • 1 tsp 1 real vanilla extract

  • Vanilla and Pear Old Fashioned
  • 3 ounces 3 Bulleit bourbon

  • 1/4 ounce 1/4 vanilla simple syrup (see above)

  • 1/4 ounce 1/4 Gran Gala Orange Liqueur

  • 4-5 dashes 4-5 Angostura Orange Bitters

  • 2-3 slices 2-3 fresh Bartlett pear

  • 1 tsp 1 brown sugar


  • Vanilla Simple Syrup
  • Simple (heh) really – stir 1 cup of sugar into 1 cup of water in a sauce pan over medium-high heat, and stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves, but before the mixture boils.
  • Add the vanilla bean paste and vanilla extract to the sugar water, and stir well until the mixture comes to a low boil.
  • Remove from heat and let cool completely before pouring into a container. Will keep in the fridge for about a month before you need to toss it.
  • Vanilla and Pear Old Fashioned
  • Sprinkle 1-2 pear slices with brown sugar and caramelize with a kitchen torch. Careful – don’t burn the sugar!
  • Add the caramelized pear slices into a mixing glass and muddle.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients
  • Strain into a glass, add ice, and stir
  • Strain back into an ice-filled glass, and garnish with a pear slice


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Bob Sawyer


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Hi! I’m Bob!

If it’s got bourbon in it, I’m drinking it. And if it’s really good, I’m gonna figure out how to make it, and share it with you. Because I’m good like that.


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