Sparkling Vanilla-Pear Bourbon Lemonade

Imbibing in Spring

Text by Hayley Leray | Photo by Rhonda Adkins

What’s the best way to segue into spring? With a cocktail of course! This Sparkling Vanilla-Pear Bourbon Lemonade is the perfect teaser for the warmer days ahead. Infused with market-fresh ingredients, this seasonally inspired recipe screams summer with lemonade but the pears, vanilla, thyme and brown sugar give it a warming quality and depth of flavor… the perfect ingredients for transitioning into spring. So, dust off the patio furniture and gear up for some warm-weather imbibing.


1 cup water
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2/3 cups cane sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 pear, cored and cubed
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Seltzer water or club soda
Good Bourbon (we like Blankets)
Lemon slices, pear slices and thyme sprigs for garnish if desired


Lemonade base:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, juice, sugars, pear, thyme and vanilla bean. Heat the mixture, stirring occasionally until the sugar has completely dissolved. Once dissolved, remove from heat and let cool. Once cool refrigerate overnight (or longer) to allow the flavors to mingle. Strain the lemonade base with a fine mesh strainer into a serving bottle.


Fill a tall glass with ice (crushed or cubed is fine), add 1 shot bourbon, fill 3/4 way full with lemonade then top with sparkling water. Garnish if desired.