Spiced Vanilla Pear Dark and Stormy

garnished dark and stormy drink with cinnamon stick inside of glass and 2 pears in the background

This Spiced Vanilla Pear Dark and Stormy is the ultimate seasonal cocktail! Made with a homemade vanilla bean pear simple syrup, it’s cozy, warming and the best to serve this holiday season! 

Hi friends! Happy Friday! Let’s kick off the weekend with a brand new cocktail recipe, shall we?!

I know that apples and pumpkins get a LOT of love during the Fall and with good reason. However, I’m here to start a petition to give pears the love they deserve! 

overhead shot of 5 bartlett pears

And it all begins with this Spiced Vanilla Pear Dark and Stormy!

What is a Dark and Stormy? 

If you’re not sure when it comes to cocktail lingo, no worries here! 

A Dark and Stormy is a classic drink that you can order at a bar (or hi make at home yourself!) that usually consists of two main ingredients: dark rum and ginger beer. 

If you use spiced dark rum, it often has cinnamon, cloves, ginger etc which is the perfect cozy Fall vibe. 

It apparently is a drink that originated in Bermuda! Most of the time you will find it also has a spritz of fresh lime! However, you will find that mine doesn’t and has a unique twist on flavors!

Why You’ll Love This Cocktail: 

First off, like I mentioned above, it really shows off the deliciousness of pears! It combines their natural sweetness with vanilla bean paste and makes this DELIGHTFUL simple syrup that I could pretty much drink straight from the jar! 

photo of the strained vanilla pear simples syrup in shot glass

When I make cocktails at home, I like to keep it pretty simple. So you only need ONE type of liquor for this cocktail – aka dark rum. I used Kraken because it’s my favorite!

What better way to spice up this cocktail than using SPICY ginger beer AND fresh ginger?! The ginger flavor gives this drink such a KICK and truly completes it. 

This also takes NO time to whip up – it would be perfect to make for a date night at home, or just by yourself cozying up on the couch watching your favorite show! So let’s get into how to make it. 

Ingredients You Need: 

  • Dark Spiced Rum – the liquor base of this cocktail – I like using Kraken! It’s my favorite. 
  • Fresh Pears – the base of the simple syrup! Make sure these are ripe and extra sweet.
  • Fresh Ginger – the fresh ginger really spices up this drink! You can use ground ginger if needed, I would use about ½ tsp. 
  • Vanilla Bean Paste – I used this because it’s my favorite thing ever but pure vanilla extract can work too. 
  • Light Brown Sugar + Water – this is the base of the simple syrup. 
  • Ginger Beer – I like using a spicy ginger beer! Be sure to buy one that has REAL ginger in it, not just artificial.
  • Cinnamon + Turbinado Sugar – if you’re feeling fancy, make a cinnamon sugar rim. So yummy!  

How to Make Cocktail in 5 Simple Steps: 

  1. Make the simple syrup by combining diced pears, fresh ginger, water, brown sugar and vanilla bean paste in a small pot. Using a potato masher or fork, mash the pears to help them release the flavor/juices. Bring to a boil and then let it simmer/reduce the heat to low for 10 minutes until it has begun to thicken. photo of the vanilla pear simple syrup in a pot
  2. Once thickened, strain through a fine mesh strainer into a jar and set aside. 
  3. When you’re ready for your cocktail, grab a glass and mix together a little bit of cinnamon and sugar and dip the rim of the glass into the mixture. 
  4. To the glass, add the simple syrup and rum. Mix together using a cocktail stirrer. Add a large ice cube to the glass and then top with ginger beer. 
  5. Drink up and enjoy! Cheers!

Recipe Variations: 

If you prefer to use something like agave to sweeten your cocktails, just cook the pears and vanilla until soft. Strain using the fine mesh strainer and then add in the agave to sweeten to your liking! 

overhead photo of cocktail with cinnamon stick resting on top and wooden bowl of cinnamon sugar mixture beside it

If you’re not in the mood for dark rum, you could use bourbon instead. I like Woodford Reserve!

Storing Vanilla Pear Syrup: 

This will make around 6-8 oz. of syrup. I like to store mine in a tightly sealed mason jar in the fridge for up to a week. Feel free to use it in other cocktails or in your coffee! 

Did you enjoy this recipe? Here are other cocktail recipes you might like: 

Spiced Chai Old Fashioned
Spiced Apple Cider Spritz

Thank you so much for following along here, friends! Want to see more? Be sure to follow ourbalancedbowl on Instagram and tag me with your photo if you end up making a recipe! You can also post a photo of your recipe to the Our Balanced Bowl Facebook page! Like a recipe that you saw? Follow me on Pinterest here! I always love to see your re-creations! If you do make a recipe, it would make my whole day if you were to rate and comment so I can get your feedback! Lots of love! – Haylie

Spiced Vanilla Pear Dark and Stormy

This Spiced Vanilla Pear Dark and Stormy is the ultimate seasonal cocktail! Made with a homemade vanilla bean pear simple syrup, it’s cozy, warming and the best to serve this holiday season! 

Course cocktails, Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword dark and stormy, fall cocktail, pear cocktail, vanilla pear cocktail, winter cocktails
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 1 person


Pear Vanilla Syrup

  • 1 cup freshly chopped ripe pears (about 2 medium pears diced into bite size pieces) - I used bartlett
  • 2-inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)
  • 3/4 cup water 

Dark and Stormy

  • 1/4 cup spiced vanilla pear syrup
  • 1.5 oz dark spiced rum (I like Kraken)
  • 1 tbsp turbinado sugar + 1/2 tsp cinnamon mixture, to coat the rim of the glass
  • spicy ginger beer to top it (2 oz. or so)
  • ice
  • cinnamon stick to garnish


Making the Syrup

  1. Dice the ripe pears into bite size pieces. In a medium size pot, add the diced pears, peeled and minced ginger, brown sugar, vanilla bean paste and water. Stir to combine.

  2. Begin gently mashing the pears with a potato masher or a spoon. Cook on medium high heat to get it to a boil and then reduce the heat to low/medium for 10-15 minutes. until slightly thickened. Stir every few minutes with a wooden spoon to make sure the pears don't stick.

  3. Once the syrup has thickened slightly, strain syrup through a fine mesh strainer into a mason jar. Use the wooden spoon to really press the pear pieces into the strainer to make sure you get all of the juices! This should yield 6-8 oz of syrup.

Making the Drink

  1. Dip the rim of your glass in water and then coat it with the crunchy turbinado + cinnamon sugar mixture. Add in the vanilla pear syrup followed by the spiced rum. Stir together with a spoon. Add ice. Top generously with ginger beer. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and enjoy! Cheers!!

2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. When does the ginger get added? And does it get added as a whole piece, or should it be shopped? Minced? It is mentioned in both the blog and in the ingredient list but I can’t find it included in the actual directions.

    1. Hi Wendy!! So so sorry about that. The ginger actually goes into the simple syrup! So yes, it is minced finely. Or, you could use 1/2 tsp of ground ginger. I just updated the instructions. Sorry for that mistake on my end. Hope you enjoy this cocktail! Cheers!

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