Pumpkin Pear Shrub

Pumpkin Pear Shrub Cocktai

Pumpkin Pear Shrub CocktaiPumpkin Pear Shrub CocktaiIt’s rare that I drink cocktails these days. If I’m being honest, I’m usually so exhausted from momming all day (and sometimes all night) that after my daughter goes to bed, I just want to sit in the piece and quiet of it all. Parent life can often be all about the joy and not about the fun, if you know what I mean. On the weekend I might get fancy and pour myself a glass of wine. But beyond that, it’s hard to muster up the energy to do much more. Since having a baby we spend most of our nights in now. Lately, we’ve been trying to be more intentional about carving time out for each other every week. And since dates can’t happen in the same way that they used to, dating each other has meant creating that situation in our own house. To have it feel more memorable than any other night at home, we try to do something a little more special than we would on the average night. Hanging out with great ambiance (music, candles, general coziness) lends well to having an elegant drink. It was out of this need that the Pumpkin Pear Shrub Cocktail was born. I also really wanted to participate in the Virtual Pumpkin Party this year to feel part of the blogger community again and I’m so glad that I did! (If you have a few minutes, check out the truly creative, delicious, and inventive pumpkin recipes that everybody has worked on. It’s RICH with inspiration!)

The Pumpkin Pear Shrub Cocktail is my take on this pumpkin shrub recipe from Serious Eats. I wanted my shrub on the sweeter side, but less pumpkin-spice focussed, so I paired it with pear and thyme and omitted the cinnamon. The resulting combination is quite magical. And I think you’ll agree that pairing it with ginger beer really compliments the fruit and amps up the raw ginger, making it a cocktail worth staying in for. The shrub requires some roasting and a small waiting period while it comes together, but it will keep in a sealed container in your fridge for several months making the opportunity for more fancy date-night in cocktails easier to come by.

If you’re in search of more inspiration on dating your partner, Ashley wrote a column on her blog and then an entire book(!!) dedicated to this very thing. I highly recommend checking it out.

And if you’re still in the mood for more pumpkin recipes, check out this post I did for BAKED. Pumpkin sandwich loaf. Need I say more? Until next time, happy sipping. xo

Pumpkin Pear Shrub CocktaiPumpkin Pear Shrub CocktaiPumpkin Pear Shrub Cocktai

If you make this, I’d love it if you’d tag @80twentyfood and #80twentyfood so I can see what you’re up to!

Pumpkin Pear Shrub + Cocktail (print recipe here)
Notes: The shrub will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for several months.

Pumpkin Pear Shrub
1 small kabocha squash, about 2 pounds
2 pears, about 3/4 pound cut in half (I used Bartlett)
3/4 cup organic sugar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp fresh thyme

Pumpkin Pear Shrub Cocktail
1oz pumpkin pear shrub, see recipe above
1oz bourbon
2oz ginger beer
2oz sparkling water, more or less to taste
Sprig of thyme and slice of pear for garnish, optional

Pumpkin Pear Shrub
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut kabocha squash in half and place, cut-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. About 20 minutes in, add the pear, cut-side down. Roast until the squash is easily pierced with a knife, about 45-60 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

When cool enough to handle, scoop out the seeds of one half of the squash (I prefer to scoop my seeds after it’s cooked). Then scoop out the flesh. Use the other half for something else (stir into oatmeal, add to mac and cheese, or just eat on its own). Dispose of the skin. Remove the stem and seeds of the pear and cut each half into 4-5 pieces.

Add the squash and pear to a large glass jar. Add in the sugar, vinegar, ginger, and thyme. Seal the jar and shake to combine.  Place the mixture in the refrigerator overnight (or up to a few days) to infuse.

The next day, strain it through a sieve and dispose of the solids.

Pour the liquid into a clean jar and refrigerate until ready to use.

Pumpkin Pear Shrub Cocktail
Fill an old fashioned glass with ice.

Add in the shrub, bourbon, ginger beer, and sparkling water, and stir well to combine.

Garnish with a slice of pear and a sprig of thyme. Serve immediately.


  • Reply October 23, 2017

    Madeline Hall

    This is such a pretty cocktail! No kids yet over here, but my hubby and I do try to make more date nights at home and I love your ideas. This shrub would be a great way to start off the night!

    • Reply October 23, 2017


      Thanks for your sweet words, Madeline! <3 I'm really loving the shrub cocktail. I hope you give it a whirl! 🙂

  • Reply November 20, 2017

    Sara @ Cake Over Steak

    This sounds like everything I want in life. I love shrubs. Thanks so much for sharing!!! xoxo

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