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chamomile pear cocktail

All Photos: Ryan Hughley

Chamomile and pear cocktail


This refreshing chamomile and pear cocktail is spring in a glass

Thinking about chamomile tea drums up cozy memories of calm morning and warm nights. There is almost nothing better than taking a bubbling kettle off the fire and pouring hot water over stuffed packets of chamomile flowers. 

Chamomile's calming properties have long been touted by health experts as an all-natural answer to sleep deprivation, anxiety and digestive issues. While originally from Europe, Asia and India, chamomile now grows wildly across open fields, pastures and even off the side of busy highways all across the South. The flowers themselves are delicately scented, white with a Meyer lemon yellow center. The growing season tends to be from May to September, which means that you can easily enjoy all the benefits this powerful flower has to offer for months to come.

Being that chamomile is associated with calming and healing properties, it probably isn't the first ingredient anyone would reach for when making a cocktail. Due to its delicate flavor, chamomile can easily disappear behind heavier spirits, juices and syrups. In this vodka based cocktail, however, chamomile is the star of the show.

Here pear liqueur, vodka and chamomile simple syrup work to create a cocktail that makes you want to sit out in the spring sunshine and enjoy a glass (or two) on your porch. It's dainty enough to enjoy alongside teacakes but also assertive enough to sip on its own. 
The Pear-fect Chamomile Cooler 

Note: You will need to make the syrup at least 1 hour in advance. You will have leftover syrup; store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Makes: 1 drink

Chamomile Simple Syrup
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sugar
3 chamomile tea bags 

3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice 
1 1/2 ounce Cathead Vodka
1/2 ounce Chamomile Simple Syrup (above)
1/2 ounce Mathilde Piore liqueur 
Ice cubes
Sparkling wine, to top 
Pear slice, for garnish (optional)

To make the simple syrup: Combine hot water and sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. Add chamomile tea packets and let sit for 1 hour to steep and cool.

To make the cocktail: In a rocks glass, combine the lemon juice, vodka, simple syrup and liqueur. Add ice and stir until the drink is well chilled. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with pear slice. Serve immediately.

Author image

Ryan Shepard is the editor-in-chief at Southern Kitchen. Though originally from Los Angeles, she has lived in Atlanta since early 2017 and cannot imagine calling any other city home (except maybe New Orleans). Before joining Southern Kitchen's staff, Ryan worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on public policy issues. When she's not at work, she enjoys hunting down the best Mexican food in the city and drinking whiskey, obviously.