When I heard that Dinah from Bibulo.us had suggested the “Shim” as this month’s Mixology Monday topic, I immediately knew the main ingredient of this cocktail.

There’s a bottle on my backbar that I’ve been wanting to use for months, but it’s such an intense spirit with an incredibly strong flavor that I haven’t really had the opportunity to work with it yet.  Dinah’s restriction of 1/2 oz of spirit in the drink was the perfect excuse.  Black Balsam, here I come!

Knowing how heavy the flavor of the Black Balsam is, I knew I’d need some citrus to brighten the flavor somewhat. I ended up also using pear juice and demerara syrup (instead of simple syrup) because I felt both really added to the “earthy” nature of the drink. Using fresh pear juice also added an almost gritty texture that kind of worked with the dark and deep nature of the drink.

The final product was awesome – but not for the faint of heart. Dark and gritty but truly bringing out the best in the Black Balsam.

Thanks Dinah for the awesome topic this month! Looking forward to see the rest of the “low-octane” creations!

The Black Pear Shim

Not to be taken lightly - this drink is dark and sinister, earthy and gritty. Delicious, but definitely not for the faint of heart!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate


  • 1/2 oz Black Balsam
  • 3 oz Fresh Pear Juice (I used Bosc Pears)
  • 1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 oz Demerara Syrup


  • Shake all ingredients to chill and dilute.
  • Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist.