Pear Spiced Sangria

After moving to the cities in August, there is now enough distance between my family and me that it's easier to board a plane than drive a car to cut across it. With my loved ones no longer so near, I appreciate the time we have together on a different level. It was easy to take our time together before the move for granted, this realization only coming into focus now that the situation had changed. I fly out soon for the Thanksgiving holiday, ready to put aside my day-to-day stresses to concentrate on what really matters—the people I am most grateful for this time (and every time) of year.

We may have hundreds of miles between us, but my family will always be my home.

I enjoy the hunt of finding a seasonal drink that friends and family can share during holiday get-togethers. Pears are a favorite autumn fruit. Even though the profile is subtle, the tender white fruit brings a unique sweetness and aroma. The challenge was to pull out this character and find a way to allow it to shine. Since the flavor of the fruit mimics the quality of a fine wine, it seemed natural to pair them. Balanced with cinnamon and the deep vanilla tones of brandy, this sangria brings the spices of the holidays together.

In preparation, allow the sangria to rest overnight before serving—it needs time for the flavors to merge and develop.

Pear Spiced Sangria brings together the holiday flavors in this drink to share. Dry white wine, brandy, and pear juice are stirred together to form the base. Sliced pears and cinnamon sticks, when stewed overnight, add an extra touch of flavor and spice. The drink can be served with or without the fruit, but company is always welcome. 

One Year Ago: Glazed Chocolate Cake Doughnuts
Two Years Ago: Pumpkin Streusel Muffins
Three Years Ago: Maple Roasted Chickpeas, Gingerbread Muffins, and Persimmon Cake
Four Years Ago: Cranberry White Chocolate Tarts, Pumpkin Granola Bars, and Banana Cocoa Smoothie
Five Years Ago: S'mores CupcakesChocolate Espresso Pots de Creme, and Sugar Coated Daydreams

Pear Spiced Sangria

Yields 6-8 servings

1 bottle (750 mL) dry white wine*
1/2 cup (120 mL) brandy
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) pear juice
2 firm, ripe bosc pears, thinly sliced**
2 cinnamon sticks

In an airtight container, stir together the wine, brandy, and pear juice. Add the sliced pears and cinnamon sticks. Allow to rest overnight (12-18 hours) in the refrigerator.

Remove fruit and cinnamon sticks by running mixture through a fine mesh strainer. To serve, add a few pear slices to each glass (optional).

*For the wine, I used Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio. I recommend using a dry wine instead of a sweet wine (like a moscato). The  pear juice adds a significant amount of sweetness and using a dry wine prevents the sangria from becoming too sweet.

**I recommend bosc pears because they have a firmer texture which holds up better in the drink. Bartlett pears have a tendency to disintegrate in the liquid. I sliced the pears using a mandolin on a thick setting.