Pitcher Drink Recipe: Spiced Pear & Ginger Cocktail

Pitcher Drink Recipe: Spiced Pear & Ginger Cocktail

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Jayme Henderson
Nov 22, 2015
(Image credit: Jayme Henderson)

Thanksgiving is arguably the most highly anticipated culinary day of the year. While some people may resort to beer and football on this day, I personally enjoy leading the charge in the kitchen. I like to ease those pre-dinner jitters and possible family tensions by making a shareable, seasonal punch that gets everyone into the holiday mood.

Here's a fall-inspired cocktail that you can share and enjoy all morning while you're prepping Thanksgiving dinner. It's not too boozy, but it's refreshing enough to keep you relaxed as things get hectic ... because we all know they will.

(Image credit: Jayme Henderson)

I love the aromas and flavors the Grey Goose La Poire brings to this cocktail. The crisp, vibrant notes of this particular pear vodka marry harmoniously with the more rounded tones in the fresh pear juice. The ginger liqueur adds just the right amount of spice.

(Image credit: Jayme Henderson)

Think of this cocktail as a "Thanksgiving mimosa," a refreshing cocktail that calms the nerves without knocking you on your face before noon. It has the perfect balance of cozy spices, crisp pear, zesty lemon, and spicy ginger, finished with a burst of celebratory bubbles. It's sure to start your day of cooking off on the right beat. Cheers!

(Image credit: Jayme Henderson)

Spiced Pear & Ginger Pitcher Cocktail

Serves 6 to 8

For the cinnamon-honey syrup:
1/4 cup honey (2 ounces)
1/4 cup water (2 ounces)
2 cinnamon sticks

For the cocktail:
3/4 cup Grey Goose La Poire vodka (6 ounces)
1/4 cup Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur (2 ounces)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 ounces)
1 1/4 cups fresh pear juice or R. W. Knudsen's organic pear juice (1o ounces)
1/4 cup cinnamon-honey syrup (2 ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ice
1 1/2 cups chilled soda water (12 ounces)
2 1/2 cups chilled dry sparkling wine (20 ounces)
1 to 2 pears, sliced for garnish
6 to 8 cinnamon sticks, for garnish
6 to 8 fresh mint sprigs, for garnish

For the cinnamon-honey syrup:
In a small saucepan, combine the honey, water, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a slow boil over medium-high heat and then lower the heat to a slow simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, remove from heat, and let cool completely. Remove the cinnamon sticks.

In a large pitcher or punch bowl, combine the pear vodka, ginger liqueur, lemon juice, pear juice, cinnamon-honey syrup, and vanilla extract. Stir until incorporated and chill in the refrigerator until you're ready to enjoy. You can even make this portion of the cocktail a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator; just give the mixture a good stir before serving.

For the cocktail:
When you're ready to serve the cocktail, fill your pitcher or punch bowl with ice and add the chilled cocktail mixture. Quickly top with the sparkling wine and soda water and give the mixture a gentle stir. Prep individual cocktail glasses with ice, add the finished sparkling pear cocktail, and garnish with pear slices, mint sprigs, and cinnamon sticks.

Recipe Notes

  • Be sure to choose a dry sparkling wine to keep the cocktail's sweetness and acidity in balance. I chose Roederer Estate Brut Sparkling Wine from Anderson Valley, CA. Another great option is Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava from Penedès, Spain.
  • This cocktail is relatively low in alcohol content per serving. If you want to make it even less boozy, simply substitute more soda water for the sparkling wine. I'd even opt for a little spicy ginger beer for added zest.
  • If you have any cinnamon-honey syrup left over, stir it into to your morning tea or add it to another fall cocktail over the upcoming weeks. It will keep for at least a month.
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