We usually think of sangria (particularly white sangria) as a summer drink, but here’s a white sangria recipe that challenges those expectations. It’s full of the flavors of pear and warming spices — it’s just perfect for the holiday season.
MAKE SANGRIA FOR A HOLIDAY PARTY
Sangria is one of my favorite drinks to make for a party because it’s such a crowd pleaser.
Plus, you can make it ahead of time. This means that during the party itself there’s no work for you at all. You can impress your friends with a drink that feels fancy, but still have time to actually enjoy your guests—and this drink!
THE INGREDIENTS FOR THIS WHITE WINE SANGRIA
This sangria pairs white wine with pear nectar, diced pears, and some of the traditional spices that we associate with the holiday season—cinnamon, anise, and clove. You often see apple paired with these spices, but it turns out that spiced pears are just as delicious!
Add to this a splash of ginger beer, which brings everything together really beautifully for a sangria that says “holiday” all over.
WHICH WHITE WINE TO BUY
For this recipe, you’ll want a dry white wine, such as a Pinot Grigio or a Sauvignon Blanc.
Another thing I love about sangria is that it’s budget friendly. Since the fruit flavors and spices will mask the nuances in the wine, this is not a time to go for an expensive bottle—something in the lower price ranges will work quite well.
I’ve made sangria with bottles of wine that cost $5 and had it turn out fantastic. It’s not about the wine, per se. It’s what you put in it.
WHERE TO FIND PEAR NECTAR
Pear nectar is a drink made from pear juice, sometimes with added sweeteners. It’s sweeter than pear juice, and also a lot easier to find. You can find it in the juice aisle at your supermarket. I used Looza brand for this recipe; Santa Cruz also makes an organic pear nectar.
MORE GREAT DRINKS FOR HOLIDAY PARTIES
Pear and White Wine Sangria Recipe
You can slice or cube the pears, depending on your preference. Sliced pears will more easily hold the cloves you stud them with. If you're at all concerned about floating cloves in your sangria, feel free to strain them out before serving.
- 1 cup pear nectar
- 2 whole anise stars
- 3 whole cinnamon sticks
- 2 pears, sliced thinly
- 16 whole cloves
- 1 bottle dry white wine
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Ginger beer (about 1 can or bottle)
1 Infuse the pear nectar: In a saucepan, combine the pear nectar, anise, and cinnamon sticks. Warm over low heat for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Set the mixture aside to cool.
2 Make the sangria: Stud the pear slices with the cloves. Place the pear slices in a glass pitcher, and add the white wine.
Juice the lemons and add the lemon juice to the pitcher. Add the cooled pear and spice mixture to the pitcher with the wine and stir.
3 Chill and serve: Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least four hours, preferably overnight and up to two days. Strain out the cloves (if desired) and serve over ice with a splash of ginger beer.
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