Mother Nature is toying with me this year. She snapped her fingers and BAM – overnight, literally, it was fall. After a couple of weeks, I resigned myself to the fact that the summer weather was gone for good and then BAM! Suddenly it was back up to 80 degrees. Dang, Mother Nature! Enough with the weather whiplash!
But then I cooled off (and chilled out) with some of this Ginger Pear White Sangria. A cool sipper perfectly appropriate for weather that’s on the warmer side, but full of fall fruit and warm autumn spices.
I forgive you, Mother Nature. I forgive you. This time.
I am into sangria. Like, way into sangria. Possibly a little too much into sangria. But sangria man! It’s delicious! Fruity, festive, fun to drink with friends.
Sangria. Is there anything it can’t do? Change the weather, I guess.
Yes, I love sangria. And I love fall flavors. And pumpkin sangria is NOT happening. I’ve been giving in to the temptation to pumpkin-up most all the things, but If I ever go there, you have permission to smack me. Verbally, at least.
So this year’s fall sangria (it’s an annual thing, I guess), is full of juicy ripe pears and flavored with spicy fresh ginger. It’s got a few slices of lemon studded with some cloves here and there, just to give it a little more oomph and fall flavor.
And then we’ve got two other types of alcohol on board – rum, because I pretty much always add rum to my sangria. Great reason, right? And also a splash of brandy. Because brandy and pears are natural buds. So it works.
The real kickers here are twofold: 1) You top off the wine and fruit with ginger beer. Not any wimpy ginger ale, mind, although honestly, ginger ale will probably still taste good. But try to find some ginger beer, the extra zesty stuff if you can. And 2) A subtle little gingered sugar rim. A little touch of spicy sweetness for when you get tired of fiddling with your cute straws and just want to go to town on this stuff already.
Ripe pears, ginger x 3, and alcohol.
Weather, schmeather. I suddenly don’t care.
Ginger Pear White Sangria
For the sangria:
- 2-3 pears (cored and cut into thin wedges (I like Bartlett because they're crisp and hold up well, but any pear will do!))
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger (sliced thinly)
- 1 medium lemon
- 9 whole cloves
- 1 750-ml bottle white wine (Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, or something else on the lighter, dryer side works best)
- 1/2 cup white rum
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 3 12-ounce bottles ginger beer (4.5 cups), chilled (I use this Extra Ginger Brew)
For rimming the glasses:
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- Add the pears and ginger to a large pitcher. Cut three slices out of the middle of the lemon. Place the ends of the lemon in a zipper bag or airtight container and place in the refrigerator; you'll use those pieces to garnish the rims of the glasses later on. Stick three cloves into the flesh of each lemon slice and add to the pitcher.
- Pour the wine, rum, and brandy over the fruit in the pitcher. Seal tightly or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, up to 8.
- Have your glasses washed and ready. Place the sugar and ground ginger in a small bowl and mix together with a fork. Pour sugar mixture into a small saucer and spread it to the edges. Wet the rims of the glasses with lemon juice by dragging the cut sides of the lemon ends around the rims of the glasses, then invert the glasses into the sugar, pushing and turning until coated. Turn glasses right side up and set aside.
- Strain the sangria mixture through a sieve and into a second large pitcher. Add the pear slices back into the pitcher and the lemon slices if desired; discard ginger slices and any other sediment.
- Add a few slices of pears to each glass, then fill halfway with sangria mixture. Fill the rest of the way with ginger beer. Add straws, if desired, and serve.