Wassail is a hot mulled cider drink that's traditionally enjoyed on New Year's Eve. In this iced "royale" version, we've swapped out the cider in favour of sparkling wine and pears. Prep the punch in advance so you can relax and spend time with guests as soon as they arrive.
- Prep time 20 minutes
- Total time 1 hour & 15 minutes
- 1 bottle (750 mL) French brandy
- 1 1/3 cup Spiced Pear Cranberry Syrup (see recipe below))
- 3/4 cups lemon juice
- 1 bottle (750 mL) sparkling wine , chilled
- 2 cans (each 355 mL) club soda , chilled
- 1 pear , cored and thinly sliced lengthwise
- ice cubes (see tip below)
In punch bowl, stir together brandy, syrup and lemon juice; cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.) Stir in wine, club soda and pear until combined. Add ice cubes. Serve immediately.
Makes 18 to 24 servings.
Spiced Pear Cranberry Syrup
In saucepan, bring 1 Bartlett or Bosc pear, cored and chopped, and 1 cup each granulated sugar, frozen cranberries and water to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally and gently mashing solids with wooden spoon, until pear and cranberries are beginning to break down, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 6 whole cloves and 1 cinnamon stick. Let stand for 1 hour. Line fine-mesh sieve with triple layer of cheesecloth; strain syrup, discarding solids. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 1 week.) Makes about 1 1/3 cups.
Tip from The Test Kitchen: Why settle for plain ice cubes when you can make a stunning ice ring? In 10-cup Bundt pan, add enough water to fill almost to rim. Add 1/2 cup frozen cranberries, 6 star anise and 1 lemon, thinly sliced. Freeze until solid, about 6 hours. To remove ice ring, turn pan upside down and rinse under warm water.
Nutritional facts Per each of 24 servings: about
- Sodium 9 mg
- Sugars 10 g
- Calories 136
- Total fat 0 g
- Potassium 52 mg
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Saturated fat 0 g
- Total carbohydrate 11 g
- Iron 1
- Folate 1
- Calcium 1
- Vitamin C 7