Sparkling Pear + Kumquat Sangria is the perfect celebratory libation for all your autumn occasions! Hints of honey, cinnamon + ginger bring a fall vibe to bubbly wine.
A Sangria That’s Fun to Say + Drink!
Kumquat! Sounds a little like an insult doesn’t it? *giggle*
This tiny citrus fruit, native to Southeast Asia, has sweet-ish peels, but the pulp is tangy and sour. Depending on the variety, kumquats are in season anywhere between November through March. As the temps drop, you’ll see them pop up in the produce aisle.
In case you’re wondering why I chose kumquats for this sangria, it’s really only because they’re a super cute way to introduce some acidity and balance. Yep…I’m a sucker for packaging.
Gather Your Ingredients (+ Substitutions)
- Pears — I picked a red Bartlett for it’s beautiful color. No matter which you choose, go with fruit that is slightly underripe so it doesn’t turn too mushy while it macerates.
- Kumquats — if you can’t find them, sub in blood orange, navel orange or even tangerines.
- Sparkling wine — your favorite bottle! For an alcohol-free version, use a combo of sparkling juice and club soda (play with the ratios to suit your taste).
- Pear juice — might I recommend Knudsen’s Organic Pear.
- Pear brandy — or apple brandy, or pear liqueur. See the Helpful Tips below to know how much of which to use. Omit this and use more pear juice if you’re going alcohol-free.
- Honey + water — used to make a simple syrup for sweetening the sangria.
- Cinnamon stick + fresh ginger — these infuse the sangria with some autumn spice.
- Rosemary sprigs — as a garnish and for a pop of color.
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Let’s Make Sangria!
- Combine water, honey, a cinnamon stick, crushed ginger and some halved kumquats in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a simmer and let it cook for one minute. Turn off the heat and cool it completely.
- Pour the syrup and all the bits into a glass pitcher. Add the brandy, pear juice, sliced pear and more halved kumquats. Put it in the fridge to chill.
- To serve, add the sparkling wine and give it a stir. Pour over ice and garnish with rosemary.
Helpful Recipe Tips
Alcohol-free version — just to reiterate…use a combo of sparkling juice and club soda instead of sparkling wine. Omit the pear brandy and use more pear juice instead.
Brandy or liqueur? — If you’re using pear brandy (which is roughly 40% alcohol) use 1/4 cup. If you’re using pear liqueur, check the label…these run about 20% alcohol, so you can add up to 1/2 cup.
Make ahead — make the spiced simple syrup a day or two in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Macerate the fruit in the syrup and brandy the morning of the day you plan to serve. Don’t add the sparkling wine until you are ready to serve.
When Should You Make This?
This recipe is part of our Friendsgiving Cocktail Party Series, so if you’re hosting this year, be it friends or family or both, this sangria is the perfect aperitif!
Serve this at all your late fall and winter gatherings. You can zhuzh it up with additional fruits and garnishes to fit the occasion.
Looking for More Holiday Cocktails?
- Good Tidings Grapefruit Pomegranate Cocktail
- Thanksgiving on the Cape (with cranberry + orange vodka)
- Winter Sunset on the Seine (with blood orange)
- Cranberry-Lime Natale Sparkler (with a granita base)
Sparkling Pear + Kumquat Sangria
Spiced Honey Simple Syrup
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup honey
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 inch fresh ginger peeled + crushed
- 4 kumquats halved
- ¼ cup pear brandy or liqueur (see note)
- ¾ cup pear juice
- 1 red pear cored + sliced
- 4 kumquats halved
- 1 bottle sparkling white wine (750 ml)
- rosemary sprigs to garnish
- Combine the ingredients for simple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the honey has dissolved. Allow it to come to a low simmer for one minute. Turn off the heat and cool for about 15 minutes.
- Pour the simple syrup into a large glass pitcher (including the cinnamon, ginger + kumquats). Add the brandy and pear juice; stir to combine. Add the pears and kumquats; gently stir to make sure they are covered by the liquid. Place in the fridge to chill (at least 1 hour).
- Just before serving, stir in the sparkling wine. Pour into glasses filled with a bit of ice and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.
Nutritional values are estimated and provided as a general guideline only. I earn a commission from Instacart from qualifying ingredient purchases.