ginger-pear punch

styling by Catrine Kelty | photo by Keller + Keller

Keep everything, including vodka and Prosecco, chilled until ready to put together, just before serving. You can add the reserved pears to each glass, or add to the punch bowl for additional pear flavor. It’s nice to prepare extra garnishes for a bowl nearby so guests can garnish their own glasses if desired.

Pear-Ginger-Cardamom Syrup  
4 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and diced
3 1/2 cups water
2 cups sugar
12 cardamom seed pods, lightly crushed
1 cup peeled, sliced ginger (each about the size and thickness of a quarter)
1/2 cup honey (raw honey recommended)

4 cups pear-ginger-cardamom syrup
2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 750 ml bottle vodka
Ice, for serving
1 750 ml bottle Prosecco
1 pear, thinly sliced, for garnish  
4-5 thin slices of lemon, for garnish  
Fresh raspberries, for garnish, optional
Fresh herbs (lemon verbena or mint), for garnish, optional

  1. Make syrup. In a large saucepan, add pears, water, sugar, cardamom pods, and ginger. Bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain into a large jar, pressing out juice from pears. Stir in honey. Save cooked pears (remove and discard ginger coins and cardamom pods) and set aside. Cover both and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. In a punch bowl, combine syrup, 13/4 cups of lemon juice, and vodka. Just before serving, add a couple handfuls of ice and top punch with Prosecco. Taste, and add more lemon juice if desired.
  3. To serve, fill glasses with ice, ladle in punch, and garnish as desired. Serve chilled.

Serves 24.