The selection out there for a festive tipple can sometimes feel a tad restrictive. If you’ve had one too many mulled wines and don’t fancy another egg nog, we’ve got a delightful alternative to keep the house party going this holiday season. Perfect for the kind of effort-in-advance-and-relax-in-the-moment entertaining we certainly favour, this scrumptious spiced pear cocktail can be almost completely prepared in advance. You’ll still have your moment to be gushed over as the consummate host, but the final flourish is the work of seconds so you can get right back to off-key carolling with your loved ones.
Delightfully warming but refreshingly light, this cocktail showcases the delicate flavour of pears alongside star anise and cinnamon. Prepare the perfect seasonal alternative in a few simple steps.

Firstly...

Spiced Pear Syrup

pears 4, cored and cubed
star anise 1, plus more to serve
cinnamon 1 stick, broken in half
caster sugar 250g

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To make the spiced pear syrup, put the ingredients in a pan with 250ml water and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the flavours have infused. Leave to cool.

This multi-use syrup can be effortlessly thrown together in advance. All it takes are the ingredients above and a quiet moment before the party starts. We love to make a batch of syrup before and store it in the fridge, so the cocktails are quick to make when you want them.

Finally..

Festive Spirits

gin 50ml
lemon 25ml
pear syrup 25ml
egg white 1

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To make the cocktail, put all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker without ice and shake vigorously. Open the shaker, fill with ice and shake again, then strain into a chilled coupe. Place a star anise on the foam to serve. Cocktail shakers are nice to have, but not all of us do. For a perfectly acceptable replacement, use two glasses or a mixing bottle along with a strainer.

After the (light) work is done there’s nothing else to do but enjoy!