The Washington Post

Portly Pear

Portly Pear 4.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Spirits Nov 20, 2020

A warm, autumnal fortified wine drink based on the flavors of a classic dessert, this shareable cocktail is great for sipping on cold nights around a fire. You can even prepare it over one, if you have a firepit, but keeping it over low heat on the stove will work just fine. If you want a little more sweetness, add a tablespoon of brown sugar or maple syrup to taste. You can even cook ripe pears in this drink as it warms, and serve them with vanilla or ginger ice cream. If you opt to do this, add them to the pot with the nectar and port.

Storage Notes: The leftover cooked pears can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings

  • 6 allspice berries
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 cups pear nectar
  • 1 1/2 cups ruby port
  • 4 ripe pears, peeled, cored and quartered (optional, see headnote)
  • Stripped peel from 1 orange
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1/2 teaspoon Angostura bitters
  • Nutmeg, for garnish (optional)


Fill your serving cups with hot water to keep them warm while you prepare the drink.

In a small pan over medium heat, toast the allspice, cinnamon, cloves and peppercorns until fragrant, stirring frequently to ensure they don’t scorch.

In a large pot over medium heat, warm the pear nectar and port. Add the quartered pears, if using.

Add the toasted spices and orange peel to the mixture and bring to a simmer, then decrease the heat to medium-low. Let the drink infuse over the heat for 10 to 15 minutes, then add the brandy and bitters. Stir to combine, and let the drink warm up for 1 to 2 minutes.

Ladle the drink into mugs. Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg, if using. (Reserve the pears to serve with ice cream.)

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Recipe Source

From Spirits columnist M. Carrie Allan.

Tested by M. Carrie Allan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 217

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 0g 0%

Saturated Fat: 0g 0%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 4mg 0%

Total Carbohydrates: 17g 6%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 16g

Protein: 0g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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