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rye whiskey, social hour, tom macy, cocktail, classic cocktail

Sparkling Pear & Rosemary Punch

Recipe - Makes 15 servings


  • 9 oz pear brandy

  • 9 oz rosemary syrup

  • 6 oz lemon juice

  • 1 750ml bottle Brut champagne or dry sparkling wine

  • 1 cup chilled water - or 2 cups ice

  • rosemary sprigs and 1 long grapefruit peel for garnish

  1. In a pitcher or punch bowl, combine pear brandy, rosemary syrup, lemon juice.  If serving immediately, stir in ice and let sit for 10-15 minutes.  If making ahead, add water and chill in the refrigerator. 

  2. If serving in a punch bowl, pour over a large punch ice cube.  Add Champagne and briefly stir. 

  3. Garnish with the rosemary sprigs and expressed the oils from the grapefruit peel. Ladle/pour into glasses over ice, garnish with another rosemary sprig if desired.



This is a great punch for autumn and holiday gatherings that, for once, doesn’t feature baking spices (you all know how much I love my cinnamon syrup).  Instead, it brings together the sweet and savory combo of crisp pear and aromatic rosemary, topped off with Champagne - which makes everything more festive.  I made this at Thanksgiving a few years ago and it was a huge hit (particularly with me, I had way too much).

The key to pulling this off is pear brandy (aka Poire Williams, aka Pear eau de vie), which is made from 100% distilled pear and unaged. This won’t be available at every liquor store, but the nicer ones should have it.  A good pear brandy is shockingly evocative of fresh pear, like eating an actual pear, you can almost taste the grittiness of the skin. 


Once you have the brandy it’s a piece of cake, the punch basically a large scale French 75. As always when making a drink in bulk, be sure to allow time to get it diluted and chilled. More information about this can be found on the Batching page.



Eau de Vie

Eau de vie translates literally to water of life in French.  Water of life has been a term for spirits across several culters since the bigging of their existence, including aqua vitae (Latin), aquavit (Scandinavian) and uisge-beatha/Uisce beatha (Scottish/Irish), which would eventually become whisk(e)y.


Today eau de vie is used to refers to a category of brandy made from fruit of any kind that is unaged.  Some common Eau de vies are made from pears, cherries, plums, apricots, raspberries, and peaches.  But anything that will ferment can be used such as carrots or ginger.  They can be expensive so so much fruit is needed to produce them, but they are worth it.  Because there are no other flavors added from a barrel, eau de vies exude the pristine flavors or their base ingredient.  The best eau de vies feature some of the most enchanting aromatics of any spirit on earth.



Pear Brandy

Pear brandy, aka Williams Pear Brandy, Poire Williams or  Pear eau de vie,

These are typically made from Willaims pear (aka bartlett pear), it takes about 40-50 pears to make 1 bottle.  Sometimes you’ll see these with a whole pear inside the bottle, this is called a “Poire Prisonniere”. They do this trick by slipping the bottle over the pear when it’s still a bud on the tree, so it grows inside the bottle. Neato!


Some great pear brandies I’ve used in the past are:

Clear Creek Willaims Pear Brandy,

Massenez Poire Williams

St. George Spirits Pear Brandy. 


Though there are plenty of others.  Just be sure not to get pear liqueur!


Single Serving - Just as Good!


  • ¾ oz pear brandy

  • ¾ oz rosemary syrup

  • ½ oz cup lemon juice

  • 2 oz Brut champagne or dry sparkling wine

  • rosemary sprig and grapefruit peel for garnish


In a rocks or wine glass, combine the pear brandy, rosemary syrup and lemon juice.  Fill with ice and stire for 10-20 seconds.  Add the Champagne and briefly stir to integrate.  Express the oils of the grapefruit peel, garnish with the peel and rosemary sprig.

If you make a Sparkling Pear & Rosemary Punch,

please let me see!  Tag a photo with @socialhourcocktails on Instagram.

Rosemary Syrup


  • 6-8 rosemary sprigs

  • 1 cup boiling water

  • 1 cup sugar (roughly)


  1. Mince the rosemary sprigs, don’t worry about taking the needles off the stem. 

  2. In a measuring cup, combine the rosemary and boiling water, or bring them to a boil in a pot together and remove from heat.

  3. Let the rosemary steep for 45 minutes to an hour, as if you are making rosemary tea.

  4. Strain out the rosemary and add equal parts sugar to water.  It’ll be a little under a cup.

  5. Stir until dissolved.  Feel free to heat syrup slightly, either on the stove on in the microwave, speed this last step up. 

Rosemary Syrup
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