Sparkling Christmas Punch

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups pear nectar
  • 4 inches stick cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 whole cardamom pods, broken
  • 1 750-milliliter bottle dry champagne, chilled ice cubes
  • 1 pear, cored and sliced, optional cranberries, optional

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pour the pear nectar into a medium saucepan.
  2. Spice bag; place the stick cinnamon and cardamom on a double-thick, 6-inch-square piece of 100%-cotton cheesecloth. Bring up corners and tie with string.
  3. Add spice bag to juice.
  4. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. Cool and refrigerate at least 4 hours or until thoroughly chilled.
  6. Before serving, remove spice bag and discard.
  7. Pour juice into a large pitcher or punch bowl.
  8. Stir in vanilla extract and the champagne.
  9. Add pears and cranberries, if desired. Add ice just before serving.

Makes 14 (4-ounce) servings. Per serving: 88 calories, 0 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 0 g protein, 0% vitamin A, 2% vitamin C, 0% calcium, 2% iron.