Pinot and Pear Soda
For this soda adaptation of wine-poached pears, there’s no need to don high heels or a jacket and tie. Use a variety of pears for a more complex sweetness, but make sure they’re fully ripe and tender to the touch before using.
1 cup pinot noir
4 pears, peeled and chopped, cores and stems removed (about 4 cups)
2 cups sugar
Seltzer or soda water
1. Add the wine to a saucepan set over medium-high heat. Cook uncovered until the wine reduces to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the pears and sugar to saucepan. Cover and lower heat to medium low. When the contents begin to boil after about 5 minutes, thoroughly mix them and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and strain, reserving the liquid. (Save the solids and use as a pear-pinot compote or sauce.) Cool the liquid in the fridge.
3. To serve, add between 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup of the syrup, depending on taste, to a tall soda glass along with 1 cup of seltzer or soda water. Top with ice. Garnish with a slice of pear, if you’re feeling fancy.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Recipe by Nick Zukin, co-author with Michael Zusman of The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home, Andrews McMeel Publishing, Kansas City, MO, September 2013