I feel like mint gets a bad rap as a flavor, but it’s one of my favorites. It’s not just a garnish, or something intended for an ice cream cone; mint can be earthy, mint can be subtle, mint can be everything you thought it couldn’t, because the herb mint is so so sooooo different than mint flavoring. Imagine the difference between fresh, juicy grapes and grape flavored gum. Right? Fresh mint and mint flavoring are in a similar camp. So for this refreshing summer Sangria, I thought combining fresh mint, apples, and Asian pears with a juicy red would be a dynamite combination. Hope you enjoy!
For 2 large pitchers
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 pink lady apples, cored and sliced thinly
1 large Asian pear, cored and sliced thinly
1 bunch fresh mint, leaves removed and roughly torn
3 bottles of light fruity red wine (such as a gamay, beaujolais, or pinot noir)
First, make the brown sugar syrup by combining a 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar with 1/2 a cup of water in a small pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, cook until the sugar has melted (about 5 minutes), and remove the pot from the heat. Let it cool to room temperature.
Combine the apples, Asian pear, mint, and wine in two pitchers. Add the sugar syrup a little at a time until it’s at the desired sweetness. Pop the pitchers in the fridge for 2 hours (up to 2 days) to let the flavors mingle. Fill the pitchers with ice and serve.