Thursday, December 04, 2014

Persimmon Smash

Prior to this year, I had eaten exactly one persimmon in my life. One. And the past few weeks? I've been averaging one every other day. I LOVE PERSIMMONS.  I'm talking the firm fuyu persimmons (perhaps I'll leave hachiya for next year) — all orangey-salmon and squat, with their somewhere-between-tomato-and-peach texture, and tropical-yet-autumnal confusingly delicious flavor. Where have persimmons been all my life? It's like suddenly getting a whole new color added to the rainbow.

For the most part, as with any new love, I've been content to just loll about with persimmons, enjoying the simple pleasures. Wedge, peel, consume. Repeat. But as we've gotten to know each other a bit better, I've felt emboldened to play around.

The persimmon smash takes my new best friends and cooks them down into an essence-of-persimmon syrup, perked up with a bit of citrus. I stripped the spices out of the initial recipe (as persimmon itself has enough crazy layered floral notes to more than carry things through), cut down the citrus (same reason), and oh my it's delicious.

And if you're looking for more seasonal drinks to discover, might I interest you in a glass of switchel? You can find my story about this colonial cocktail (well, mocktail) and its resurgence over at The World.

Persimmon Smash

inspired by Marcus Samuelsson, but heavily tweaked
yields 2 drinks (with syrup for about 3-4)
Persimmon Syrup 
3 fuyu persimmons, peeled and chopped  (you can make this without peeling, but it yields a smoother puree)
2 cups water
3/4 cup sugar

Finished Drink
2 ounces whiskey
2 ounces persimmon syrup
3/4 ounce lemon juice 
1/2 ounce orange juice 
sprig of mint, for garnish (I decided to go with rosemary, rather than brave the rain and harvest some neighborhood mint, but mint really is best)

To Make Persimmon Syrup: 
Place the persimmons, water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat until it's just high enough to maintain a simmer. Cook until the persimmons have softened and the liquid has thickened slightly, ~15 minutes. Cool, then puree in a blender. Chill.

To Make Cocktail:
In a cocktail shaker (or, as it's known in this house, canning jar), combine the persimmon syrup, whiskey,  lemon juice, and orange juice with a bit of ice. Shake well, taste to adjust as needed, and strain (or, if we're being honest, pour) into a cocktail glass with ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

1 comment:

  1. That's how I felt when I ate them for the first time... I really should revisit! Especially with whiskey... (and you with your winter-growing mint region.)