Although many associate fruit cocktails as a way to cool down during the scorching summer heat, it is also a way of keeping warm as the Winter season quickly approaches. I have always strongly believed in using seasonal ingredients in my cooking as well as homemade cocktails, the way nature intended it to be.
When you think of autumn or holiday cocktails what comes to mind? After asking a few friends, their immediate response happened to be eggnog. But it’s time we think a little bit more outside the box. Fall has wonderful fruits to choose from to create simple syrups. in turn, creating your own version of your favorite fall cocktails. Apple cider is certainly a holiday season staple, adding bourbon whiskey makes it a fun adult beverage. But we won’t stop there.
Persimmons are small tomato shaped fruits categorized as berries. They range in color, shape and size. They also happen to be one of three native fruits to North America, but can also be found in Asia, Europe and Mexico to name a few. Appealing to the eye as well as the palate, this berry does contain some carbs, as well as sugar, fiber and vitamin c. Their flavor is described as a combination of orange and mango, slightly reminiscent of warmer climates. In a cocktail, you may add honey or agave nectar, as well as cinnamon and nutmeg to add a slight nutty warm flavor.
Apples and pears are clearly fall fruits but I decided to add a bit of a twist. Instead of using American grown pears, my fiancé made the brilliant suggestion of using Asian pears. They have such a sweet, succulent flavor, go great on salads, paired with squash in a side dish or pretty much any way you would use bosc pears. Keeping true to the hint of autumn and warmth, nutmeg as well as star anise, were added to accentuate the Asian pear flavor in the cocktail.
So the next time you have a few friends over to warm up by the fireplace, trade in the hot chocolate, tea or even egg nog for one of these soon to be fall favorite cocktails. Not only are they full of great natural flavors instead of a pre-made bottle mix, you can be as creative as you would like, adding layers of seductive autumn flavors that are sure to bring your friends and family back for more.
Asian Pear Cocktail
- 1 Asian pear halved, 1 half(large diced), the other small diced
- 2 cups of water
- 1 tablespoon of nutmeg
- 1 clove of star anise
- ½ tablespoon of brown sugar
- 2 oz of vanilla vodka
- Place the large diced Asian pear, water, nutmeg, star anise, and brown sugar to a boil until pears are nice and soft.
- Strain, reserving the poaching liquid.
- Everything left in the strainer goes into a blender, with half of the poaching liquid, mix and strain again.
- While the liquid chills in the fridge, place cubed pears in the freezer.
- Take 1 cup of pear puree, the frozen diced pear and place in a shaker glass with vanilla vodka and shake vigorously.
- 2 persimmons, blanched then rough chopped
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of water
- Bring all ingredients to a boil for no more than two minutes.
- Place in blender and mix until smooth.
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer, set aside allowing to cool.
- 4 oz of persimmon puree to blender
- 2 oz of orange juice
- 2 oz of cranberry juice
- 1 shot of clear rum
Mix in blender until all ingredients combined. Then add a splash of ginger ale and mix with a straw. Serve chilled or warm.