Bear with me guys. I’m going to put a persimmon in your cocktail. You know- that fruit at the store that looks pretty but you’re not quite sure how to eat! Just trust me…. It’s 10 days to Christmas and I’m not done shopping and yeah– it’s time to make a drink with weird grocery store fruits.
If you’ve never had a persimmon, this is my formal encouragement to try one! They ripen at the end of the fall, right around the first frost, and traditionally if you find them in grocery stores or markets, they are one of two kinds. The smaller Fuyu (which is what I have here and what is grown in Indiana), and the Hachiya. The Fuyu you can eat like an apple, and they are hard-fleshed and you can put them in salads, salsa or make a pie. Think of them like you think of apples.
The Hachiya (which I don’t have but I feel for the sake of this little fun-fact segment I should tell you about) is larger, and when ripe becomes pudding like (like a paw-paw!). They are sweeter and more commonly called for when “persimmon pulp” comes into play.
The flavor? Well, they both are super astringent and tannic if not ripe, however the Fuyu is more forgiving. They are sweet, and have a slightly spiced nature to them that plays SO well with fall flavors. Think apples, pomegranates, cinnamon, basically any baking spice. Persimmon loves it. Naturally I figured if they were going to be in a cocktail– it had to be with whiskey.
I won’t lie, I totally went for this one on the fly with NO idea if it would work or not– and it did! I cut up the persimmon and tasted it. It was sweet but I added simple syrup for a little extra sweetness to combat the thyme and whiskey, but also to add a little juice to the drink. Fuyu persimmons are firm and apple like, and so to get the juice out you really have to smash them down so I wanted to help them out by adding a little bit of sweetness in the form of simple syrup.
This one is definitely a unique cocktail that you likely won’t see too many places, so next time you see a persimmon at the store and you just sort of shake your head and wonder what the hell people are doing with them- make a cocktail! Happy Friday friends!
Persimmon Thyme Whiskey Smash
makes 1 cocktail
1 Fuyu persimmon, diced
2 Tbsp simple syrup
2 sprigs of fresh thyme plus more for garnish
2 oz bourbon
In a cocktail shaker, combine persimmon pieces, simple syrup and sprigs of thyme. Muddle in shaker until persimmon releases juices and everything is nice and smashed and smelling good.
Add bourbon and ice, and shake it like you mean it.
In a rocks glass filled with crushed ice, strain out mixture through fine mesh strainer into glass (this is optional, but I’m not looking for pulp in my cocktails. I double strained through the cocktail strainer and a mesh strainer to get just the juice and none of the fruit). Top with more crushed ice if necessary, and garnish with thyme sprig and slice of persimmon. Cheers!!