Persimmon Rum Punch ~ this warm and spicy fall cocktail is made with two kinds of run, apple cider, and a homemade persimmon syrup ~ yum!
Persimmons are so beautiful. I pick some up every year when they’re in season, which happens to be right now through December or January. Although they’re less common, persimmons are just as evocative of the fall as pumpkins, apples and pears. They’re technically berries, commonly found in two varieties —
hachiya, which are deep orange and oval shaped. Hachiya need to be eaten when they are very ripe or else they have an inedible astringency to them.
fuyu, which are squat and round shaped like little tomatoes. Fuyu persimmons can be eaten when they are still firm. The flavor is delicate, with hints of mango, apple, and melon.
As you can see, I bought fujus, but what I forgot, until I cut them open, was that I had bought a variety called cinnamon persimmons. They have a speckled brown interior in place of the traditional bright orange, and a slightly spicy flavor. Just look at that!
I always have a little trouble deciding what to do with persimmons, though, because I don’t have a lot of experience with them. Last year I made MANGO PERSIMMON CHUTNEY and used it on cheese and crackers. I loved it but wanted to do something a little different this year. I considered using them in a cake or a bread, making sorbet, or just chopping them up for salsa. But the idea of a fall themed cocktail won me over.
I made a persimmon syrup, or really more of a puree, by simmering the chopped flesh with brown sugar and a blend of fall spices. The color of the puree was quite a rich brown, but if you use regular fuyu persimmons, your puree with be brighter orange. Be advised, this is a full bodied drink, a blend of light and dark rum, richly spiced persimmon puree, topped up with hard cider. There’s even a secret ingredient…
- 1 oz light rum
- 1 oz dark rum
- 1 oz persimmon syrup
- 1 drop liquid smoke
- hard cider
- 2 ripe fuyu persimmons, peeled and chopped, seeds removed (they will still be firm)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/8 tsp each: cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, allspice
- To make the syrup, put the persimmon, sugar, water and spices in a saucepan and stir to combine. Bring the mixture up to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.
- Let it cool briefly and then puree in a blender until smooth.
- For the cocktail. put the rum, persimmon syrup and liquid smoke in a shaker with ice.
- Shake well and then pour into a glass over fresh ice.
- Fill the rest of the glass with hard cider, and garnish with a cinnamon stick.