Let’s Toast: Sparkling Persimmon Cocktail

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 If you’ve ever wanted to spice up your repertoire of seasonal libations, then this post is for you. And if you’ve ever been poking around the produce department and found yourself wondering, “What’s with the orange tomatoes?”, then this post is for you.  Welcome to “Let’s Toast”, a feature that’s sure to freshen up the way you imbibe. Persimmons, at their peak right now, are delicately sweet with almost a mild cinnamon flavor.  They’re firm, yet juicy and make a fabulous addition to a salad. We, however, like to cook them down, throw ‘em in with our favorite bubbly beverage and toast to the season.

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Bubbly Persimmon Cocktail
Persimmon syrup
1 ripe Fuyu persimmon, cut into ½-inch cubes
1/2 cup water
fresh grated nutmeg
1 sprig rosemary
1 cup brown sugar

In a medium saucepan, cook the persimmon over medium heat until the pieces caramelize, 5 to 10 minutes. Keep the persimmons moving around the pan to prevent them from sticking to pan or burning. Stir in the water and rosemary, then grate one-fourth of a nutmeg into the pan. Bring mixture to a boil, then add the brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat, strain and set aside to cool. Makes 1 cup of syrup, which is more than the recipe calls for, but it can be kept in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Assembly
1 ounce orange liqueur
1 tablespoon persimmon syrup
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4 ounces dry Prosecco, Champagne or your favorite bubbly
small sprig of rosemary, for garnish

In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine the orange liqueur, persimmon syrup and lemon juice. Shake and strain into a Champagne flute or saucer. Top with Champagne. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a cranberry.

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