Persimmon Pulp Shrub
A favorite Fall/Winter fruit that can be used in all sorts of drinks.
If you've already downloaded the most recent PDF on Winter Produce and Seasonal Cocktails, you will have noticed that Persimmons are an important fruit on the list.
While they are not often used behind the bar, that doesn't mean that they should be excluded.
Persimmons contain a good amount of water and a lot of pulp. More importantly, they contain high amounts of natural pectin, a gelatinous polysaccharide that's used to preserve and to make jams and jellies.
This makes them the perfect cocktail ingredient by giving drinks thicker textures. It will work excellently well with non-alcoholic drinks which usually need more body and silkiness!
On top of that, you'll be using something freshly picked that can be preserved for another season.
A Quick Note on Persimmons
Persimmons are cheap, easy to use, and can be preserved in a lot of different ways, but one of the best ways is with vinegar. Persimmons have a distinct taste that doesn't really resemble any other kind of fruit and contains vitamins A, B, C, potassium, and manganese.
Because they don't cost very much during the season, it's a good idea to buy and preserve them in bulk for later use.
Many varieties exist, but the 2 main ones are:
2. and Hachiya
The Fuyu persimmon is harder and crunchier like an apple. They can taste especially good when roasted, or eaten fresh to add a bit of crunch to your food.
The Hachiya persimmon is jammier and softer, making it more ideal for marmalades.
Both can be used in all kinds of drinks from Bellinis, Spritz's, Fizzs, Sours, stirred down boozy drinks, and yes even Hot Cocktails!
Because persimmons can taste a bit bland on their own and in cocktails, the best way to use them is to add some additional sweetness as well as acidity.
Adding sweetness in the form of sugar and acidity in the form of vinegar will enhance the overall taste of the persimmon.
In addition, you will be preserving something that is available during winter for future seasons to come.
PRO TIP: If you ever want to add an additional infusion to your fruit, always infuse your spices or herbs with the vinegar before adding it to the fruit.
If you want to use persimmons during the winter season, it's always a good idea to combine winter flavors with it in order to highlight the characteristics of the fruit. Examples of great winter spices are clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and bay leaf.
If instead, you want to preserve it for a warmer season, combining flavors such as thyme, mint, rosemary, or basil will work just as well.
For this shrub you will need:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Spices (Cinnamon & Clove work great for Winter)
- Cheesecloth or a Thin Cloth for filtering
Infuse Your Shrub
Before you start with your persimmon, it's a good idea to start with the infusion of your vinegar. Choose whichever spices you think would go well with Persimmons and which season would you like them to use them in.
I'm using 4 cloves and 1 Cinnamon Stick with 90ml of Apple Cider Vinegar overnight, but if you don't have the patience, let the infusion sit in a warm bath of hot water for a couple of hours.
Generally speaking, 90ml of Infused Vinegar is enough for 1 Fuyu Persimmon (about 170g).
Remember that spices are best used as secondary and tertiary flavors, just like in cooking, which means that you only need a little bit to highlight the main flavors. Once your apple cider vinegar has infused, filter out the spices using a fine mesh strainer.
Make Persimmon Oleo
Weigh the number of persimmons that you want to use and wash them well over water.
Grab your Persimmon(s) and slice up into little small cubes. Place them in a jar.
In weight, keep the ratio of Persimmon to Sugar 2:1.
So for example, if you weighed 200g of Persimmons, combine 100g of Sugar.
Mix up your sugar and diced persimmons together and let it sit for just a couple of hours until it dissolves. You may notice that the sugar at the bottom of your jar doesn't dissolve completely, so just keep it in a warm bath of water to melt the last of the sugar crystals.
Because this fruit contains lots of moisture, creating an oleo will happen extremely fast. Once created, place everything in the blender along with your infused vinegar, and give it a spin.
Generally speaking, for every 250ml of Oleo and Diced Persimmon, you should combine 3oz or 90ml of Infused Vinegar.
Blend everything together until all of the bits of persimmon are turned into a smoothie, then pass everything through a cheesecloth or fine filter so that you can squeeze every bit of juice out of it. (your juice will have the consistency of a thin pulp, hence the name 'Pulp Shrub').
Squeeze all of the juice out until you are left with just the pulp, and set it aside for later uses. Your liquid should be bright orange, fresh-tasting, and with a perfect balance of sweet and sour. You can always adjust the taste with the addition of more oleo, simple syrup, or vinegar depending on your preference.
Take note that the final result will have a thick and gloopy consistency because of the high concentrations of pectin. It won't be as liquidy as many other bar ingredients making it a good option for adding thicker textures to drinks.
This shrub in particular doesn't have a strong vinegar taste, making it very palatable and versatile in many cocktails.
What to do with the leftover pulp?
Save the leftover pulp that you have strained out for later use.
Unfortunately, the leftover chunky bits I have from the Fuyu Persimmon are not smooth enough to be made into an edible leather.
Instead, try dehydrating o the point that it turns hard and brittle. Grind them up using a spice grinder to make a dust, and use that dust as a sweet/sour rim or for other uses.
Remember that your dust will still have the persimmons flavor with an additional acidic taste from the vinegar.
Drink Sustainably! 🌱