You better clear your schedule and get to the closest grocery store for some persimmons because you are not gonna want to miss out on this beauty. This cocktail is sweet with a hint of honey flavor from the persimmon that pairs beautifully with the citrus of the orange. The cognac is the perfect alcohol for this drink and everything is wrapped in a warm vanilla hug. I’m not kidding when I say this is the best darn fall cocktail you can get your hands on.
I pride myself on coming up with interesting cocktails that haven’t been done over and over. When I looked up ‘persimmon cocktail’ on the google, I got dozens of recipes playing off an old fashioned drink (which are not my favorite). The rest of the recipes spiced the persimmon like it was a darn pumpkin and all the lovely and sweet flavor of the fruit was overpowered. I wanted to create something that let the persimmon shine and wasn’t like everything else I was seeing. The mild flavors of orange and vanilla really let the persimmon be the start of this drink (which I’m not paying $1.50 to cover that flavor up!).
What Persimmon to Use
Now, if you don’t know much about persimmons, just learned about them, or you just like reading my crap, here is a blog post talking about everything persimmon. Now, I would make you go click on that to read about the differences of Haichya and Fuyu persimmons, but I’m not that hungry for views 😛 . So, I’ll give you a brief rundown.
Fuyu persimmons are more tomato looking and shorter/wider. Hachiya is pointed at the end like an acorn. Fuyu persimmons will be hard like a firm tomato when ripe and ready to eat. They will also be a bit crunchy like an apple. Hachiya persimmons are only ready to eat once they are soft and jelly-like on the inside like an overripe tomato. Hachiya are very astringent until overripe and will give you some horrible cotton-mouth if eaten too soon. This recipe uses Hachiya persimmons (not to say that you cant use the other one), so you need to be looking for very soft persimmons or be patient enough to let them sit on your counter a week or more. I recommend turning the persimmon on its leaves to ripen and you can place it in a bag with a banana to ripen quicker.
For my garnish, I used stirrer sticks that look like…well, sticks. These are actually caramel apple sticks that I picked up from Walmart, but they are made by Wilton. You can try finding them at Walmart, a local craft/hobby store, or look for them online. If not, you can use any wooden skewer/cocktail stirrer you’d like.
How to Make an Orange Twist
To make the orange twist, you can use a channeling knife (a bar unitasker that has a V-shaped blade) and run it around the outside of the orange in one long strip to make a traditional thin twist. I don’t have one of those, so instead, I carefully used a pairing knife at a slight angle to make one cut all the way around the orange. I then made another cut a centimeter or so away from the first cut angling my blade the opposite direction and following the first cut all the way around the orange (basically making a V-shaped cut like the channeling knife would do). This way is a bit more rustic, but no one is gonna notice, just be careful.
Either way, once you have a nice thin and long strip of orange peel, start wrapping it gently around a small straw (or skewer or whatever you got). You will want to wrap it tightly together and against the straw, but be careful to not break the rind. I like to hold mine for a few seconds once it’s wrapped to get a nice tight curl (will soften in shape as it sits). You can rewrap it if it isn’t tight enough or if you are having difficulty. Don’t worry about keeping all the orange face up or the white to the straw, just wrap it as best you can and listen to how the orange wants to turn (no use in fighting it). After that, you’ll have a nice citrus twist that you can place on your cocktail stirrer and into the glass (let one curl sit on the rim to hold it up, see image below).
How to Prepare the Persimmon
Start by rinsing the persimmon off in cold water. Pat off to dry. Cut the top off the persimmon. With a spoon, go around the inside of the persimmon to remove the flesh from the skin. Cut the persimmon in quarters and check for black seeds (I sometimes squish the persimmon with my hands too look for seeds because they hide throughout the flesh, not just in the center of the fruit). The fruit is now ready to be eaten or pureed.
How to Take this Cocktail a Step Further
If you are a fan of frozen drinks, try freezing the prepared persimmon flesh for at least 4-6 hours. Then blend it with the rest of the drink ingredients (helps if you use 3-4 persimmons at a time) and serve. There’s no need to strain as the pulpiness in the drink will be hidden in the frozen texture (plus it’ll probably suck to strain).
We also tried adding a bit of finely ground pepper and it was really good. It completely changes the flavor profiles of the drink, but I think it’s worth trying and still makes a delicious (and interesting) drink! All you need is a pinch per drink (can add more based on the pepperiness of your pepper).
Vanilla and Orange Persimmon Cognac Cocktail
Honeyed persimmon and orange citrus wrapped in a vanilla hug with a splash of cognac.
- The puree of one very ripe Hachiya persimmon
- The juice from 1 1/2 oranges (hand squeezed)
- 2 oz cognac (we used a cheap one, don’t need anything fancy. Whiskey works well too)
- 10 ice cubes
1. Make persimmon puree. Peel and de-seed a very ripe Hachiya persimmon (read above for more directions). Place the persimmon flesh into a blender or food processor and blend until broken down. Strain the puree to remove any pulp (use as fine of a strainer as you desire).
2. Combine everything and shake. In a cocktail shaker combine the rest of the ingredients with the persimmon puree and shake, shake, shake! Pour the finished drink through the cocktail shaker into the desired final glass removing the ice.
3. Garnish and enjoy! Garnish with an orange twist and wooded stirrer (read above for more detail) and enjoy!
4. Kick it up a notch. You can make this a frozen drink by freezing the persimmon or try a bit of black pepper to spice it up. Read above for more detail.
Let me know in the comments below what you thought of this drink and how else you enjoy persimmons!
For more delicious Fall drinks:
Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you have a fantastic week!