Looking for a seasonal twist for cocktails? Try persimmon

| Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012, 8:56 p.m.

Persimmons are finally in season and they are all around us. At the supermarket, at farmers markets and, if you're lucky, on your own tree. I am a late bloomer when it comes to this delicious fruit — it wasn't until last year that I was introduced to them.

I bought a few persimmons not really knowing what I was going to do with them. I bookmarked a post from the blog White on Rice for Grandma's Persimmon Cookies but never got around to making them. I also bookmarked Chocolate Persimmon Muffins on another blog but, again, failed to follow through.

Soon enough, I found myself with some ripe persimmons and a few recipes that I had put at the top of my “to-do” list. After a 40-minute nap, I started dinner. I resolved to attempt the chocolate persimmon muffins, but it didn't happen. Instead, I pureed the persimmon and made a cocktail. I don't even drink, but I guess that is what I needed.

My husband and I sipped on these mojitos while I made salad dressing and pureed soup. I froze the rest of the persimmon puree in ice-cube trays, which now rest comfortably in my freezer for either a sweet treat or more mojitos.

This drink is the perfect blend of sour and sweet — not too strong, but with just enough of a kick to confirm that this is not a slushy but, indeed, a superlative cocktail.

Susan Salzman is a writer for www.oneforthetable.com.

Persimmon Mojito

3 tablespoons persimmon puree (see note)

6 ounces good rum

6-8 fresh mint leaves, bruised with a mortar and pestle, plus more for garnish

4 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice

2 tablespoons simple syrup

Club soda

Lime slices, for garnish

Place ice in a beverage shaker, add rum, bruised mint leaves, lime juice and simple syrup. Shake well and pour over crushed ice in a tall glass. Add the persimmon puree and combine gently, and top off with club soda.

Garnish with a lime wedge and mint leaves.

Note: To puree persimmons, follow these steps. First, remove the green stem, cut two slits through the skin with a paring knife at the top of the fruit, and drop in boiling water for about a minute. Remove from water and immediately remove and discard the skin. Puree in a blender or juicer. Leftover puree can be frozen in an ice cube tray.

Makes two 8-ounce cocktails.

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