Now playing: The Mamas & the Papas, “California Dreamin’” (On such a winter’s day!)

A few months ago, I kept driving past this persimmon tree in my neighborhood that was “lousy with fruit.” Though I was tempted to swing by and snatch a few, I eventually took my inspiration to the grocery store and paid for some of my own instead. At this point, I feel it important to note that I can’t remember having tasted a persimmon before, though I know my mom used to bake something with them when I was a kid. Anyway, I’m always on the lookout for something new and interesting, and I was willing to give it a shot. Armed with a few freshly diced persimmons, I searched for a recipe and came across Millie Mirepoix’s Persimmon Cinnamon Syrup, to which I added spices of my own (mainly clove and ginger, as I’m a big fan of their flavors.

persimmon syrup in the making

persimmon syrup in the making

The first time I made it, I used ground ginger, which resulted in a chalky, disgusting texture. In the next go-round, I subbed crystalized ginger instead. Fresh ginger, of course, would work too, but there’s something really great about the crystallized kind, and it’s easier to just drop into recipes without having to peel and/or chop. Eventually, I strained it into a squeeze bottle (like the ones you use for ketchup and mustard at a picnic) for easy use in my cocktail.
and finished product!

and finished product!

I rimmed a martini glass with orange sugar (I zested an entire orange into some sugar, let it sit for long enough to dry out sufficiently, added some clove and cinnamon, and it was ready a few days later), started with Absolut Orient Apple, one of my favorite brands of flavored vodkas, then added my fresh spiced persimmon syrup and topped it off with my favorite brand of ginger beer: Cock ‘N Bull. Et voila: I give you the “Hazy Shade of Winter!” Yes, this recipe is a bit labor-intensive, but would be great for a winter cocktail party, or even a fancy indoor dinner-for-two by the fire. Cheers!
would you like a Hazy Shade of Winter?

would you like a hazy shade of winter?

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