This past summer my friend and I were on a bit of a mojito kick (okay, maybe a little more than "a bit"). Inspired by Not Without Salt's Rhubarb Mojito (a must try during rhubarb season!), we experimented with everything from the classic mojito to more adventurous combinations like blackberry and basil (also delicious!). This contest and my recent discovery of persimmons got me thinking about how to work persimmons into a mojito and here you have it -- a floral and sweet drink with a hint of spicy complexity and the bright taste of lime to balance the warmth of the persimmon. You won't be disappointed by this one!
The recipe below makes enough syrup for several drinks, however I have included mixing instructions for just one drink so you can mix as many or few as you would like.
This is a winning flavor combination and lends itself well to a non-alcoholic drink as well. Simply omit the rum and proceed as usual.
I used one very ripe Fuyu persimmon in this recipe as that was what was available, however I'm sure that a Hachiya would also work well. Just make sure that it is completely ripe! —kangarhubarb
Test Kitchen Notes
At first, I felt like this syrup would be a lot of work for only a faint hint of persimmon. A full tablespoon of vanilla seemed over the top, too, while a pinch of lime zest seemed too little. The syrup was cloudy and heavy with spice, nothing at all like the clear simple syrup of the mojitos I sip on hot summer days. But upon the first sip, my only thought was "Why does this recipe only make a single cocktail?" Thank you, kangarhubarb, for this well-balanced winter sipper. —cheese1227
Flesh of one ripe persimmon, seeds and skin removed
cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves
rum (I used a lightly spiced rum, but a white rum also works well here)
Combine persimmon flesh, brown sugar, water, and spices in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Allow to cool slightly.
Once cooled, purée syrup mixture and strain into a bottle to remove any bits of flesh that haven't broken down (syrup will be on the thicker side -- that is okay, you just don't want any stringy flesh or bits of skin that may have gotten into the mixture).
Muddle mint leaves and lime zest in the bottom of a glass. Add lime juice, persimmon syrup, and rum. Give it all a quick stir, add a few ice cubes and club soda if desired. Top with a sprig of mint and serve.