Here’s the first (and the tamest!) of our Creepy Cocktails series we’re doing for Halloween. Since Halloween butts up into Day of the Dead, celebrate both with Margaritas!
Add pizazz to any margarita with a flavored simple syrup. What’s a simple syrup? It’s equal parts sugar and water, boiled until the sugar is fully dissolved and completely suspended in the water. Whenever you have a cocktail that is too sour or too strong, a dash of simple can balance it out.
At Hipcooks, we’re not so simple with our syrup (ha, ha) — we take the extra opportunity to infuse flavor! Be it herbs, spices, or even chilies: boiling the sugar and water with other stuff is the way to go!
Making the cocktail, once you have the simple syrup, is easy breezy. If you’re extra-lazy, you can make the cocktail without the persimmon puree, and just plop in a persimmon slice as an edible garnish. The drink will still be super-delicious (we tried it and approved!)
Warm-spiced Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2-inch piece ginger, sliced
A generous peel of lemon
a few Microplane's passings-worth of nutmeg
4-6 cardamom pods, smashed
1 part freshly squeezed lime juice (use about 1 ounce per cocktail)
3 parts agave tequila (use 3 ounces per cocktail)
1 part warm-spiced simple syrup (see recipe above)
persimmon puree, to taste
persimmon slices, for garnish
Maldon smoked sea salt, for garnish
For the Simple Syrup
Bring the water, sugar, and spices to a rolling boil, then simmer for about 5-10 minutes until your kitchen smells great. Strain the simple syrup and allow to cool completely before using. Any extra keeps in your fridge for almost forever. Extra uses of this simple syrup (as if cocktails aren't enough): mix into your coffee, drizzle on vanilla ice cream, or pour onto pancakes instead of syrup.
For the persimmon puree:
You'll need a nicely ripened persimmon —the flesh should be pudding-like. Hachiya persimmons are perfect for this. (Beware: this varietal tastes astringent until it's super-soft.)
Cut in half, scoop out the flesh, and pop into a blender to whizz. If you need more liquid, you can add simple syrup.
If you are using persimmon slices to garnish, ripened Fuyu persimmons are the ones you want. They don't get too soft as they ripen, and make the perfect garnish.
Make the margarita:
Prepare a rocks glass by running a lime around the rim and coating it with Maldon salt. (We flavored ours with chile.) Fill the glass with ice.
Plop all the ingredients (minus the garnish) into a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice and shake, shake, shake your moneymaker. The more you shake, the yummier the drink. Using the strainer, pour the cocktail into the prepared glass. Slide a persimmon slice on the edge of the glass for beauty points.