You can 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 when making it to infuse flavor! Be it herbs, spices, or even chilies: boiling the sugar and water with other stuff is the way to go!
Warm-spiced Simple Syrup
makes 2 cups
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
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), would be to mix into your coffee or to drizzle on vanilla ice cream or pancakes instead of syrup.
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 concur!)
To make the persimmon puree, you’ll need a nicely ripened persimmon. (The soft Hachiya variety is perfect for this. Beware! This varietal is very astringent until it is super-soft. The flesh should be pudding-like). 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.
makes 1 cocktail, or many!
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 (see note above)
persimmon slices, for garnish (see note above)
Maldon smoked sea salt, for garnish
Prepare a rocks glass by running a lime around the rim and coating it with the flake salt. 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.