How to Create Delicious Cocktails & Mocktails Using Real Fruit Puree
The secret to a truly phenomenal cocktail or mocktail is high-quality fresh fruit. However, using whole fresh fruit requires hours of washing, peeling, cutting, juicing, blending, and straining before a drink can even be made. Making it the bane of every bartender’s existence. The good news is that with the rise in popularity of aseptic packaging techniques, fresh fruit purees can now be processed at the peak of ripeness and kept that way preservative-free. So save yourself some time and money by following these tips on how to create delicious cocktails and mocktails at home using real fruit puree.
Why Aseptically Packaged Fruit Puree?
Aseptic processing and packaging techniques allow fruit that’s perfectly ripe to be pasteurized and then immediately placed in sterile foil-lined packaging that keeps it fresh without the need for preservatives. Since the fruit is at its optimum sweetness when packaged, there’s no need for adding sugar or any other artificial flavorings or colorings, making aseptic fresh fruit purees one hundred percent natural.
Fresh fruit purees offer a healthier alternative to sugary juices and smoothies as well because they do not contain any added sugar but do contain the pureed fiber of the fruit.
Aseptic packaging also gives consumers a chance to try more exotic fruits that are normally too perishable to be shipped long distances and fruit that’s out of season, meaning you can throw a Hawaiian luau in January and delight your guests by serving pina coladas made with fresh pineapple and coconut puree.
The Necessary Barware
In order to make cocktails and mocktails at home, you’re going to want to stock up on some essential barware that will make your life easier. Every home bar should have a:
- Boston Shaker - Used to make drinks shaken with ice. Made of metal and usually consisting of either a metal shaker tin and glass top or a metal shaker and top.
- Jigger - A shot pourer used to accurately measure the amount of liquid going into a drink. It’s usually two-sided, with a one-and-a-half-ounce pour on top and a half-ounce pour below.
- Hawthorne Strainer - Has a slotted top with a coil spring that allows you to either press firmly or loosely against the shaker letting through some or no ice.
- Mint Julep Strainer - Looks like the back of a large spoon with big holes. It’s used to make drinks where you want some pulp or mint pieces to flow through.
- Fine Mesh Strainer - Usually used in conjunction with one of the other strainers mentioned above to ensure absolutely no pulp, mint flakes, or ice gets into the drink.
- Muddler - Made of wood or metal, muddlers are used to bruise mint leaves or mash up chunks of fresh fruit.
Once you have your barware assembled, you’re ready to start crafting some amazing cocktails and mocktails.
A Note on Simple Syrup
A few of these recipes call for simple syrup, which is just sugar dissolved in hot water. Sugar granules take a long time to dissolve in cold liquids and will settle at the bottom of an icy drink. Basically doing nothing except sweetening the last few sips. A simple syrup is already a liquid, so it will disperse evenly throughout the drink, allowing the first sip to taste as good as the last.
They’re super easy to make, using equal parts sugar and hot water, just stir until the sugar dissolves and set aside to cool. Sometimes you may come across a recipe calling for a rich simple, which is thicker and sweeter, with two parts sugar to one part water.
Simple syrups allow you to control exactly how sweet you want a drink to be. If you’re using naturally sweet fresh fruit purees, you might not need any at all. For healthier options, you can use sugar alternatives that have lower glycemic indexes, like honey, coconut sugar, and agave syrup, which is commonly used in margaritas.
Deliciously Fruity Cocktails
Two of these recipes are classics that have been dulled over the years by terrible store-bought mixes, and one is a new twist on an old favorite. All three of them are much easier to make when using fruit purees and will definitely impress your guests.
The Peach Bellini
Invented in 1948 at Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy, the Peach Bellini is one of those classics that few people bother making the right way. When done correctly with actual peach puree rather than peach juice or, even worse, peach liquor, the Bellini is an enchanting mix of sweet-tart peaches and effervescent prosecco.
The best part is when you use real fruit pure, it couldn’t be simpler. Just pour two ounces of peach puree into a champagne flute and top the rest with a freshly opened bottle of prosecco. Give it a gentle stir, and you’ll never serve mimosas at brunch again!
Fresh Pineapple & Coconut Pina Coladas
Once you try pina coladas made from fresh pineapple and coconut purees, you’ll never be able to drink the store-bought version again. Think tropical beach vacation in a glass. All that’s missing is the sunscreen and tiny umbrellas.
Using a high-speed blender, pour in:
- 1 cup pineapple puree
- 1 cup coconut puree
- 3 oz of good white rum, like Bacardi or Havana Club
- 3 cups of ice
- ½ oz of simple syrup (optional, if your purees are sweet enough, you might not need it)
Blend and pour into 2-3 glasses. Garnish with a fresh pineapple wedge, and let the conga line begin!
Passion Fruit Mezcalita
Passion fruit is one of those perishable tropical fruits that rarely get to be enjoyed outside of their time zone. Passion fruit puree allows you to experience the tangy, tart sweetness of this enticing fruit without buying a plane ticket. This is a twist on the classic margarita that uses mezcal instead of tequila for a slightly smoky and spicy finish.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and then add:
- 2 oz of good mezcal
- Look for mezcal made from the Espadin agave plant, which lends itself well to cocktails.
- 2 oz of real passion fruit puree
- 1 oz Cointreau orange liqueur
- 1 oz fresh lime puree
- 1 tsp agave syrup
Shake well, then using your Hawthorne strainer, strain into a glass filled with fresh ice. For an extra special touch, line the rim of the glass with Tajin chili lime seasoning before putting in the ice. Garnish with a wedge of lime, and taste the passion!
The Rise of the Mocktail
According to the latest beverage trends, the mocktail is on the rise. Thanks to an increasing desire for healthier drink options, the mocktail is not just for pregnant women anymore. Younger generations are beginning to drink less alcohol while still enjoying going out with friends. As a result, more bars and restaurants are starting to use fruit purees to create exciting mocktails that are just as delicious as their alcoholic counterparts.
There’s nothing more sweet and refreshing than watermelon puree, which gets balanced perfectly with a hint of acidity from fresh lime in this alcohol-free margarita.
In a shaker filled with ice, add:
- 2 oz of watermelon puree
- 1 oz of lime puree
- ½ oz orange puree
- 1/4 oz of simple syrup or agave (optional, deepening on the sweetness of your watermelon puree you may not want this)
Shake well and pour into a glass. Top with a splash of soda water for a slightly bubbly finish. Garnish with a wedge of watermelon or lime, and you won’t even miss the tequila!
Blood Orange & Rosemary Mocktail
Blood oranges make a strikingly beautiful addition to this delicious Mediterranean-inspired mocktail. Adding a few sprigs of fresh rosemary to your hot simple syrup will impart an evergreen herbal quality that compliments the sweet acidity of the blood orange puree. Loaded with vitamin C, this mocktail has the added bonus of being an immunity booster as well.
Fill your shaker with ice and add:
- 2 ½ oz of blood orange puree
- ½ oz of rosemary simple syrup
Shake well and pour into a tall soda glass. Top with soda water and garnish with a freshly slapped sprig of rosemary. One sip will transport you to the Amalfi coast, buon appetito!
Food is medicine, so forget the cherry cough syrup and treat what ails you with this delicious play on a traditional mojito that’s loaded with antioxidants. Here’s where using a real cherry puree really comes in handy, as pitting fresh cherries is notoriously time-consuming.
In your cocktail shaker, add:
- A handful of fresh mint leaves (be sure to slap them to release the oils before adding)
- 1 ½ oz of cherry puree
- ½ oz of lime puree
- ½ oz of simple syrup
Using your muddler, gently crush the mint leaves into the mixture, and use one hand to cover the shaker to prevent splashing. Then, add a handful of ice and shake vigorously to help break up the mint even more.
Using your julep strainer, pour into a pint glass filled with fresh ice and top with soda water. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and a lime wedge. Taking your medicine never tasted so good!
Spend More Time Drinking & Less Time Prepping
Using real fruit purees to create delicious cocktails and mocktails saves you a tremendous amount of time and effort. Spend less time prepping in the kitchen and more time accepting well-earned praises from your friends and family. You deserve to enjoy your next party as much as your guests do. Treat yourself to a tasty cocktail or mocktail today!