If you've never heard of the dragon fruit before, here's one thing you should know: It's as bold as its name suggests. Besides a unique appearance with curled and sharpened leaves that look like thorns, the cactus fruit also possesses a violently pink color. Cut through the thick "hide" of the fruit and, within, you'll find juicy, seed-filled flesh bursting with sweetness and a subtle hint of citrus. Due to its irresistibly fruity taste, dragon fruit has become increasingly popular in recent years, finding its way into everything from fruit salads to smoothies.
For mixologists, the fruit's natural sweetness is a boon for many drink recipes. As it turned out, dragon fruit syrup is a fantastic cocktail flavoring! The syrup can be made at home pretty easily, or you can also buy it pre-made online. In any case, it's a lovely addition to any drink recipe — but especially vodka cocktails. Unlike other liquors, vodka is neutral in taste, making it incredibly easy to work with at the mixing table. It can pair with just about anything, including the sweet and citrusy flavor of dragon fruit.
Dragon fruit's light sweetness means it's simply going to meld with the spirit and enhance its taste without being too overbearing. And here's another bonus: Dragon fruit syrup adds a gorgeous magenta color to your cocktail. Without relying on artificial coloring, you'll be hard-pressed to find a natural ingredient that can make your cocktail stand out quite like a touch of dragon fruit syrup!
Mixing Your First Dragon Fruit Vodka Cocktail
Dragon fruit syrup can be bought pre-made, but it's easy enough to make that you should seriously consider the DIY route. All you need to do is combine equal parts of sugar, water, and diced dragon fruit (use the pink-fleshed variant for the best color) in a saucepan. Let it simmer on the stove for about 15 minutes. When the dragon fruit pieces soften and the syrup thickens and bubbles, remove it from the heat. Then, strain the mixture into a separate bowl to remove the mushy flesh and seeds and store the syrup in a mason jar for later use.
If you're eager to sample the syrup in a cocktail right away, here's a quick and straightforward recipe for a dragon fruit vodka martini: Mix 2 ounces of vodka with an ounce of dragon fruit syrup (if the taste isn't fruity enough for you, add more syrup in quarter-ounce increments until it suits your taste). Then, top it with an ounce of fresh lemon juice and shake these ingredients together with ice in a cocktail shaker. Finally, strain the mixture into a martini glass.
For garnishing, you can keep it simple by sticking a thin, circular slice of fresh dragon fruit on the rim of the glass. If you want to get more creative, you can make dragon fruit balls with a melon baller and drop them into the cocktail. Serve these vibrant cocktails at any get-together and they're sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
Read the original article on Tasting Table.