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Elevate Your Cocktails With Homemade Dehydrated Fruits And Veggies

dehydrated fruits cocktail

A great way to extend the life of your fruits and vegetables is by dehydrating them. Not only do they make for delectable, chewy treats, but they also work as wonderful garnishing accents to cocktails. In this article, we will tell you how you can dehydrate fruit and vegetable produce at home, and three easy cocktail recipes to showcase these vibrant jewels. 

A Guide to Dehydrating Fruits and Vegetables

A fairly simple process, all you will need are fresh fruits and vegetables of your choice, lemon juice (optional, for preserving colour) and a dehydrator. Don’t worry if you don’t have one. We have a hack for this.

Choose fresh, ripe fruits and vegetables like apples, strawberries, citrus fruits, kiwis, pineapples, cucumbers, etc. Wash and peel the fruits. For fruits that are prone to browning, like apples, soak them briefly in a solution of water and lemon juice to preserve their colour.

Now, slice your produce uniformly to ensure even dehydration. Aim for slices that are around ¼ or ⅛ inch thick. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the trays of your dehydrator. Ensure that you don’t overcrowd the tray. Set your dehydrator to the appropriate temperature, depending on your produce. Typically a temperature between 52°C to 57°C is good. Depending on the water content of the fruit or vegetable, let it dehydrate for several hours or even overnight. You should be left with leathery or crisp bits when done.

dehydrated oranges

If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can always use your oven. Set its temperature to 82°C and leave your produce in for as long as it needs to be. To ensure even dehydration, flip the pieces at regular intervals. 

When it comes to storing your dehydrated produce, ensure that they’re cooled off completely. Store them in airtight containers to maintain freshness.

Apples, strawberries, pineapple, oranges, bananas, kiwis, mangoes, cucumbers, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots and beets all make for versatile produce to dehydrate.

Now, let’s look at how you can elevate your cocktail’s look with these dried gems.

Citrus Burst Gin 

To create the drink, you will need:

60 ml gin
30 ml fresh lemon juice
15 ml simple syrup
Club soda
Dehydrated orange wheel and lemon twist for garnish

To prepare the drink:

In a cocktail shaker, mix gin, fresh lemon juice and simple syrup with ice. Shake well until the mixture is chilled and strain into a glass filled with ice. Top off the drink with club soda and garnish with a dehydrated orange wheel and lemon twist.\

Apple Cinnamon Old Fashioned

apple drink

To create the drink, you will need:

60 ml bourbon
15 ml simple syrup
Dash of bitters
Dehydrated apple slice and cinnamon stick for garnish

To prepare the drink:

In a mixing glass, combine bourbon, simple syrup and the bitters with ice. Stir well and strain the mixture into a glass containing a large ice cube. Garnish with a dehydrated apple slice and cinnamon stick.

Cucumber Mint Cooler

To create this drink, you will need:

60 ml vodka
30 ml cucumber juice
15 ml fresh lime juice
15 ml agave syrup
Club soda
Dehydrated cucumber slice for garnish
Fresh mint sprig for garnish

To prepare the drink:

Combine vodka, cucumber juice, fresh lime juice and agave syrup in a cocktail shaker and shake well. Then strain the mixture into a glass over ice. Top off the drink with club soda and serve with a garnish of dehydrated cucumber slice and a sprig of fresh mint.

Now that you know how to transform your fresh produce into preserved jewels, it’s time to get busy in the kitchen. And while you’re at it, gather the ingredients for the three cocktail recipes listed above and try your hand at recreating them.

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