Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 11 minutes
For the syrup:
- 1 ripe Fuyu persimmon, peeled and chopped
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp honey
For each cocktail:
- 4 Tbsp persimmon syrup
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- dry champagne or prosecco
- In a saucepot, cook the chopped persimmon over medium heat until it starts to carmelize. This will take about 3-4 minutes.
- Add some water to keep the persimmon pulp if it sticking and smoking, but don't add more than ½ cup of water.
- After about 5 minutes add honey and brown sugar and stir until combined.
- Remove from heat and cool. (You can also strain it if you don't like pulp in your cocktails).
For each cocktail:
- Put 2 ounces persimmon syrup and 1/5 ounce lemon juice into champagne flute.
- Top with champagne or prosecco.
Although there are many varieties of persimmons, there are two main categories for people who eat and buy the fruit.
Dan Gam (Fuyu persimmon) translates to “sweet persimmon” and it has a squashed-tomato shape. It is orange to deep red-orange. You can peel it or wait for it to soften, but you can also eat it with the peel on like an apple. It is crunchy but still sweet and delicious when it is firm.
Ddulben Gam (Hachiya persimmon) is pointier at the bottom (acorn shape). It is longer and usually larger than the dan gam. You cannot eat this type of persimmon until it is ripe and soft because of its high level of tannins. When ready, it is deliciously soft and pulpy. You can peel it carefully or scoop out the insides with the spoon. It's hard to translate “dulbo” into English, but it is the chalky aftertaste that you would experience after eating an unripe Hachiya persimmon. Some people describe the aftertaste as bitter or tart and the sensation as “furry” or a feeling of losing the moisture from the inside of your mouth. Either way, it's unpleasant, so be patient to enjoy the sweetness of this type of persimmon.
Fruit in Korea is very expensive, but persimmons are very affordable there when they're in season. They are native to East Asia and grow well in Korea.
Like most fruit in Korea, persimmons are often eaten as desserts or given as gifts.
Dried persimmons are also used in Korean desserts and in tea like Soo Jung Gwa, which is often served as a digestive at the end of a meal.
Persimmons are rich in vitamin A, potassium, magnesium and fiber. They also contain shibuol and betulinic acid, which have some anti-cancer properties.
The peel of the persimmon contains phytochemicals known as proanthocyanidins which may have anti-aging properties.
There is a dried persimmon festival every December in the Yeongdong region (the fruit producing center of Korea). Festival-goers eat different persimmon preparations, making persimmon jam and even enjoy persimmon beauty products.