Blended drinks aren't often bucketed into the craft cocktail category. Perhaps that's because the term "blended" makes many of us think of candy-sweet classics like hurricane slushies, strawberry daiquiris, and piña coladas. I've been happy to see cocktail bars in Chicago and throughout the country challenging that stereotype by creating blended drinks with more depth and quality of ingredients. It seemed like a great idea to join the movement myself.
I love a good blended cocktail for several reasons. They're
- Easy to make in bulk
- Surprisingly hydrating (you tend to consume a lot more of the ice then you would in a cocktail served on the rocks), and
- Allow you to get away with using thicker textures, thus retaining more ingredient flavor.
I chose to stay with rum for the spirit since it tends to be the go-to for so many tropical, blended beverages. Instead of using white rum, I featured Oak and Cane, an aged rum infused with orange peel, for more weight and character. I wanted the rum to add interest to the drink rather than simply getting lost amid the fruit flavors and this one certainly delivered. The cool (and rare) thing about Oak and Cane is that it's made in Florida of entirely American ingredients (Florida grown sugarcane and orange peels and American white oak barrels for aging). Its flavor profile is both woodsy and lightly bitter from the citrus yet delightfully smooth at 80 proof.
For the fruit components, I used chunks of ripe pineapple, homemade peach puree, and freshly squeezed lime juice. It's true that incorporating the fruit in these forms takes more work, but it makes a world of difference in the finished product. Though pineapple juice can be an alternative if you can't find fresh pineapple, the flavor will be more muted and syrupy rather than vibrantly sweet/tart. I've also tried several different peach liqueurs but nothing ever came close to the fragrant sweetness of freshly made peach puree. That being said, ripe pineapples and peaches aren't always available so, if you really find that you love this drink, consider pureeing and freezing the fruit for future use.
Blending these ingredients with ice resulted in an absolutely beautiful (and ridiculously delicious) foam. The cocktail will separate after you pour it into the glasses and all of the froth will rise to the top. I garnished the drinks with dehydrated lime slices as they have a lovely scent and are a little bit lighter than fresh slices for sitting on top of foam. You can check out an earlier post for instructions on making dehydrated citrus at home. The resulting drink has a delightfully creamy texture and fresh fruit brightness intermingled with the woodsy depth of the rum.
The Fruit Bowl
- 2 oz Oak and Cane Rum
- 1/4 cup pineapple chunks
- 1.5 oz peach puree
- Juice of 1/4 lime
- Dehydrated lime, for garnish
Add all ingredients other than dehydrated lime to a blender along with 4-5 ice cubes and blend on a medium/high speed until the texture is consistent and frothy. Pour into stemless glasses and top with the dehydrated lime. Enjoy whenever you need some extra sunshine in your life.