WHY USE DEHYDRATED FRUITS?
Using dehydrated fruits to garnish drinks is a great way to add some unique flair and flavour to your cocktails, but they’re also a quick, easy and nutritious snack to enjoy on the go. Besides being visually appealing, the other noticeable benefit of using dehydrated fruit or vegetables as an added drink decorator is that you’re being sustainable by minimising food wastage. With such a short shelf life for some fruits and veg, it’s very easy to end up with a pile of fresh produce that’s gone bad, before you’ve had the chance to enjoy it.
HOW TO STORE DEHYDRATED FRUITS & VEG
When you dehydrate fruits, they last significantly longer, and if stored correctly, can last for up to one year. Dehydrated vegetables also have a long shelf life and can last for up to 6 months with the correct storage. It’s important that following the dehydration process, you allow the fruits and veg to cool fully, and when storing, ensure that you use airtight glass jars or non-plastic containers, and place them in a cool, dry place with good ventilation. You want to be mindful that there’s no moisture getting to the dehydrated fruits and veg, so check your jars and containers every 2-3 weeks to ensure they’re still dry.
WHAT FRUITS AND VEG TO USE?
Whilst dehydrated citrus fruits like limes, lemons and oranges are a popular choice amongst bartenders and home cocktail makers, when you have a food dehydrator, you can get creative and adventurous with the ingredients you use and the flavours you blend together—the options are endless! Strawberries, mango, pineapple and berries are other popular choices, and with vegetables, you can use anything from beetroot and tomatoes to green beans and carrots.
Also, when you’re using a fresh piece of fruit as a drink garnish, such as a lime wedge or orange slice, the juice of the fruit can throw off the flavours of the cocktail. However, the benefit of using a piece of dehydrated fruit or veg, is that it’s still visually appealing and the flavours of the cocktail remain in balance—they’re also pretty delicious to bite into as well!
READY FOR A WINNING COCKTAIL?
Looking for a simple to create, yet tasty cocktail that’s perfect all year round and guaranteed to be a winner amongst friends? This refreshing cocktail draws inspiration from summertime in the ’80s, with hot trips to the corner store and the retro cocktail books adorning bookshelves at home.
Using the earthy flavours of beetroot, combined with the sweetness of strawberries and mango, this dehydrated fruit bow is not only the perfect drink garnish, yet when enjoyed with this cocktail, can take the taste buds on a sensory delight!
To ensure the colours remain vibrant, dehydrate at a low temperature of 7-10 degrees celsius (45-50 degrees Fahrenheit) and for a slightly longer period than other dehydration processes. For stress-free entertaining, you can make these dehydrated fruit garnishes a week ahead of your event and store them in an airtight container. See below for this delicious recipe—enjoy!