Spiked Fruit Straws. Flavor in the cocktail, meet flavor in the straw. Fresh fruit makes for a delicious and useful garnish!
They say that to come up with a great invention, you need to first identify a problem that needs solving. The same can be said for great recipes, or at least I tend to think so.
This week's problem existed at the bottom of a cup of sangria.
I hosted a party last weekend-- something I do every Cinco de Mayo as a sort of birthday celebration for myself-- which meant lots of food and margaritas and, yes, sangria. And while I love a good cup of sangria just as much as the next girl, especially when it contains plenty of fresh fruit to both flavor the alcohol and soak it up, I do not love trying to sip as I get smacked in the lips with endless chunks of fruit or have my straw clogged up by sunken down pieces. And you know that that is exactly what happened all party long.
So as I was cleaning up the next morning, I remembered a video I had recently seen where a very specific syringe is used to cut and skewer fruit. I thought to myself that fruit skewers would be a great way to get the desired effect in your sangria without all of the bits floating around, though I would use an apple corer instead to get the pretty round pieces because, let's be real, it's far more practical than using medical supplies.
I could soak the fruit in alcohol and then place the skewers in the cups right next to the straws...
Or wait. ON THEM.
How awesome would it be to sip your drink through the boozy fruit? More flavor, less unexpected pieces nearly choking you to death.
Oh, you've never choked on sangria fruit before? Me neither, that would be totally weird and I definitely did not almost lose consciousness on Saturday because an orange shot right to the back of my throat and lodged itself there. Nope, not me.
Seriously though, the straws of skewered fruit are an A-plus invention if I do say so myself. And I do. While sipping sangria through one.
Here are all the things that make them great:
- It is a fun way to use up any (decently firm) fruits you might have laying around, such as melons, strawberries, pineapples, dragonfruit, apples, kiwi, etc. I like to go with a tropical fruit theme for my warm-weather sangria, but almost anything will do!
- Assembling the Spiked Fruit Straws is like an easy arts-and-crafts project. James, who is not artistically inclined, had a fun time making patterns out of the fruit and piecing them together with me. And they were quick and easy to make!
- You could absolutely make some of these alcohol-free if you want to serve them to kids.
- But for the ones you are soaking in alcohol, use whatever liquor you'll be adding to your cocktail or sangria, plus some additions if you want even more flavor. I use simple syrup for extra sweetness, lime juice for a little tartness, and rum for the booze. The fruit will soak up all of that goodness.
- The alcohol will also pick up some of the fruit flavor, so pour the leftover liquor mixture in a pitcher after soaking the fruit. Use t as a base for your cocktails or sangria, like I mentioned above. It will taste even better.
- Because there is an actual plastic straw inside of each fruit straw, you can eat the fruit as you go. It's just like a skewer... that you can drink from.
- They are pretty. So pretty. Who doesn't love a practical and beautiful garnish? Much better than a lime wheel or a drink umbrella if you ask me!
Okay, you get the picture. The only thing is that you do have to be a bit gentle transferring the Spiked Fruit Straws to your glasses because if you just grab them and whip 'em around, the fruit will slide off. That really is it. Otherwise, super easy and awesome.
Don't believe me? Just check out the video and recipe below.
Spiked Fruit Straws
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 straws 1x
- Assorted firm fruits such as watermelon, kiwi, honeydew, cantaloupe, pineapple, or dragonfruit
- 1 cup simple syrup
- 1 ½ cups rum or liquor of choice
- Juice of 2 limes
- Mint, to garnish
- Sangria or cocktails, to serve
- Cut the fruit into ¾" slices. Use an apple corer to cut cylinders from each fruit. 3 cups of fruit will make about 6 straws.
- Use a plastic straw to pierce the center of one fruit round. Try to get it as close to the middle as possible. Push the fruit round up to make room for the other fruits, and squeeze downward on the tip of the straw to pop the center of the fruit out to clear the straw for drinking. Keep skewering fruit on until the straw is full. Use a long bamboo skewer to clear any remainng fruit from the inside of the straw.
- Place each finished straw in a small baking dish or loaf pan. Add in the simple syrup, rum, and lime juice. Add extra, if necessary, to submerge the straws. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 and up to 12 hours.
- When ready to serve, gently transfer the straws to the glasses. Use the leftover rum mixture in the sangria or cocktail. Pour the drink into the glasses and add ice. Garnish with mint. Serve immediately.
- Prep Time: 1 hour 30 mins
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