It’s not summer yet, but can you blame us for wanting it to be 85 and sunny? Just because it’s still cold enough at night to wear a light jacket doesn’t mean you can’t be dreaming of warmer days to come. The next time you stop by Liquor Barn, check out our mixers aisle. If you’re in a tropical mood, any one of these ten delicious fruity mixers can transport you to a faraway white sand beach, a warm breeze, and a giant fruity cocktail in hand.
This fruit is native to the southern tropical provinces of China. It looks sort of like an oversized strawberry, with a less saturated red coloring. Once you split open the tough outer flesh, there’s a translucent white-yellow fruit within that’s super soft and extremely sweet. Find it in your local Asian grocer, usually in a brightly-labeled can, filled with syrup. Try mixing it with Svedka Peach or your other favorite vodka for a delicious cocktail.
You can’t go wrong with mango! When you look for mango in a grocery store, make sure to avoid the ones that have green skin. Ideally, it should be yellowish-red. When you push the skin, it should be firm but give without too much force. You’ll know you have a good one when you cut it open and its flesh is almost orange; the yellower it is, the tangier and harder it will be. Try blending mango with tequila for a yummy margarita.
Dragonfruit is a beautiful looking fruit, but it’s more for show than it is for taste. It’s like the saffron of cocktail mixer fruits—very delicate and not something that’s meant to overwhelm the taste buds. Infuse slices of dragonfruit with vodka and chilled coconut water for a refreshing drink.
4. Hibiscus Flower
If you’ve ever been to a Mexican restaurant, you may have noticed a strange purple fountain drink called Jamaica (no, it’s not pronounced like the country). Hibiscus is infused with cane juice for a sweet, refreshing, and colorful drink. You can spike it by adding a bit of amber rum or tequila to the mix.
5. Guanábana (Soursop)
This funny-looking green tropical fruit tastes much better than it looks. It has a milky white flesh and ebony black seeds. When you cut it open, it almost has the consistency of ice cream. If you have a blender, mix it up with coconut milk until it’s frothy. Then add a dash of Malibu for a delicious soursop milkshake! Your taste buds will thank you.
Probably one of the most recognizable tropical fruits, pineapple is tangy, sweet, and versatile. You can mix it with Malibu and coconut milk for a pina colada. You can mix pineapple juice with equal parts grapefruit juice and whiskey for a sunrise. You really can’t go wrong with pineapple!
Papayas are almost too sweet to eat on their own. The dark orange flesh of papaya is like candy, and it’s super soft (maybe that turns some people off as much as the sweetness). But with a bit of vodka and a squeeze of an acidic citrus fruit such as orange or lime, you can have yourself a papaya screwdriver that’s equal parts sweet and tangy. It’s a darn good way to start off your weekend brunch.
Passionfruit has a beautiful dark purple color on the outside, almost like a plum. But on the inside, it’s rich yellow flesh makes the perfect infusion for a tropical martini. Like lychee, you can usually find passionfruit in a can of syrup.
This beautiful fruit can be purchased in nectar form; slightly thicker and cloudier than juice, with a gorgeous salmon pink color. Mix it with spiced rum, simple syrup, and a healthy squeeze of lime for an unforgettable and easy to drink tropical cocktail.
10. Raw Cacao
It’s pretty hard to find cacao in raw form, but if you go to a specialty grocer you might find cacao pods for sale. They are the primary colors of a painter’s palette: ochre yellow, cadmium red. When you open up their hard shells, a string of fat, juicy seeds similar in size to lychee and equally translucent comes out. Cacao flesh is very sweet and a little bit messy to eat, but you can mix the juice with rum or just about any other liquor and have yourself a very exotic cocktail!