Add A Pop Of Purple To Your Drink With Ube Puree

Classic drinks — like a smooth old fashioned or a timeless martini — are classics for a reason, but sometimes tradition can get a bit dull. That is where unique drink recipes, or twists on everyday cocktails, come in. While you can reinvent the wheel to make an unusual, show-stopping cocktail for yourself or guests, sometimes all it takes is one interesting ingredient to create something brand new. That's why, when you next take up the mixology mantle, we recommend elevating your drinks by using ube puree.

Ube is a root vegetable that is native to Southeast Asia and has become popular around the world. It is celebrated in many cuisines for its vibrant purple color, its soft, creamy texture when cooked, and its mild, earthy flavor. You'll find it flavoring and coloring all sorts of dishes from ice cream to breads. While it may sound similar, ube is different from purple sweet potato, with a nuttier taste more strongly reminiscent of vanilla. These notes make it great for adding to drinks where it can bring out similar flavors in spirits, as well as add some sweetness. Additionally, when pureed, ube can make cocktails thicker and silkier, which can be a desirable trait to many.

How to incorporate ube into drinks

When using ube in drinks, know that it may take some work to find. Fresh ube is not often sold in the United States, which means the next best alternative is frozen grated ube — and even finding this version can be a scavenger hunt. Your best bet for convenient ube flavor would probably be purchasing ube powder or ube extract. Both have the flavor and color one desires from ube, though the powder is more likely to have the thickening effect that a true puree would have.

Once you know how you're going to add ube to your drinks, you need to decide which drinks to use it for. Due to its creamy, sweet, and delicate flavor, ube pairs best with spirits that will either echo its tasting notes or at the very least not overpower them. Liquors like rum or vodka are a good match, as well as liqueurs like Irish cream. Given the ingredient's tropical roots, ube would also be at home in a blended drink like a purple-tinged piña colada or a violet daiquiri.