Boiron Fruit Purees
One of the issues that impedes great cocktail creation is access to quality fresh fruit. Certain parts of the world, like California and Florida, have access to fresh fruit pretty much year round. As for bartenders in more northern climates, it becomes costly to use fresh fruit, plus the quality is mostly lacking after two weeks on a truck and storage in a cavernous warehouse. Because of this there are all sorts of sub-par, sugar loaded and artificially flavoured fruit substitutes out there and they don’t leave much to be desired. They especially don’t make for a good tasting drinks. But luckily there are some quality options out there, including frozen fruit purees from Boiron who sent me a couple of samples to try.
Frozen fruit purees are a good option for bars that don’t have access to fresh fruit, or find it to costly to use in the winter months. But, the quality of the fruit puree must be good, otherwise the drink will still be mediocre at best. A good chef won’t use sup-par ingredients, nor will they cut corners, because it is their reputation that gets tarnished. The same thing should apply to bartenders and the drinks they serve. So when you have a choice between sickly sweet, synthetically flavour, fruit substitute or a good frozen fruit puree, the choice should be obvious.
Like any product on the market there are good ones and bad ones, so sampling is important before purchasing. The three samples that were sent to me, by Gastronomia, included, Raspberry, White Peach and Orange & Bitter Orange. The first thing I did when the samples arrived was to sample them straight. My first impression was that these purees had very good flavour and were true to fresh picked fruit. There was no artificial after taste, nor was there any off flavours, like the burn of commercial daiquiri mix!
The marketing material that was sent was impressive also. Tony Abu-Ganim (The Modern Mixologist) uses the Boiron fruit purees at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, so that is a good indicator of quality. The Drink’ Art recipe guide is nicely done and obviously includes a large number of cocktail recipes that use Boiron fruit purees. There are many original cocktail creations included in the guide from Tony Abu-Ganim, Dale DeGroff, Rodolphe Sorel, Dick Bradsell and Wayne Collins. So they at least made an effort to select unique cocktails created by some of the best bartenders to highlight their product. This is very good, especially since I hate it when a company has a good product but then just takes a few classic cocktails and substitute their product for the original one.
My initial impression is that these products are of a very high quality and I would have no problem recommending them for use in any cocktail. In the coming weeks I’ll use some of these fruit purees in some cocktails. The Orange & Bitter Orange is definitely a product that would be very versatile in cocktail creation. It has an orange flavour with a nice bitter finish, kind of like a cranberry or grapefruit. We will see what I can come up with.
The Boiron products do not contain any artificial colouring, gelling agents or preservatives.