Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Avocados were a key part of America’s culinary revolution in the 1970s and 1980s and are fast becoming ambassadors of the craft cocktail movement. What? Hold my beer. If dreamy, creamy avos have made their way from toast to martinis, we’re here for it.
It’s true, the craft cocktail trend is something of a social movement that grew out of the so-called cocktail renaissance between 2004 and 2017, when old-school cocktails were reinvented for modern audiences using high-quality ingredients, techniques and liquors.
That revival had its roots in the culinary revolution, where fresh, local, seasonal ingredients were prioritised on menus, beginning in California (a global avo hotspot), as a kickback against the processed foods of post-war America. This had a knock-on effect on the wine and beer industries (hello cocktail renaissance).
The current craft cocktail movement also owes much of its existence to the overwhelming popularity of the craft beer industry and the continuing rise of social media, especially highly visual platforms. Both of these trends prize experimentation, which shows off the skill or ‘craft’ of the mixologists behind these ‘millennial cocktails’.
So how did we get from foodie and cocktail revolutions to avo daiquiris? Fruit cocktails have been making a comeback in the last year and bringing veggie-based tipples along for the ride.
Renewed interest in real fruit cocktails
Food and drink guru, The Tasting Table, maintains there is renewed interest in real fruit cocktails, and that ‘vegetables in cocktails have reached peak sophistication’. Everything goes, when it comes to craft cocktails (how does a burnt butter, hinoki and chanterelle mushroom bourbon sound? It’s legit, promise!)
Interestingly, advocaat, a traditional Dutch alcoholic beverage, was believed to have first been enjoyed by Dutch colonials in northern Brazil. They then introduced the beverage to Europe as ‘advocaat’, presumably swapping out the exotic avo (from which it took its name) for the more easily available egg yolk, to replicate the fruit’s creaminess.
Flash forward to 2023 and we’re using avos shaken in mojitos with mint; frozen in margaritas with pink grapefruit; blended and strained with coconut milk in martinis; blended with coriander and lime in mezcalitas; mixed with lime in daiquiris; and smashed with agave in the aptly named avo vodka smash.
Given the longstanding advice when mixing cocktails that fresh is best, it’s hardly surprising that the versatile avo is once again leading this trend. Whether on the side, on top or inside – green-skinned or dark- skinned – it’s easy to add an avo to your craft cocktail.
If avo toast racked up more than 1.2 million Instagram hashtags, just wait and see how #avococktail captures the imagination!
Avocado mint mojito
Makes 4 small glasses
Preparation time: 5 minutes
- Handful of fresh mint leaves (about 40 leaves or more), rinsed
- 3 limes, rinsed
- 10 ml (2 tsp) white sugar
- 2 ripe, avocados, peeled, stoned and diced
- 50 ml (2 tots) rum, optional
- 500 ml (2 cups) crushed ice or ice cubes
- 1 litre (4 cups) soda water, chilled
- Reserve 4 sprigs of mint for garnish. Tear the remaining mint leaves up and place in a large shaker or large mason jar with lid.
- Cut one lime in quarters and place one quarter in each glass as a garnish.
- Cut the remaining 2 limes into quarters and place in the shaker with mint leaves and add the sugar. Crush with a muddler or a wooden spoon to release the mint flavour.
- Add the diced avocado, and rum if using, and mash well. Add the crushed ice and close the lid of the shaker. Shake well until the avocado is mixed with the rest of the ingredients. Pour in half of the soda water and stir gently to combine – take care as the soda will fizz.
- Fill four glasses with more ice, strain the avocado mojito into the glasses, top up with more soda. Garnish with a mint sprig and serve.
Frozen avocado and pink grapefruit margarita
Preparation time: 10 minutes
- 30-45 ml (2-3 tbsp) salt flakes
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- 1 large ripe avocado, peeled and stoned
- 25 ml (1 tot) Tequila
- 25 ml (1 tot) Triple Sec
- 30 ml (2 tbsp) Agave syrup
- 250 ml (1 cup) pink grapefruit juice
- 500 ml (2 cups) ice
- 2 wheels of pink grapefruit
- To salt-rim the glasses, place the salt flakes in a shallow bowl or on a plate. Run a lemon wedge around the rim of a glass and then dip in the salt flakes so that it is evenly distributed.
- To make the margarita, place the avocado, Tequila, Triple Sec, Agave syrup, grapefruit juice and ice in a high-speed blender and blend until slushy.
- Pour into the salt rimmed glasses and garnish with slices of pink grapefruit. Serve immediately, preferably with avocado tacos.
A delightful twist on the classic vodka martini, while almost unrecognisable as it’s transformed from the standard clear to opaque green liquid that’s smooth and sweet.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled and stoned
- 120 ml (½ cup) coconut milk, preferably lite
- 60 ml (4 tbsp) vodka
- 60 ml (4 tbsp) dry vermouth
- Tajin Spice or chilli lime seasoning (optional)
- Pour all ingredients into a blender and purée until smooth.
- Pour into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
- Shake and strain into a chilled, Tajin-lined martini glass. – Press release, South African Avocado Growers’ Association