Dragon fruit grows on a specific type of cactus. And while the white-fleshed ones are readily available in many parts of the world, we want the pink variety for our dragon fruit syrup, which usually is a bit harder to get.
-Even in South-East Asia, where they're widely grown, the pink version is usually more expensive than the regular white ones. So, if you cannot get fresh ones, use frozen fruits instead.
Read here how to make a delicious dragon fruit simple syrup. This syrup has a beautiful, vibrant pink color and is perfect for riffs on classic cocktails. Used in a Gin Sour or a Gin Gimlet, the pink syrup is a great way to bring color into your drinks.
Pitaya or Dragon fruit - what is it?
Perhaps you know it under the name Pitaya, Pitahaya, or dragon fruit, but they all refer to the same thing: an exotic, tropical fruit with pink or yellow skin.
Its English name - dragonfruit- derives from the Vietnamese word: Thang loy, which literally translates to dragon fruit.
The fruit is relatively large and has a hard and thick skin that protects the slightly sweet but otherwise surprisingly neutral fruit flesh. That makes dragon fruit syrup a brilliant replacement for simple syrup, as the taste is so similar. -Much like Butterfly pea syrup.
Different Types of Dragon fruit
The most common variant of the fruit is not pink but white. And that's not all the color variation the fruit has to offer.
The skin can be either yellow or pink - each with green scale-like leaves. However, only the pink-skinned ones have different-colored fruit flesh.
The most common dragon fruit variety is pink and green on the outside and white with black seeds on the inside. However, it is almost impossible for an untrained eye to guess the color of the fruit flesh by its outer appearance. So watch out for the labels.
For this dragon fruit simple syrup, white-fleshed dragonfruit can also be used but that is not ideal. That's not only because it clearly doesn't deliver on the color but also because it has an even less intense taste.
By the way, in Central America, you can even get dragon fruits with a dark red flesh color. But, so far, I have never seen them for sale anywhere else in the world.
The Taste of Dragonfruit syrup
The taste of dragon fruit is generally very mild. You can best describe it as a flavor-wise tuned-down mix between a kiwi, a watermelon, and a pear.
Its slightly sweet taste makes it a beautiful ingredient for desserts. Yet, the flavor gets lost in syrup and can turn out almost neutral. -Especially for the fruits with white flesh.
Pink dragon fruits are usually a little sweeter, more fragrant, and more flavorful than the regular white-fleshed version.
Apart from the different tastes, Pink dragon fruits also contain more antioxidants, having a positive effect on our eyes and skin.
So, now that you know everything about the Pitaya, it is time to try out our beautiful pink dragon fruit syrup recipe.
- 1/2 Pink dragon fruit - cut into small chunks without skin
- 1/2 cup White sugar
- 1/2 cup Water
- Put the pink dragon fruit, sugar, and water into a small pan.
- Heat the pan and bring it to a simmer while gently stirring.
- Cook the ingredients until the sugar completely dissolves.
- Take the pan off the heat and let it cool down for some hours. Four hours should usually be enough, but you can also extend it to 6 or 7 hours to get more of that color into your syrup.
- Strain the syrup into a bottle and store it in the fridge.
- The syrup is good to use for up to 4 weeks when stored below 10C (50F).