Persimmons are fruit trees that are native to China, but they’re now grown in many parts of the world. There are two main varieties of persimmons: non-astringent and astringent. The difference between the two types is the amount of tannins in the fruit. The heart-shaped Hachiya persimmons, perhaps the most common variety, are astringent. Before they ripen, they’re loaded with bitter tannins and are not palatable, but once they’re perfectly ripe and their flesh has completely softened they become quite sweet.
The more squat shaped Fuyu persimmons, on the other hand, are non-astringent and have much less tannins than their widely grown cousins. They’re sweet even when still firm, although they’ll also turn mushy quite rapidly toward the end of the ripening process.
Both kinds of persimmons are absolutely luscious in this cocktail. If using Fuyu, their flesh can still be firm, but their color should be deep-tangerine. If using Hachiya, the fruits should be soft with a vibrant, orange-red skin.
Place the persimmon pieces and lime juice in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then process the persimmons at high speed for about 1 minute, until liquidy and very smooth. You should have 1 1/2 cups or (12 ounces) of purée, enough to make 8 cocktails. Transfer to a squeeze bottle. The purée can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
Fill a shaker 2/3 of the way with large ice cubes. Add the vodka, persimmon purée, lime juice, liqueur, and bitters. Shake until the outside of the shaker becomes frosted and strain into martini glasses. Garnish each glass with a lime wheel and serve ice-cold.