30ml Hunter Distillery Mandarin Liqueur

30ml Valli Apple Vodka

120ml apple juice

2 cherries

Build over ice in a highball glass. Top with two cherries.

Mandarin, with its vibrant flavour and bright colour, has been increasingly embraced in cocktails. 

Here's a look at why this citrus fruit has become a popular choice for mixologists and drinkers alike:

Delicate Sweetness: Mandarins are generally sweeter and less acidic than many other citrus fruits. 

This natural sweetness can enhance a cocktail without the need for additional sugar or sweeteners, striking a balance that's palatable to many.

Unique Citrus Profile: While mandarins belong to the citrus family, they have a distinct flavour that sets them apart from the more commonly used lemons and limes. This unique profile allows bartenders to create innovative cocktails that offer a fresh twist on classic recipes.

Versatility: Mandarins pair well with a variety of spirits and other ingredients. 

Whether combined with gin, vodka, rum, or tequila, the fruit complements and elevates the overall drink profile. 

Additionally, its flavour marries well with spices, herbs, and other fruits.

Aesthetic Appeal: The vibrant orange colour of mandarin juice or segments can enhance the visual appeal of cocktails. 

A drink garnished with a slice or twist of mandarin can be particularly eye-catching.

Ease of Use: Mandarins are easy to peel and segment compared to many other citrus fruits. 

This ease can be advantageous in a busy bar setting, where efficiency is key.

Culinary Influence: As global culinary horisons expand, there's been a trend toward integrating diverse and sometimes unexpected ingredients into cocktails. As Asian and fusion cuisines, where mandarins are often featured, have gained popularity, it's only natural for elements of these flavours to permeate the cocktail scene.

Seasonal Variations: Mandarins, being seasonal fruits, can inspire seasonal cocktail menus. 

Their availability during colder months makes them especially popular in winter cocktails, providing a bright contrast to the season's often heavier flavours.

Health Perception: While cocktails are indulgent by nature, the addition of fresh fruit ingredients can sometimes be perceived as a healthier touch. Mandarins, rich in vitamins and antioxidants, might add to this perception when incorporated into drinks.

The surge in mandarin's popularity in cocktails can be attributed to its distinctive flavour profile, visual allure, versatility, and the broader trends in both culinary arts and mixology that value the fusion of traditional and novel ingredients.