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How to Use Winter Dried Fruit in Cocktails

dried fruit on tray
Elevate your cocktails for the winter season by using dried fruit. And dried fruit has more uses than just cocktails! They can be used in decorations for your holiday gatherings or incorporated in gift wrapping for a personal touch.
Jars with Dried Fruit

Cocktail Gift Jars

Dried fruit makes it easy to give the gift of classic cocktails. Here are a few easy recipes that can be packed in jars and used as party favors or the perfect complement to the gift of spirits.

Old Fashioned

Dry Ingredients
4 dried orange slices
3 dehydrated raspberries
2 dehydrated cranberries
1 cinnamon stick
1 sugar cube

12 oz. bourbon


Dry Ingredients
3 dehydrated orange slices
2 dehydrated grapefruit slices
3 dehydrated lime slices
2 to 3 leaves of dried mint

12 oz. gin, tequila or vodka

Spiced Cider

Dry Ingredients
4 dehydrated orange slices
3 dehydrated apple slices
1 cinnamon stick
2 to 3 cloves

12 oz. bourbon


Dry Ingredients
3 dehydrated apple slices
3 dehydrated orange wheels
3 dehydrated lemon wheels
1 sugar cube

12 oz. Virginia red wine

Dried Fruit on a Wreath

Decorating with Dried Fruit

Dried fruit are also useful for decorating for the holidays! Use them to make garlands to wrap around your tree or hang on the mantles of fireplaces or tie them up as ornaments! Try using them as decorations for gift wrapping too, threading an orange wheel through the gift's ribbon while tying it.

Methods of Drying Fruit

With an Oven

Slice your fruit and spread them out on a pan with a bit of space between each other. Preheat oven to 200° F. Any temperature higher will cook the fruit rather than dry them. Once the fruit is put into the oven trays, the drying process will take four to eight hours. Check the fruit periodically to check the drying process, you will know the fruit are finished once they have a slightly shriveled, chewy texture.

With a Dehydrator

Prepare fruit in single layers on the dehydrator's trays and place them into the dehydrator. Select the fruit setting if there is one available OR set the temperature to 145° F. This process will take six to eighteen hours depending on the size of the fruit.

Pre-made Options

Pre-made dried fruit cocktail kits are sold by many online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores. Dried fruit can also be bought individually, which you can use to make your own cocktail jars!

Ice Cubes infused with a various assortment of flowers

Continue the Garnish Journey

Garnishes serve more than a decorative purpose in cocktails. They also add aroma and subtle flavors. Join us year-round in the garnish journey!

A list of in-season fruits and vegetables is provided by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

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