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I saw that a local Asian supermarket sells durian, so I picked one up, and was thinking that making an alcoholic drink for Christmas would be a great idea, but what kind of drinks could I make?

It seems to be difficult to find recipes. For example, searching for "durian cocktail recipes" has a couple recipes but most results aren't actually cocktails. There are even a couple results talking about whether it's even safe to mix with alcohol.

So, are there any cocktails which use durian? If yes, how do I find the recipes?

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    AjaxGuru, this is a bit like asking "What should I make for dinner." - too broad, no "correct" answer per se but just opinion-based and finally, "What can I do with <ingredient>" questions are also off-topic. Could you rephrase this to be a clearly defined question? (Your other question is absolutels fine, btw.) A visit to the help center might give you a better idea on how this site works. That said: Welcome to Seasoned Advice!
    – Stephie
    Dec 4, 2015 at 6:29
  • You can make an alcoholic drink with durian the same way you can make alcoholic drink with just about anything. Just add it to something with alcohol.
    – Ross Ridge
    Dec 4, 2015 at 8:56
  • For what it's worth, I've got a pretty extensive cocktail library, and I've never heard or seen durian being used in any recorded drink recipe. Presumably because the prep required is extensive for a pretty divisive flavor and smell. Whatever you come up with will be entirely your own invention.
    – logophobe
    Dec 4, 2015 at 17:49
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    @AjaxGuru Stephie is 100% right: we categorically do not do polls. Hop over to meta if you want to discuss that further. However, this particular question seems to not actually be a wide-open poll question, so it's okay. Similar questions about common cocktail ingredients ("what can I make with peach") would still be closed, however, as they definitely are polls.
    – Cascabel
    Dec 4, 2015 at 18:55
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    The question of whether durian is safe with alcohol (yes, it is) is perfectly on-topic. I agree "what kind of drinks" is too much of a poll.
    – Jolenealaska
    Dec 16, 2015 at 5:28

5 Answers 5

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There are even a couple results talking about whether it's even safe to mix with alcohol.

I think this is the interesting part of this question: you obviously can use durian in a cocktail, but should you?

As you point out, there's a question of safety. There are at least two reasons to believe that mixing durian and alcohol might not be entirely safe:

  1. One study suggests that a component of durian can interfere with alcohol metabolism.

  2. There's evidence that eating durian can increase blood pressure.

For most healthy people, the risk associated with drinking a durian cocktail might not be all that great. On the other hand, sharing a cocktail with friends and family should be a safe, enjoyable activity that doesn't require interviews about the imbibers' medical conditions and the signing of waivers.

The last thing you want to do as a host is to offer your guests something that you don't know to be safe. There are hundreds of other fruits available for use in cocktails, so I'd steer clear of durian until more is known about its interaction with alcohol metabolism and blood pressure.

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  • For what it's worth, it's widely believed in Singapore that combining durian and Guinness is very dangerous, although this is usually based on both being very "heaty" foods in traditional Chinese medicine. Aug 20, 2022 at 10:15
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Durian has a powerful flavor and a creamy consistency, so the usual tricks of soaking durian pieces in liqueur or incorporating them into a sangria or juicing it for punch or isn't going to work very well.

Durian does blend into a smoothie very well, and also into a milkshake, similar to the way one would make a banana milkshake with a banana, some milk and a sweetener of your choice. The best part about milkshakes is that they take the addition of vodka very well - it will enhance the flavors in the drink, and not bring too much of its own to conflict with the durian. You can experiment with other liqueurs, but I would avoid fruit-flavors and strong aromatics. Brandy and coffee liqueur may be suitable points of departure.

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Durian has the tag of "smells like hell, tastes like heaven". Most hotels in south east Asia will not allow you to bring the fruit into the hotel and there is a fine if you do. The fruit juice street vendors in Siem Reap Cambodia just mix the fruit with tinned sweetened milk, water and ice cubes and make a smoothie at a cost of US$1.

So for a cocktail you just need to add an alcohol that will be harmonious with the taste of the Durian. So what cocktails go with fruit or fruit juice? Mai Tai, piña colada, there are many. Maybe white rum, maybe dark rum, just experiment, should be fun. I'll do the same thing next trip to south east Asia when I have some fresh durian fruit, and cheap booze to play with.

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You wouldn't need a lot to just add some complexity of flavor to the drink, so perhas that alleviates the safety concerns. I would go toward drinks where spiced rum would be an ingredient. Durian has a spicy flavor, like nutmeg or mace. A mai tai seems like a logical choice, but you might have to make use of the blender to add a teaspoon or tablesppon of durian to the juice component. Some pulp is still going to sink to the bottom. A brandy alexander or banana alexander seems like another possibility. Durian goes well with cacao.

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The answer is clearly yes, durian can be used a cocktail ingredient, as evinced in this advertisement I spotted here in Singapore a few days ago:

enter image description here

(Durian Baileys Avocado shake, courtesy Fruce)

Whether you should use it as a cocktail ingredient is a whole other question. While I personally can appreciate any one of durian, avocado and Baileys on its own, mixing any two of those seems like a bad idea and mixing all three likely violates chemical weapons treaties.

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