Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lychee Martini - Cocktail or Virgin, You pick!

The one word that comes to your mind when you see or hear about a Lychee is "EXOTIC" !! And the second word would probably be Hawaai or Mauii or something of that kind, right? Well, a lychee is a rare sub-tropical fruit originating in South China where the lychee is very important in their culture and is famed as "the King of Fruits". It not only tastes divine, but is high in Vitamin C (antioxidant)and Potassium (mineral) too. It sure is one of my favourite fruits, and here's a drink that is a favourite for a lot of people. This recipe for a Lychee Martini is an inspiration from a similar one that I read about in the Gourmet magazine, and I modified it a little to suit my style. Presenting to you, the Lychee Martini (Cocktail or Virgin, your choice!!)

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup drained canned lychees (15 to 20, from a 16- to 20-oz can)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 small cherries
2 tsp cranberry or grenaldine (artificial pomegranate) juice
Sprig of mint, lemon rind for garnish
6 oz (3/4 cup) vodka (optional)
1 1/2 oz (3 tablespoons) orange-flavored liqueur (optional)
For the Virgin drink, omit the vodka and liquer.

Heat sugar and water in a small saucepan over high heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved, then allow it to cool by transferring it to a small bowl kept in a tray filled with ice cubes. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the syrup is cold and a little thick.

Now Purée lychees with sugar syrup and lemon juice in a blender until smooth, then filter the liquid from the fruit residu using a colander or a fine mesh. If you have a cocktail shaker, fill it half with ice cubes and add the lychee puree, vodka, and the orange liquer.

Now take a Martini glass, drop a cherry at the bottom, then add 1 tsp cranberry or Grenadine (artificial pomegranate juice) to create the dark red hue that you see in restaurant-served drinks, and fill the remaining glass with the prepared syrup. Garnish the glass rim with a split lemon rind or a mint leaf and drift into the exotic world of this divine fruit!!

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