I was first introduced to lychees while working at Spice Market in NYC. We served Southeast Asian cuisine, and lychees were among our popular produce. I feel it is similar to cilantro in the sense that you either love it or you hate it. I definitely enjoy this fruit.
Native to China, it has a pinkish brown and thin skin, which is easy to peel. It reveals a white and delicate flesh that covers a medium sized pit. It has a sweet and almost floral taste to it, which is best enjoyed fresh. You can find it canned, but it really does not do the fruit justice and does not compare to the real thing.
With that said, it is not easy to find fresh lychees, so for this cocktail, I opted for a lychee juice by a company called “Ceres”. I was disappointed to find that they mix pear juice in with it, but the drink still tastes pretty darn good!
Lychee Cherry Cocktail
1/4 cup cherries, pitted and sliced thin
1/8 cup triple sec
3/4 cup lychee juice
1/4 cup vodka
Spearmint or mint for garnish
Muddle the cherries in a cocktail mixer and add the liquids and ice. Shake well for 2 minutes and serve with cherries at the bottom of the glass and garnish