I'm a pretty equal opportunity eater. I eat everything. I'm trying more and more to only eat fresh foods grown from the ground, and not coming out of a factory made box or metal can. And that brings me to today's recipe for a lychee martini.
Let me try and connect the dots quickly so we can get right to happy hour. I became friends with Frieda's Specialty Produce on my fun tour of the Baroda artichoke farm. Who doesn't want a produce company as a good friend? Then I learned of Frieda's fear no fruit campaign where they're encouraging people to eat one fruit a day that's a little scary. As I mentioned, I'll eat anything, but do have to admit that occasionally I get into a rut, picking the same fruits and vegetables - hi berries and carrots! So I decided to take the challenge and revisit some old fruit friends, and I started with the lychee.
My first experience with the lychee was in Thailand many years ago. I had many food firsts during that Thailand trip, so the lychee didn't stick with me. I didn't have another lychee until I landed at one of my local happy hours at Chaya Venice where they serve a lychee martini every day. Crisp, slightly sweet and clean tasting, I always enjoyed the drink, but never tried to recreate it, until now.
One of my goals with making a lychee martini was to use all natural products, no sugar and nothing from a can. Many recipes call for canned lychee and lychee juice, but why use anything artificial when you can get the fresh stuff. Lychees are in peak season right now and for a few more weeks. If you can't find them in your local grocery store, tell your produce manager to order from Frieda's. They got the goods.
I love the delicate sweetness of the lychee, but wanted to make sure it would be enough to cut the bite from the vodka, so I decided to throw half of a pear in with it. The flavor profiles of the two fruits are highly compatible. Lime and mint are a welcome addition to any dish in my kitchen, and ginger was the piece de resistance. I muddled all of these ingredients together, added vodka and ice cubes with a little elbow shaking juice and was nearly there. I wasn't looking to chew my drink or navigate big floaters so I strained everything and placed it in a cool, proper glass. Then I sat back and enjoyed a truly fearless, refreshing taste of summer with this fresh fruit lychee martini.
Fresh Fruit Lychee Martini
- 3 fresh lychees, peeled with seed removed + 1 for garnish
- 1/2 fresh pear, cut into cubes, seeds removed
- 1/2 fresh lime, cut into quarters
- 8 fresh mint leaves
- 1 teaspoon roughly chopped fresh ginger
- 1-1/2 ounces premium vodka
- 3 ice cubes
- Place the lychees, pear, lime, mint and ginger in a sturdy pint glass and press all ingredients together with a muddler. Continue to mash everything until the fruits are broken down and a thick slush has formed.
- Place vodka and ice cubes in the glass and put larger metal container over the top or place all ingredients in a martini shaker and shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds. Sample and adjust seasonings if necessary, then strain while pouring over a chilled martini glass.
- Garnish with lychee and enjoy.