|Succulent Lychees courtesy of Melissa's Produce Co.|
To take this to the next level, because it's summer cocktail time and with further inspiration from Project Sake, I created this Lychee Martini. With sake in place of vermouth, and fresh basil sugar syrup for sweetness, this is a drink for all seasons, but especially for right now. 声援 (Cheers in Japanese.)
|Lychees Infusing Vodka|
2 lbs. fresh lychees
6 cups vodka
Peel and pit lychees. Place in glass jar, add 6 cups of vodka, put on the lid, and let stand in a cool, dark place at least 5 days. Drain infused vodka through cheesecloth, and store in the refrigerator.
|Amazingly delicious Lychee Martini on latest mosaic creation|
2 oz. lychee infused vodka
1 oz. sake
1 oz. basil sugar syrup
Place the liquids in a shaker with ice. Shake, shake, shake. Strain into pretty glass, garnish with "pickled" lychee & basil flower.
Basil Sugar Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 basil leaves
Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat on medium until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture has come to a slow boil. Take the saucepan off the heat, add the basil leaves, and let stand for about an hour. Remove the basil. Store syrup in the refrigerator. Right now this is my go-to sweetener for iced tea too. And try this with other herbs - let your imagination lead the way.
For more on fresh lychees go to http://www.melissas.com/Products/Products/Lychee.aspx