Whenever the twined-stems of these beauties peer out of a box at the market, I jump to buy a bundle. Both beautiful and slightly deceiving, this prickly fruit- sliced open- yields the most aromatic pearl-like flesh.
When I first ate these I was a small child, I was indulged eat a local Chinese restaurant that our family frequented. A rarity in the Pacific Northwest, we savored the flesh and marveled at the shiny seeds left behind, dreaming of planting and growing our own bunches. Fast forward to India a few decades later and I still feel the excitement when I buy them and marvel at the possibility of infusing them into my menu.
Last year I created a lychee and coconut cake and this year, thus far, I’ve savored them in a light and bright cocktail, perfectly suited to a cooling off on a hot Chennai afternoon with friends. A drizzle of honey and a few slices of ginger and lemongrass (with or without the vodka!) make this cocktail truly fit for the gods.