This edition of In The Know’s Cocktail of the Week is sure to become a hit this summer. Our lychee Martini is refreshing and tangy with fruity and floral notes — you can almost taste the clear blue skies, crisp air and flowers blooming.
Lychees are a perfect cocktail fruit because they strike a great balance between sweet and tart. Often described as a cross between a grape and a rose or a pear and watermelon, it’s not hard to imagine why it’s so revitalizing. Lychees are native to Southern China but can grow in any tropical climate around the globe.
They’re most popular in Southeast Asia, so it can be tough to find fresh ones at a regular market. Those having a hard time can try the more common canned version or stop by their closest Asian markets.
Lychees combined with St. Germaine, which consists of 1,000 wild elderflower blossoms and Grenadine, a pomegranate syrup with orange-flower water will let you experience mother nature right from your kitchen.
1 1/2 ounces St. Germaine
1 1/2 ounces canned lychee syrup
Dash of lime juice
1 dash Grenadine
1 pitted lychee, for garnish
1 edible flower, for garnish
First, put ice into the cocktail shaker. Next, add the St. Germaine, lychee syrup, lime juice and Grenadine syrup. Then shake until chilled. Strain the mixture into a glass. Finally, garnish with pitted lychee and edible flower.
Now that you’re a little tipsy, you might be wondering: Why is this drink called a Martini? Yes, the standard version of the cocktail is gin and vermouth. While time has obscured the drink’s origins, its earliest form traces back to around 1882, according to Difford’s Guide.
It may have evolved from the Martinez or Marguerite, but no one is certain. What we do know is that by the ’20s and ’30s, aromatized versions of the drink and ones that ditched the original ingredients altogether became popular. Today there are hundreds of Martini incarnations.
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