Friends, it’s summertime. I am down in Texas this week trying not to melt as I make plans and preparations for fall gardening and an impending chicken coop (stay with me for that adventure).
Did you know that Vietnamese culture is very prevalent down here? Vietnamese is actually the third most spoken language behind English and Spanish. So I was noodling on a new cocktail idea and thought to combine some ingredients that would really represent the Gulf Coast region: basil used in Vietnamese cooking, lime juice, Tajín, Topo Chico and Western Son Gulf Coast Lime vodka.
I often refer to beverages as “summery” and this one is a summer super star. Bottoms up my lovelies!
WHAT YOU NEED:
1 ounce of fresh lime juice
1 1/2 – 2 ounces Western Son Gulf Coast Lime Vodka
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1 tsp. agave nectar
6-8 leaves of Thai basil
6 mint leaves
1 tsp. Tajín
In a rocks tumbler muddle the herbs vigorously. Add the top four ingredients. Put some ice in a shaker. Add the ingredients of the tumbler to the shaker and SHAKE IT!
In a saucer drag the teaspoon of Tajín into a little line. Use one of your spent lime rinds to wet the outer perimeter of your rocks tumbler. Coat the wet area in the Tajín.
Add fresh ice to the glass. Pour the contents of the shaker into the glass and top with Top Chico.
Ahhh, the delicious lychee fruit. So many Americans have probably never encountered it. It’s like a sweet eyeball that you just can’t help but roll around your mouth.
At Trip of Love we have a trio of sisters who have seen our show a combined total of 85 times. The Gentleman Caller and company have affectionately monikered them “The Trip-lets of Love”. One of the sisters, Christine, apparently thinks we’re wasting away and brings us delicious snacks. A few weeks ago she handed me a can of lychee fruit. They are of Asian heritage, so it makes perfect sense.
I got home with that can and said to myself,”What can I do with this?” I popped open that can, and it was perfectly clear.
I present to you the PERFECT Lychee-tini, Gentleman Caller Style.
What you need:
Put a martini glass in the freezer. Not one of those big boys. You want to be able to stand later. Also put your martini shaker in there.
After things are cooled off, into the shaker with some big ice cubes measure:
1/2 oz lemon juice (from a lemon, not reconstituted.)
1 oz lychee syrup (you should get the can that says lychees in heavy syrup.)
1 oz “enhanced” triple sec (see below.)
2 oz Hendricks gin
dash of bitters
lemon peel (use your carrot peeler on the lemon to cut a thin peel.)
Shake it shake it shake it!
Into your chilled glass put a single lychee fruit and the lemon peel. Pour. Live your life. xoxo
**Enhanced triple sec: get a reasonably priced bottle of triple sec and peel an orange like I instructed you to peel the lemon: with a vegetable peeler. Pour out at least an ounce of triple sec and use it in a margarita or something. Insert all the peels. Let stand for a few weeks. It will rock your world.