I love the fruits and spices found in Southeast Asia. I crave the clever combinations of sweet and tart and I wanted to create a cocktail that included some of my favorite things to use in the kitchen. Tamarind is high on the list as I love the dense, rich pulp, which is wonderfully tart and even sour making it the perfect foil to sweet fruits. Lime and ginger are staples in the food of this region and just happen to be great in cocktails. A quality Vodka with a silky, lush texture offers the perfect platform for all of the expressive flavors to mingle and marry. I have gone past my typical self-imposed limit of five ingredients but I think that the results justify the splurge.
A note on ingredients Tamarind paste can be found in jars in most upscale-groceries and lychee fruit is commonly found canned in light syrup. Coconut water is now sold in its pure unadulterated form in better groceries as well. Of course you can always buy a whole coconut and extract the water yourself.
1 1/2 oz. Gin (London Dry)
1/2 oz. Ginger liqueur
1 oz. Coconut Water
1 Lychee (peeled, canned is fine)
1/2 oz. Limejuice
1/2 tsp Tamarind paste
This cocktail needs no season but we like it when spring is coming as the flavors remind you of warmer nights and bright midday sunshine.
Cut the lychee into three or four pieces and place it in a cocktail shaker with the limejuice and tamarind paste. Muddle the lychee well then top with a scoop of ice, Gin, ginger Liqueur, and coconut water. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wheel and enjoy.
This drink can be changed signifigantly by changing the style of Gin. Genever will make it far more viscous and an Old Tom style will make it richer and a bit sweeter.
Source: Sean Ludford, BevX
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