Two separate thoughts drove tonight’s cocktail creation session. The first was “Damn, these longans are delicious,” the other, in a total non-sequitur, was “I should have more cocktails on this blog.”
The cocktail thought has been coming for a while. Drinking and eating go hand in hand and when I’m doing one, I’m often doing the other, so a blog about what I eat has seemed incomplete without also discussing what I drink. As I’ve thought more about what I’m drinking, I’ve spent more time creating cocktails.
The longans, a small southeast Asian fruit somewhat similar to a lychee, came to be because they are incredibly delicious. So delicious that I had picked up a ten dollar net bag of them and am currently rushing to get through them for fear they will rot before I do. Nothing this delicious deserves to go bad. That said, there’s a lot of them still to go through and they’re somewhat time consuming to take apart in order to eat. Or drink.
To get to the sweet, complicated flavor of the longan’s meat, one must first peel away the skin, a thin but tough layer, requiring piercing with something preferably better than your fingernail. I broke a nail using my fingernail to do it. The skin will peel away fairly easily after that, as it is not really attached to fruit itself. Once you’re done with that however, you must remove the small, smooth pit from the center, which is partially attached to the fruit. If you’re popping them in your mouth, it is easiest to just eat them whole and spit the pits out. When using them in cocktails, these too must be removed before starting the drink.
For each of our drinks we muddled a handful of longans with the alcohol, usually about 5 of them.
The house favorite was actually the first drink we made, the one pictured above, though all three were fairly delicious and I would (and will) make them again!
Longan Ginger Ale (Pictured)
Novo Fogo Silver (or other) Cachaca
Muddle the longans with a 1.5 oz of cahcaca and strain into a glass, over ice. Top it off with an equal amount of ginger ale, garnish with another longan and you’re all set.
Jim Beam or similar whiskey
Angostura or similar bitters
Muddle the longans with 2 ounces of the whiskey, adding a splash of the grenadine and a dash of the bitters. Strain and serve up.
Long-gin and Juice
Sorry. I tried to resist making up stupid names for them for as long as possible. I love stupid names though. This cocktail was also the most surprising and complex, so I’m a little proud of it.
Gin (we used Hendrick’s)
Vermouth (We used Dolin Blanc)
In this drink, we muddled the longans with the gin and vermouth, poured it over crushed ice and then added a very heavy handed dash of bitters.
What other drinks would be good with longans? What other strange fruits or other items would be good in drinks?
Filed under: Cocktails