A Legendary Fruit
Legend has it that Emperor Li Longji’s most senior concubine, Yang Yuhuan, was first married to Li’s son, Prince of Shou. Attraction between father- and daughter-in-law grew until one day, Yang became Tang Dynasty’s Lady Yang, famous for her love of lychee. At great expense to the capital, the emperor instated a horse-drawn courier system to ensure the freshest lychees for his courtesan. While native to China and parts of Southeast Asia, lychee is now being grown in the United States. The exotic fruit has a rough, brown, scaly exterior, but underneath is a fragrant, sweet white fruit. The rustic red gems are also amazing in a Lychee Martini – 2½ ounces vodka, a splash of vermouth, and 2 ounces lychee juice. Mix in a martini shaker until chilled, and garnish with 2 peeled lychees. Cheers!