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 various parts of Southeast Asia, lychee is now being grown here in the United States. The exotic fruit has a rough, brown, scaly exterior, but underneath is a fragrant, sweet white fruit packed with vitamin B and fiber that is great for the digestive system. While not Lady Yang’s method of enjoyment, the delicious gems are amazing in a Lychee Martini.
- 2½ ounces of vodka
- Splash of vermouth
- 2 ounces of lychee juice
Mix in a martini shaker until chilled, and garnish with peeled lychees.