Making lychee-infused vodka

It is harvest time for the lychee tree in our backyard. This is Elise’s favorite climbing tree, and she has been known to spend hours up there with a good book. I am thinking about putting some kind of sitting area underneath it, because the tree provides superb shade in the summer months and you have a spectacular panoramic view of the water from there.

Lychees are interesting fruit trees. They are evergreen tropical trees native to the GuangdongFujian, and Yunnan provinces of Southeast and Southwest China, where cultivation dates back at least to the 11th century. The fruit is small and red, about the same size as an egg. And much like an egg, it has a brittle outer shell that you have to crack through and peel off to get to the meat inside. The meat is white and slimy, with a texture sort of like an eyeball. Sounds gross, but it tastes absolutely divine. Elise will sit outside and gorge herself on dozens at a time.

I bought a carafe at the grocery store that comes with a plastic lid (not pictured) for this project. A large canning jar would work just as well. According to a friend who has made fruit-infused vodkas in the past, all you need to do is fill the bottom of the carafe with fruit, cover it with vodka, seal the carafe, and store it in your refrigerator for a few weeks. I haven’t had Grey Goose in a while, but I was looking for a clear, crisp vodka that would not mar the fruit. I know everyone says that vodka doesn’t have a taste and takes on the flavor of whatever it is mixed with, but I don’t think that is true. I can taste the difference in vodkas pretty easily. (Must come with being half Finnish.)

I guess we’ll see in June how this turned out. If it works out well, I think I will experiment with other fruits too.

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