a freed lychee and the troop... 玉荷包?, originally uploaded by silkway.
The end of our British Columbian heat wave is nowhere to be seen, and at when I'm not pretending to get work done (that happens between 8-9:30 in the morning or after 10pm - the only times when temperatures drop a little below 30) you will find me lying on the floor (unfortunately it's carpeted...) panting and staring at an icy beverage of some sort - ice water is of course my first choice, but ice tea, ice coffee, or something else cold seem to bring me a little more energy.
This simple drink is greatly inspired by Royal Thai drink which I had at the Thai House restaurant in Vancouver (I'm sure they're not the only one who serve this drink though). Their offering is very creamy (even though they state they use low fat coconut milk), frothy even, with the coconut cream floating at the top with a consistency of a merengue. The coconut milk is blended with lychee juice and at the bottom of your glass, you will find a generous treasure of chopped up lychee fruit. It clogs the straw and tastes delicious!
Coconut has a cooling effect for some reason. I don't know if there is anything scientific behind it, but in Ayurvedic medicine this is what it is used for. When I was growing up in Israel in my little organic village with no electricity (or even a refrigerator for that matter) I would spend hot days on the (un-carpeted) floor sipping coconut water that I made by mixing coconut flakes with the coolest water I could find - those stored in clay pitchers called "Jahra". Besides going to the beach it really is the best you can do in such climate with no air conditioner or ice...
But back to the Lychee-Coconut Chill, the cooling beverage I want to share with you - it is not quite like Royal Thai but a lot lighter and much effortless to prepare or to drink. All you'll need is two ingredients:
2 cups (1 can) Coconut Milk
1 Liter Lychee Juice
Mix together and keep refrigerated. Serve with ice as desired, or blend with crushed ice in a blender.
If you want to be a little more adventurous you can also add 1 tsp. of kewda floral water. It really complements the flavour well without taking away from the lychee or the coconut. It's a very subtle aromatic addition, and is also considered cooling in Ayurveda - all the more reason to try it out!
* Kewda water can be found in East Indian stores. It may be called Keora.