Longan is actually a transliteration of "dragon's eye" as it is known in many Asian languages. Looking at the fruit itself, you can see how the longan got its name!
|fresh longans, aka dragon's eye fruit.|
The typical longan has pearly, translucent flesh that gives way with just a little wobble and crunch as you bite down upon it. It then fills your mouth with sweet juices suggestive of earthy notes and just a slight floral hint.
I devoured most of the longans, but I saved a few so I could make some longan-infused rum. My recipe below makes a pitiful two shots (60ml), so I would definitely recommend you multiply that by several times. Seriously, what was I thinking? Oh right, I wasn't. I was too busy gobbling down those fresh and delicious longans...
1/4 cup rum
a pinch of Chinese yellow rock sugar
Peel the longans and discard the seeds. Place the longans and sugar in a clean glass jar, and pour rum over them. Close the jar tightly with its lid and store in a cool, dark place for a month or so.
After about four weeks, I opened it up for a taste, and voilà, it was longan rum! The longans still looked so sweet and innocent, but I tasted one and it was like pure alcohol, so into the bin they went. (Sorry, my little beauties.) I am pleased to say that the rum itself was beautifully infused with longan flavours, and with its edge taken off by the Chinese yellow rock sugar, this resulted in a fruity, mellow liqueur. I really do wish I'd made more.
So now I need your help, my dear readers. Since I have precious little supply of this, I need to use it wisely. I thought about just having it on the rocks, perhaps with a dash of honey. Simon isn't a fan of rum on the rocks, and prefers it mixed with something like Coke, but I'm concerned that such a combination would hinder rather than highlight the longan flavours. What do you think would go well? Do you have any suggestions? Bring them on!
|fruity, tasty longan-infused rum.|