Folliwing Saturday's foray into vodka infusions, I took my own advice and tasted on the fifth day. Good thing, too, as I think they were pretty much done at that point. So I got down my trusty Melitta cone and filters, which happens coincidentally to fit so very well with the top of my Tupperware measuring cup, and set to work.
Draining the lychees was entertaining, as the fleshy white meat with pinkish streaks immediately made me think of lobster meat, which was not quite the effect I was going for. Somewhat to my surprise, the lychee infusion did not turn out milky white, but rather faintly golden and opalescent. Luckily, it does not smell or taste like lobster. Rather, the bouquet is slightly funky (as lychees are), but the flavor is full-on sweet lychee. Very nice indeed.
The cucumber seems good at first pale. I did not have cute containers at the ready when I strained off the infusions yesterday (d'oh), so I just had them in the fridge until this afternoon. The acid test for the cuke infusion will be when it's frozen, to see whether those fabulous ice crystals form.
I did try a sip of the two blended together. That has potential! I'll try it when they're both frozen.
I tasted the spent flesh of both fruits, as I always do. Naturally, they taste like booze, and to a lesser extent like the produce they are. But interestingly, the vodka appears to have a pickling effect on it, as the flesh comes out denser, tougher and crisper. I'm sure there are some significant culinary applications for vodka-pickled fruits and veggies. All I've ever done with them in the past is blend them with ice for a quick summer cocktail. Alas, for now, I'll merely have to continue dreaming up recipes for liquor-soaked lychees; I sent it down the drain. Eat up, little fishies!
A few more pics, including closeups of the
lobster meat lychee flesh and obligatory cutesy label, after the jump.