At Kato, Han Suk Cho is known to mine cherished memories and childhood flavors for inspiration. The Monterey Park Lychee Martini is modeled after almond jello, a popular Korean dessert that is usually served with canned lychee or canned mandarin. Cho notes that most people are either Team Lychee or Team Mandarin—she’s Team Lychee, as evidenced by this playful cocktail made with elderflower, a blend of rums, pisco, yogurt, citrus and of course lychee, served atop a scoop of almond jello.
- 2 tablespoons almond jello (see Editor’s Note)
- 1 ounce elderflower liqueur, preferably St-Germain
- 3/4 ounce lychee purée, preferably Perfect Purée (or finely blended canned lychee)
- 1/2 ounce lime juice
- 1/2 ounce plain yogurt
- 1/2 ounce pisco, preferably Capurro Quebranta
- 1/4 ounce Jamaican rum, preferably Appleton 8-year
- 1/4 ounce rhum agricole, preferably Père Labat 40
- 4 dashes Angostura bitters
- 4 dashes orange bitters
- Scoop the almond jello into the bottom of a highball glass.
- Combine all remaining ingredients in a cocktail shaker and whip-shake with a few pieces of pebble ice until the ice melts.
- Fill the highball glass with crushed ice, then pour the cocktail into the glass and serve with a boba straw.
1/4 cup cold water
1 packet powdered gelatin, such as Knox Gelatine
2 cups hot whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons almond extract
Bloom the gelatin in the cold water. Add the hot milk, sugar and almond extract, and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until jello sets.