In case you hadn’t noticed it’s Rambutan season in Sri Lanka. Stall holders are selling these little bright fruits absolutely everywhere and at frightfully cheap prices too (the cheapest I have seen is 3 rupees for 1 on the Kalu Ganga bridge at Kalutara near the Kalutara Vihara). I’ve been told these ridiculously low prices (last year they were more than double) are due to an abundant harvest this year.
This fruit, whose Malay name means ‘spiny’, is scarlet, maroon or golden-skinned and covered with short, fleshy hairs – not spiky as is commonly thought. Inside there is a translucent, sweet-sour pulp, which like that of its relative, the better-known lychee, covers the single seed. The pulp is sweeter in the better varieties, with those in which it easily peels off the seed being preferred.
So what to do when your house is full of these little gems but you have eaten too many and even the kids are turning their noses up?
Well, you have yourself a rambutan & lime cocktail. It’s easy to make and pretty damn tasty too. The recipe below is for two glasses – it doesn’t take a genius to multiply and make yourself a pitcher or two 😉
Rambutan and Lime Cocktail
- 2 tsp. finely crushed jaggery (or palm sugar)
- 4 limes cut into 16 pieces
- 6-8 fresh rambutans, peeled, seed removed and chopped (canned is possible too)
- 100ml vodka or Bacardi
- ½ cup crushed ice
- Place crushed jaggery (palm sugar) and limes into a tall glass. Using the end of a rolling pin (or the pestle from a pestle and mortar…whatever you have to hand basically!) and crush until all the juice has been released from the limes.
- Add rambutans and continue to crush. Pour into a cocktail shaker along with the vodka and ice. Shake and pour into two tall glasses.