Darlings, today's post was inspired by the dreadfully hot weather here in Southern Florida. For the last week it's been well into the '80's and up to the low '90's each day and with humidity thrown in at 100%, it's equatorial, tropical and DAMN HOT!!! Unless one is living the life aquatic or are holed away in a darkened, air-conditioned room, it's quite miserable out!
La Diva was suffering from heat exhaustion yesterday by over-doing it on her bike in the middle of the day (duh!) Today I was still feeling the wrath of the evil sun with an agonizing skull-pounding headache and was craving a good old-fashioned coke slurpee to cool myself off. Of course, the once-a-year that I want a freakin' slurpee, the stupid machine was not working properly and all that came out was the syrup. Sigh...no joy. Unable to enjoy the other sickly sweet flavors on tap, La Diva thought of a Plan B.
Now, very determined to have some icy cool refreshment and heat relief, La Diva trudged home wearily alongside DJ Nevah L8 and with my headache hammering away, picked up a bag of ice and came up with this concoction based on treats from my past life in Sydney.
As you know, La Diva lurves her Asian food and was reminded of what used to cool her down when traveling to steamy Bali and her fave Indonesian restaurant in Sydney: The Indonesian version of a snow cone, es campur.
Indonesian sweet treat es campur is like a fruit cocktail made with a variety of fruits, syrups and jellies all over shaved ice!
This Indonesian refreshment (mixed ice) is sold from street vendors during festivals but I've only had it in restaurants at the end of a meal. In typical Asian fashion, es campur is a refreshing snow cone with some pretty surprising stuff in it. Ingredients can include some sort of sweetening syrup like grenadine, condensed milk or coconut milk, fruit such as pineapple, mandarin oranges, lychees, jackfruit or mangoes all over cool and delectable shaved ice. Some versions include agar agar cubes (think of Asian-style Jell-o!) red kidney beans and even corn! There are as many styles of this refreshing treat as there are Indonesian islands!
La Diva's fave combo is: sweet condensed milk, freshly-shaved coconut slices and avocado chunks, and believe it or not, it is quite refreshing and tasty to have creamy avocado served sweet alongside coconut. I've found a recipe for es campur, you can click here to check it out. (But, DON'T get all caught up with the whole "eeeewwww, beans and corn" thang! If you are not game to try 'em, omit them and experiment with other flavors, fruits and syrups! But, TRY IT YOU MUST!!)
Now, let's get back to today's version of this icy treat!
La Diva's Indonesian-style Lychee Vanilla Vodka Snow Cone:
(Darling, it's easier to make than you think!)
1. First, it's imperative you have a food processor or some way to make ice "snow." If you have an old fashioned hand crank one, it'll do too!
2. Put the grater disk into the processor, put ice in feed tube and push down and process until you have filled the container. Put aside into another bowl and work fast so the ice doesn't melt before you use it!
3. I picked the lychees up from the Asian grocery but you'll find them in the regular grocery too either in with the canned fruit or Asian section. What? No lychees in your cupboard? Use pineapple chunks, mandarins or any other canned fruit packed in syrup.
4. The lychees are packed in syrup that you'll use for the mixed ice so don't strain the fruit!
5. Put four lychees per person into the base of the processor and for kicks, thinly slice a few kaffir lime leaves and process until smooth. Mint would be nice too. You can also leave the fruit whole if you want to eat with a spoon! (Hell, it's YOUR fruit cocktail!) Notice my ice ready to go on the side.
6. Take a bit of ice and add to a martini glass, add a bit of lychee and repeat until glass is full with lychee on top. Pour over about an 3/4 of an ounce of vanilla vodka (or not!) and two tablespoons of the lychee syrup.
7. Zest a bit of lime over the top, put in a frou frou cocktail straw and DEE-LITE in the cool tropical flavors!
Click on the photo to see the bevvie's icy goodness!!!
Hot damn, is that good! Of course you can omit the vodka and serve this as dessert for a very icy cool and easy summertime refreshment. Make it for your kids with bananas and some pineapple and condensed milk. I'm going to try making it again with ginger and lemongrass syrup, pineapple and passion fruit! The best part about it is, you can use a variety of canned fruits or syrups that you keep in the pantry, you don't even have to have fresh fruit!
Ahh... La Diva has been properly cooled and headache is fading. Yay, mission accomplished!