Believe it or not, this bitter-sweet beverage with a lychee twist is the most popular cocktail on the menu among male customers.
“Young and old men drink the Lychee Mojito cocktail the most; we probably sell about 15 to 30 a day,” says bartender Bopha Nom.
“You know, I don’t even know why they like it so much, but of all the cocktails on our menu, this is the one they go for. I think maybe they are curious to try it, because they have never seen it before.”
The Lychee Mojito includes all the regular mojito ingredients – a generous pinch of mint leaves, lime, rum, soda water, sugar and ice cubes – and adds one: canned lychees from China or Thailand.
The lychees are crushed by pestle with the lime and mint leaves.
The unique addition alters the taste of the mojito in a way that were it not for the name
of the cocktail, you would struggle to guess its added flavour.
“I suppose it’s got an element of curiosity to it that people like. Even though they know it’s got lychees in it, there is not a distinct lychee taste. It also leaves an aftertaste in your throat,” Bopha Nom says.
When asked if fresh Rambotan – a fruit similar to lychees but grown in Cambodia – could be used in the place of canned lychees, she scrunches her nose and shakes her head.
“No, not the same,” she says without offering anything more in the way of explanation.
She also has a theory as to why women are less likely to try it then men. It’s because the taste is difficult to place, she says. Refreshing and exotic? Yes. Sweet? Of course. Bitter? Just a bit. And something else this cocktail reviewer just can’t quite put her finger on? You’ll have to try one yourself.
Cost: US$4.50, Happy hour $2.25
Ingredients: Bacardi rum, brown sugar, lychees, soda water, mint leaves, ice cubes.
Address: The Latin Quarter, Corner St 19 and St 178.