This is a very light, refreshing punch offering a bouquet of coconut, ginger, and lychee that is punctuated with a lively peony garnish made of canned lychee and gari (sushi ginger). This recipe serves 2, but can easily be scaled up for larger parties. —JWC
Test Kitchen Notes
JWC's Snow Peony Punch is a light refreshing punch with a beautiful garnish. The garnish takes some finesse -- I found that cutting a small slice into the lychee and attaching the sushi ginger to that helped to hold it in place. Now I'm planning to add this peony garnish to our platters this holiday. We tried using different kinds of ginger ale and preferred a lighter version like Seagram's to Canada Dry or Vernor's. We also experimented with adding a little alcohol. Vanilla vodka would be good but we didn't have that. We did have Kinky, a blood orange-passionfruit vodka that gave the punch a delightful pink blush -- and a nice kick! —lorigoldsby
Coconut water (not coconut cream or coconut milk)
Ginger ale (diet ginger ale can be used)
Syrup from 1 can of lychees
Very finely flaked coconut (not shredded coconut)
To make punch: Mix together coconut water, ginger ale, and lychee syrup in a small pitcher. Stir well. Pour into rimmed glasses. Add garnish. If desired, sprinkle additional coconut over the top of the drinks.
To rim glasses: Wipe the rims of glasses using one lychee. Place flaked coconut on a plate or shallow dish and then roll the rims of the glasses in the coconut (as you would rim a glass with salt).
To make peony garnish: Make small cuts from the open top of a lychee to nearly the bottom, to create separable petals without cutting all the way through. Set aside. Take one whole lychee and stuff the center with 1-2 pieces of gari. Wrap additional leaves of gari around the outside of the lychee. Place gari-wrapped lychee inside the cut lychee. Secure entire peony using a cocktail pick.