UMAMI MART MATSURI FESTIVAL
You can tell from the cocktails featured over the past few weeks that I have had it with the nippy weather, mixing and imbibing as if summer were already in full swing--even if Mother Nature is still having trouble letting go. It's my way of willing the warm weather into existence. I figure if I make enough flattering overtures to the cocktail gods, they'll put in a good word (or give a spirited nudge) to Ms. Nature and get her to put the giddy-ups on the weather. This week is no different.

As a result of the Happy Hour posts of the last couple weeks, I've managed to amass enough simple syrup to fill a donkey cart (see here and here)--so I suppose I ought to start unloading the cart to make some room in my fridge, and what better way than to make cocktails and share them with you, as promised.

For this week I present to you the Mamon Chino, a cocktail based on a fruit called rambutan, cousin to the lychee, both of which are common to Southeast Asia. Mamon chino is what Latin Americans call the rambutan--so that's what I decided to call this drink, because it sounds much sexier than if I were to call it the 'Rambutan,' which sounds more like a Burmese military junta than an enticing cocktail. Besides, rambutan means "hairy" in Malay, and clearly that's not the image I wish to invoke here.

Mamon Chino
2 oz vodka
2 oz rambutan simple syrup (can't buy this but you can easily make your own)
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz Cointreau
Ice

Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: cocktail

Place all ingredients inside cocktail shaker and shake for about 15 seconds. Strain into chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

This cocktail is great as an aperitif, but also pairs well with Thai and Nonya style Malaysian cuisine.

Hopefully if enough of us start making this cocktail, together we'll form some undeniable critical mass that will summon Mother Nature to get a move on--sort of like a drunkard's petition. Cheers!

Come back every Wednesday for Paystyle's weekly Happy Hour column.

Photography by Vanessa Bahmani