Bali is a tropical island full of amazing surprises and one of them is an amazing fruit similar to lychee called mangosteen, which was introduced to us via Komang, the young bartender from Room4Dessert, based in Ubud, Bali.
Mangosteen is a sap tree and belongs to the Clusiaceae family with more than 200 species found in the Old World tropics such as Asia, Australia, Southern Africa and Polynesia. It produces a fruit called mangosteen, often called “monkey fruit” simply because it is very popular by monkeys.
The most internationally recognised mangosteen is called “kandis” also known as a purple mangosteen (as seen in the picture), other cultivated varieties providing edible fruit are: lemon drop mangosteen with yellow fruit, which looks like wrinkled lemon and the thin skinned orange button mangosteen.
Purple Mangosteen has a sweet and tangy, juicy fibrous fruit with hard purple cover. The fruit by itself is eaten fresh and skin is dried and used in folk medicine and as a source of souring as replacing element for tamarind.
Rumours say that Queen Victoria offered a reward of 100 pounds sterling to anyone who could deliver it to her fresh. Although, there is zero proof whether it was delivered, Queen Victoria’s demand was most likely responsible for the uncommon designation of mangosteen as the “Queen of Fruit”.
Here is a recipe for you to enjoy:
45 ml vodka
20 ml fresh lemon juice
10 ml sugar syrup
Topped up with ginger ale
Peel and deseed the mangosteen and combine it with the rest of the ingredients (except ginger ale) in a blender. Add 3 ice cubes and blend into a nice, frozen texture. Once blended, pour into a glass and splash with ginger ale.
Garnish with a lemon slice and and young ginger.
Bartender’s note: “It works well with gin, rum and brandy.”