This isn't a demon but a fruit, named Buddha's hand. It's a citron, according to "Melissa's Great Book of Produce" by Cathy Thomas, and valued in China as a symbol of good fortune.
Don't try to eat it. The slim fingers are composed only of pith and peel. But wait until you taste that heady, aromatic peel. Substitute it for orange or lemon zest, and it will work magic in baked goods and desserts.
Or slip it into a cocktail, which is what L.A.'s top mixologists are doing. The Melissa's book (Melissa's is the produce company that distributes the fruit) suggests putting a single washed and dried Buddha's hand in a wide-mouthed jar, then covering it with vodka and letting it stand in a dark place, sealed, for 4 to 5 days. Strain off the liquid and, voilá, you have your own citron vodka.
Then I added the juice of another trendy fruit, the blood orange (above). You could use ordinary orange juice, but that wouldn't yield the vibrant color that really jazzes up a drink. A squeeze of Mexican lime juice adds still more bright flavor.
And what else could I call this but Buddha's Bliss?
1 teaspoon finely shaved Buddha's hand peel
1 teaspoon sugar
2 ounces light rum
2 ounces blood orange juice
1 ounce orange flavored liqueur
Juice of 1/2 Mexican lime
Lime slice for garnish
Combine the peel and sugar in a sturdy cocktail glass. Muddle thoroughly. Add the rum, orange juice, orange liqueur and Mexican lime juice. Stir to mix, then add ice cubes. Garnish with a lime slice on the rim.
Makes 1 serving.