I ate my first fresh lychees over a decade ago at Tropical Chinese in Miami, and I remember the experience vividly. They were served over ice and tasted sweet, fleshy, and very refreshing.
Since then, I have rarely encountered fresh lychees, though we’ve certainly had our share of rambutan (which are often referred to as “lychees” in these parts). This week they’ve been flooding the markets, with a big bunch going for 20 Baht (~$0.60). I bought my second bunch today. They are more acidic and sweeter than rambutan, and also have a crustier skin and thinner flesh. Delicious chilled, I bet their strong flavor would make for a great ice cream (and I know they are awesome in vodka martinis).