This lychee martini recipe is dedicated to Caley, my son Mikey's girlfriend and her mom Kimie. They are both big fans of lychee martinis. Many of you are probably scratching your heads right now and wondering what a lychee is. Kimie and I grew up in Honolulu and had the great pleasure of regularly eating fresh lychee. I have fond memories of eating ice-cold lychee out that had been chilled in the refrigerator.
SNFD is an Amazon affiliate and we may make a small commission when you purchase items from our linksLychee can be occasionally found in grocery stores and Asian markets in California, but canned lychee is the most available form of the fruit. Canned lychee juice is also the primary ingredient in this cocktail.
About Lychee Fruit
Photo credit: WikipediaLychee is a tree fruit that has a spikey red covering that protects a luscious, juicy white fruit that encompasses a shiny dark brown seed. There is a bit of work to remove the peel from the lychee, but an effort that is well worth it. The fruit originates from China about 1000 years ago and then spread throughout Asia. Lychee was introduced to Hawaii in 1893 by Mr. Ching Chock and planted on Mr. Chun Afung's property in Nu'uanu, not far from what is now downtown Honolulu. For a time in Hawaii this fruit was known simply as Afung fruit.
A Lychee Martini is Simply DeliciousA lychee martini is simple to make and very delicious. I was first concerned that it would be overly sweet, but I have found what I think is the perfect balance of vodka, lychee juice and lime juice. You can adjust to your personal preference by adding more lychee juice if you prefer a sweeter drink or more lime if you want a little citrus punch. Some recipes call for vermouth, but I like this simple mixture of vodka, lychee juice and lime juice. Lychee martinis go well with a variety of Asian food or just sips well by itself.
Yield 2 cocktails
A lychee martini is a refreshing, not-too-sweet cocktail that is delicious by itself and complements a variety of Asian foods.
- 6 canned lychee
- Fresh mint
- 5 ounces vodka
- 3 ounces lychee juice (from canned lychee)
- Dip two martini glasses in water and put in the freezer to chill. String three canned lychee and mint leaves on a long toothpick, alternating mint leaf and lychee.
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add 5 ounces of vodka and 3 ounces of lychee juice from a can of lychee. Shake vigorously until the outside of the cocktail shaker is covered in a dense condensation.
- Alternatively you can make these in advance by filling the cocktail shaker with the vodka and lychees juice and no ice. Put the container in the freezer for a couple hours before serving. Then give the container a brief shake with no added ice and pour into chilled glasses.
- Remove the martini glasses from the freezer and immediately strain the lychee martini into the glasses.
- Garnish with the lychee and mint toothpicks.