Lychee Martini is so yummy!

Strange to use the term yummy for a martini. However, once you try this recipe, I know you will mutter — or even exclaim — the exact same words.

Lychee martini

I first tried lychee martini during one of our trips to the East Coast. I replicated it at home by following and reading many recipes with the same ingredients.

It is now one of my favorite cocktails, straight, stirred, with fruits or not.

In this Article

What is lychee

Lychee is a tropical fruit from the southeastern provinces of China. It has a unique appearance and flavor, and is often served as a refreshing end to a meal throughout Asia.

The deliciously sweet fruit is covered by a rough, bright strawberry-red color outer rind.

Once peeled, inside you will find this almost translucent, very juicy, white flesh fruit and the seed. The flesh has the most delightful sweet and floral flavor.

While I always enjoy fresh lychee, you can also buy it canned or dried. Lychees are delicious all on their own or when added to fruit salads.

In this recipe, I used lychee juice in place of simple syrup. If you are fortunate enough to find fresh lychees at your grocery store, you will want to make some simple syrup to give the cocktail some sweetness.

Lychee martini

Why Grand Marnier?

I love the smoothness of the Grand Marnier. Added to the Vodka, it balances the lychee syrup’s sweetness and the vodka’s more robust flavor.

When you sip it, you will enjoy the less alcoholic taste of the vodka but a smoother, not sweeter, drink.

Giangi's Pick
Roland Whole Lychees
$22.05 ($0.55 / Ounce)

Roland Lychees is my favorite. They are always in stock, and they taste great.

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02/18/2024 03:54 am GMT

Vodka or Gin?

I love both. 

As my first choice, I will always gravitate towards vodka. My preferred brand is Grey Goose, but you can choose any brand you prefer.

If I don’t have vodka on hand, my second choice is Bombay Sapphire Gin. 

I love how clean and smooth the flavor of each is. Either is a great base for this cocktail.

Use your favorite gin or vodka, making sure that it is not mixed with any other flavors or fruits that will interfere with the light flavor of the lychee.

Lychee martini

Why You’ll Love This Lychee Martini

  • Balanced – The slight sweetness of the Grand Marnier mellows the vodka and mingles well with the flavor of the lychee. 
  • Easy – It takes just a few pours and shakes to make this simple cocktail. 
  • Unique – Less common than standard martinis or other fruity versions, this is a great way to impress guests. You’ll possibly even introduce them to fruit they haven’t tried before. 

How to Serve a Martini

I love a martini, and I am very picky about how it is served. 

For instance, I’m not particularly eager to let it sit in the ice cubes, not crushed ice, for too long.

The water dilutes the vodka, and all of the flavor is lost.

I am also a traditionalist, and my martini must be served in a classic martini glass that is thin, tall, and with a wide mouth. However, you can serve this in your favorite style glass.

Ingredients needed

  • Vodka
  • Grand Marnier
  • Lychee syrup
  • Lychees 
Lychee martini

How to Make The Perfect Lychee Martini

Although this is a straightforward lychee martini recipe, I have a couple of suggestions for you on how to get the best results:

  • I purchased the lychees, peeled and pitted in heavy syrup. The unused portion can be stored in the refrigerator.
  • If you want a more spirit-forward cocktail, remove the lychees from their natural juice and store them for a couple of days submerged in vodka or gin. Resist the temptation to overindulge!
  • Use ice cubes, not crushed ice, when shaking all the ingredients. When shaken, ice cubes will give it that coldness you want. The crushed ice will dilute your drink.
  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes with no room for them to move around. If the ice cubes move around too much when you shake them, you will have ice fragments lost in your drinks, which will water down your drink.
  • If you have time, place your martini glasses inside the freezer for a few minutes before serving. The cold glass is always welcome but not necessary.
  • The lychees fruits are delicious every way you choose to serve them in your cocktail. Either drop two in your glass before filling it. Or use a cocktail pick, pass them thru, and either place them over the rim or inside your drink. Whatever you do, enjoy them.

Tips

Do you not have a martini shaker? Use a jar with a seal-tight top.

Unlike many cocktails, there’s no need to use simple syrup. The syrup from the lychee is quite sweet and gives such a wonderful flavor to the drink.

With all alcoholic beverages, please use them in moderation and do not drink and drive.

Serve this drink at holiday parties, or any time throughout the year.

I do love what I do! Where else can you drink at work and have lots of fun doing it? After all, it is 5 o’clock somewhere.

Lychee martini

Substitutions and Variations 

  • Batch drinks – Make a large batch of these ahead of time and store in a pitcher. For an extra-large format, make and serve it in a punch bowl. 
  • Carbonation – For an extra-festive presentation, add just a little bit of fizziness with a splash of soda water or a lightly flavored beverage like lemon-lime soda. 
  • Liqueur – For more lychee flavor, use a little lychee liqueur. 
  • Tropical – Try using coconut rum for a fun summertime drink. 
  • Citrus – While lychees have a touch of acidity in their flavor profile, you can also add a little more with a splash of lemon or lime juice.
  • Floral – Add more floral flavor by using a small amount of rose water or elderflower liqueur. 
  • Color-changing – Give your guests a show by using a color-changing gin-like Empress that will be transformed when different ingredients are added. Tip: If you choose this method, it may be better executed by stirring rather than shaking for the “wow” factor.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a lychee martini made of? 

Recipes for lychee martini can vary greatly. However, most start with lychees and a liquor base like vodka or gin.

Then, you can add a liqueur like Grand Marnier or lychee liqueur. Or you can use a fortified wine like dry vermouth. 

What does a lychee martini taste like?

Lychee martinis are simultaneously sweet and slightly tart. Served cold, these are refreshing cocktails.

Is lychee martini strong? 

Since the base is usually vodka or gin, it can be a somewhat strong cocktail. You can adjust the strength by reducing or increasing the amount of liquor or liqueur.

Storage 

Make-Ahead: You can make these martinis ahead of time and store them in a pitcher or sealed jars in the refrigerator. Just stir or shake them up before serving to make sure the ingredients are evenly dispersed.

Refrigerator: Store leftover lychee martinis in the refrigerator for a day or two.

I do love what I do! Where else can you drink at work and have lots of fun doing it? After all, it is 5 o’clock somewhere.

Equipment and ingredients used to prepare this recipe.

Mixology Cocktail Shaker Set Drink Mixer, 8-Piece Portable Bartender Kit with 24oz Martini Shaker Barware Tool Set, 2 Pourers, Muddler, Jigger, Mixing Spoon, Velvet Bag, Built-in Strainer (Silver)
$23.25
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02/18/2024 04:40 am GMT

Riedel Vinum Crystal Martini Glass, Set of 4
$108.73 ($27.18 / Count)
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02/18/2024 04:20 am GMT

Giangi's Pick
Roland Whole Lychees
$22.05 ($0.55 / Ounce)

Roland Lychees is my favorite. They are always in stock, and they taste great.

Buy On Amazon
This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
02/18/2024 03:54 am GMT

Lychee Martini

5 from 197 votes
Lychee martini
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 4 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Lychee Martini is so yummy! Strange to use the term yummy for a martini; however, once you try this recipe, I know you will mutter the same words

Ingredients 

  • 6 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce Grand Marnier
  • ounces lychee syrup,
  • 4 lychees , for garnish

Instructions

  • Place your martini glasses in the freezer a couple of minutes before serving, optional.
  • In a martini shaker add the vodka, Grand Marnier, lychee syrup, and fill with ice cubes. Shake vigorously for a couple of seconds.
  • Pour into 2 martini glasses and garnish with two lychees per glass.

Nutrition

Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 39mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

Did you make this?

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Originally published on December 16, 2021. Edited and updated on September 16, 2023.