5 Tips for Making a Good Lychee
Use a good source of
One of the most important characteristics of a
lychee martini is the wonderful sweet
fragrance and flavor of the fresh lychee fruit.
A good lychee martini should smell and taste like
lychee. As the martini is slowly sipped it should
conjure up images of exotic and far away tropical
places. The more authentic is the lychee flavoring
the better the drinking experience.
best choice for flavoring is lychee syrup.
Although some people like to use lychee liqueur the
flavoring of different brands can vary and they
have, in our opinion, an underlying processed taste.
Many people resort to using the
syrup from canned lychees. This is
an absolute last resort and we do
not recommend it because it's cloudy, the lychees
used in canning are the lychees that were not high
enough in quality to be sold fresh and canned lychee
syrup is tainted by the metal from the can as is the
case with most tinned fruit.
If you have neither the liqueur or the syrup you
can use lychee juice. Ceres of South Africa makes an
excellent all natural lychee juice that is diluted
with pear juice.
In the same way that a fine martini is garnished
with an olive or an onion, a first class lychee
martini should be garnished with 1 or 2
peeled and seeded lychees on a skewer.
Since lychees have a relatively short season in the
Northern hemisphere (approximately 7 weeks) it is
not always possible to get a fresh lychee for your
Frozen lychees retain most all
of the flavor and fragrance of the fresh fruit and
should be used whenever the fresh fruit are not
available. Frozen lychees are often available in
Oriental or Pan Asian food markets and they also can
be obtained from online outside of the regular
season (May 15th - July 7th).
If you cannot obtain either fresh or frozen
lychees and your special event absolutely needs that
look and feel of a genuine lychee in your martini
you can resort to using canned lychees with the
following caveats. Use a high quality syrup for the
flavoring and drain and rinse the canned lychees in
fresh filtered water prior to using them as a
The leaves of lychee trees are dark green and
shiny so the addition of a mint leaf,
besides adding freshness, helps to create a leafy
ambience. Dressing the rim of the martini glass with
crystallized ginger gives the drink
a distinctly oriental flavor. Slowly sipping a
martini with this unusual mix of garnishes, conjures
up images of mist enshrouded mountain rain forests
of Southern China, the ancestral home of the lychee.
Use the highest quality vodka:
Vodka comes in many different qualities and flavors.
Generally speaking, the more times a vodka
has been distilled and filtered the smoother and
better tasting it is. You will pay
considerably more for a high quality vodka, but the
extra expense is worth it if you are constructing
your lychee martini from other high quality
components such as lychee liqueur, syrup and fresh
lychees as garnish.
If you are not sure about the quality of your
vodka you can refer to the Beverage Tasting
Institute of Chicago's 1998 blind taste test of 40
vodkas. This test rated Grey Goose, Canadian
Iceberg and Stolichnaya Gold Vodka at the top
and Smirnoff, Belvedere Schenley and Mr. Boston's at
the bottom of the list.
If you don't like vodka or are uncomfortable with
a high alcoholic content drink you can use
champagne, sake or soju, a unique Asian
alcohol made from rice, barley and other ingredients
that is often substituted for vodka.
Color and Presentation:
some coloration can make the martini more visually
appealing. Try mixing in a drop of Grenadine
(artificial pomegranate juice) or cranberry
to give the drink the red color of actual ripe
lychees. Our syrup is naturally yellow.
This imparts a pleasant yellow tint to the martini
whereas canned syrup is cloudy and not especially
attractive. A mint leaf adds a touch of
green color which is reminiscent of lychee
trees. You can also add Midori for an additional
Experiment with other
Aside from adding different strengths of lychee
liqueur, lychee syrup, lychee juice and garnishing
of varying freshness there are many other potential
variations upon which you can build your lychee
martini. Vermouth has been a classic additive to
martinis. Grand Marnier, Cointreau, Triple
Sec and Midori are alternative liqueurs
that can be successfully blended into a lychee
martini with varying affects. Various fruit
juices blended with lychee,
grenadine and lychee syrup can add flavor
and color to your drink and should be experimented