Lychees have a lovely sweetness and subtle fragrance that add an exotic flair to the average martini. A lychee martini — or lychee-tini — is an elegant drink that can be made using just a few simple ingredients. Vodka, vermouth and the juice from canned lychees are all you need to craft the cocktail, but adding coconut rum to the mix melds the flavors by contributing sweetness and complexity. Drop a whole lychee into the cocktail to elevate the presentation with an edible garnish.
Start to Finish: 5 minutes
Difficulty Level: Beginner
- Ice cubes
- 2 ounces vodka
- 1 ounce coconut rum
- 2 ounces lychee juice (from a can of lychees)
- Splash of dry vermouth
- 1 lychee, speared, for garnish
Step 1: Strain the Lychees
Separate the lychees from their juice by straining over a fine-mesh sieve or colander into a bowl.
Step 2: Shake It Up
Add vodka, coconut rum, lychee juice and a splash of dry vermouth to a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice. Shake spiritedly for 30 seconds, until well it is chilled and strain into a martini glass.
Step 3: Garnish
Spear a lychee onto a cocktail stick and drop it into the martini for garnish.
If you don’t have coconut rum on hand, use coconut water instead and increase the vodka to 2 1/2 ounces. Or, if coconut doesn’t suit your taste, replace it with a white rum, lime juice or grapefruit juice instead.
Muddle a sprig or two of lemongrass in the bottom of the cocktail shaker before pouring in the cocktail ingredients for a vibrant herbal and citrus-y boost.
Sneak in a little splash of ginger juice from jarred minced ginger to introduce complementary spiciness.
Replace the vodka with sake to up the exotic element of the lychee martini.
If you’re having a difficult time locating canned lychees, try visiting an Asian market.