How to make a Lychee Martini at home:
The Lychee Martini, a cocktail that can be made super simple, or super complex, the end difference really only being in how luxurious & rich the cocktail feels on the palette & on your tastebuds.
A drink that really is ultimately nowadays, as easy as Vodka with Lychee Juice if you really want to break it down into the simplest version of this drink as you can possibly fathom.
20 years ago, the likes of a “World foods aisle” being available in every supermarket you can think of. Now its the norm, in fact a supermarket is now frowned upon for not being inclusive about world food variety. But back to our point about the availability, you’d never have easily found Lychee juice 20 years ago, perhaps as part of another mixed juice drink, but never on its own & we didn’t have online shopping back then. Finding Lychee juice would have been a near on impossible task for the average consumer.
The basic Recipe for this drink:
15ml Lychee Liqueur
50ml Lychee Juice
10ml Lemon Juice
10ml Gomme (Sugar Syrup)
Thankfully now, so many things are in abundance anywhere, no more days of “jif” lemon concentrate, Products like Lychee liqueur, or even lychee puree being readily available as instant as a click of a mouse or a tap with a smartphone with companies like Amazon delivering these products within a matter of hours from your smartphone tap.
The origin of the Lychee Martini:
There is different stories about where this cocktail originates, however, the universal fact that seems to be sticking amongst various sources. Is that the drink was first founded or at the very least made public, in New York City.
The most founded rumour, is that a small bar in New York, with a sister bar within the company in Tokyo, added Lychee syrup to a Vodka Martini & this began the Lychee Martini. Most drinks start off this way, a simple case of an addition to an existing cocktail. The Cosmo was founded after a bartender added Cranberry Juice to a Kamikaze shot. So its perfectly logical that this would be the way in which Lychee Martini was founded.
How the Lychee Martini Spread overseas:
International fame, this drink spread worldwide like wildfire, when international fusion of oriental, asian & western style cuisines blew up in popularity everywhere on the planet, with all cocktail bartenders desperately scrambling to compile a menu as relevant to their chefs creations.
This is where different interpretations of the drink began spilling out, while many adopted the simple style of a Vodka Sour, with Lychee flavours. A few people began forming much sweeter versions of this drink.
Lychee Puree was brought into the recipe for some, lychee syrups for those who wanted it sweeter still, the removal of citrus for those absolute sweet obsessives. But with these simple changes for palettes to be so easily matched, or tailored to a restaurants style of fusion, its obvious why this drink gained its worldwide popularity.
Making the Lychee Martini at home:
We mentioned previously about making the Lychee Martini in the simplest format possible in some situations, people can literally use vodka & Lychee juice with a squeeze of lemon as garnish & they wouldn’t be a million miles away. One of our clients, for which we make approx 200 Lychee Martinis for per event, love us to use this method, yes a given, they still add Lychee Liqueur, but this is only a matter of process, a feeling that they don’t want to be leaving the guests short of alcohol content when they order a cocktail from the bar rather than a flavour profile. With Events, sometimes bulk is a huge factor in trimming off ingredients in recipes & their clients prefer the much sweeter style lychee martini. So its just so simple to bulk prepare this cocktail in various jugs & then just shake fresh as & when we require it.
At home, for a large party, you can adopt this method. Bulk create it in a large quantity, be that in a jug, a bowl, or something larger, a Kilner jar even. Then just shake it up as required for service, throw in a tinned lychee for garnish & you’re away.
Making the Lychee Martini for a Non-Alcoholic drinker:
These happen & we get this request alot. For us, our only adaptation, is simply removing the Vodka & the lychee Liqueur & replacing it with Lychee Puree. This is available much like the other ingredients at the click of a mouse, or touch of a smartphone. It takes away the alcoholic factor, but replaces it with a richness, while keeping the original elements of flavour, the Lychee alongside a sour kick, then smoothed over with sweetness, it also adds thickness to the drink, the not quite, but reminiscent feeling of a smoothie.
But for us & the most important factor for anyone not drinking alcohol at any of our events, is the drink still looks & tastes as similar to its alcoholic counterparts in order to negate any strange, awkward or unwanted conversations, about why that person is not drinking alcohol at a party. You wouldn’t want to think we live in a world still of peer pressure. But the reality is & we have seen it with our own eyes at events. It still happens, even to us as hired cocktail makers & mixologists, we can be made to feel very uncomfortable for not wanting to drink alcohol at a clients event or party.
So for this version.
35ml Lychee Puree
10ml Lemon Juice
10ml Gomme (Sugar Syrup)
50ml Lychee Juice
Shaken up, presented with a tinned Lychee garnish, this looks completely identical to its alcoholic accomplice & saves yourself, or a guest from any unwanted chat about alcohol consumption.
Alternative options for ingredients in a Lychee Martini:
These days, lychee martini’s are garnished with tinned lychees, their availability is in abundance alongside the lychee juice in the world food aisles of almost any supermarket in the country. They also are stored, kept & preserved by a syrup. Much like any other tinned fruit you would get.
This syrup in which the lychees come in, is perfect to serve in a lychee martini as part of the recipe. Beware that it is very sweet, so you want to add this in moderation to your drink, no more than 10ml per glass. But it can replace not only the Sugar, but any lychee syrup or puree too. The kicker bonus of this method, you’ve already bought the lychees, so technically depending on your outlook onto it. Its free.
This is extremely popular among homes that would enjoy the Lychee Martini to be made one Saturday night, perhaps for a couple wanting a nice Saturday night date evening at home with some cocktails made up in the kitchen. Having a syrup on the ingredients roster, means its useable date is massive, this can keep for literally years in the back of a cupboard until the next one. Now we wouldn’t recommend it sitting in the back of the larder as say some of your jarred herbs & spices sets, or as Michael McIntyre once joked. The John West Tuna tin. But its shelf life would be far greater than that of a Puree, even a carton of Lychee Juice, so would be a good option, if you would only want to try one, very occasionally.
What to serve a Lychee martini in:
Simple answer… Whatever you like. Its your home, serve it in a coffee mug if its all you have.
On our events, we use Coupettes, not only did they begin to trend above the traditionally shaped triangular style Martini glass, but for logistics, the Coupettes held so much more structural integrity than the Martini glass, so we migrated over completely to Coupettes. Saves our breakages, but we realise this might not be what people either have at home, or what they want their lychee martini to look like. So by default & to stick close to the original recipes. A Martini glass is perfect.
For those alpha males that have a complex & make comments like “No, I want a man glass” Then perhaps we can suggest beer? Perhaps avoid cocktails altogether as these glasses are part of the experience, part of the novelty. Its rare at home & you should indulge.
Of course, if you don’t have martini glasses, or just don’t want to make the purchase just for the sake of one cocktail night at home. You won’t go amiss with wine glasses. Or even a hi-ball is fine (tall glass) add ice if you feel it seems a little short & you need to fill it out a bit (of course tall glasses are larger & hold more liquid than a Martini or Coup glass) But whatever works, you’re at home. Nobody will see it, it just matters that you enjoyed it.
Or of course, if you want a cocktail evening at home & don’t want to make these levels of effort, or want to just focus on enjoying the night, we can come make the Lychee Martini, among many other cocktails at your home. Its what we do.
Check out our cocktail maker page & send us an enquiry at cocktailhire to come make your cocktail evening that little bit extra special.