This Is Our Favorite Lychee Martini Recipe

For an exotic flavor that's impossible to beat, try this lychee martini recipe. It's summery, fruity and satisfying—all in one glass!

Sweet lychee martini on the rustic background.Andrew Pustiakin/Shutterstock

Love martinis but finding yourself wanting to go beyond the classic recipe? If you’re craving something more exotic in your go-to tipple, it’s time you discover the lychee martini. This drink puts a tropical spin on the cocktail classic—making it perfect for unwinding in the evenings or serving at your next tiki party.

Whether you’re a cocktail newbie or a home bartending pro, this simple lychee martini recipe is easy to master (just like these other mixed drinks).

What is lychee?

Never heard of lychee? They’re mouthwatering tropical fruits from Southeast Asia. Lychees have an exquisite perfumed aroma and a fairly unique flavor. They taste a bit like a cross between tart grape, pear and a dash of rose water. They’re sweet but with a hint of tartness that makes them perfect for cocktails.

How do you prepare lychee?

Fresh lychees are easy to peel. Start by removing the skin. Then, make a cut in the flesh of the fruit and squeeze out the pit. Now you’re ready to make some lychee martini magic!

I’m a fan of fresh lychees for this recipe, but alas, they aren’t always available. Canned lychees work, too. And you can even add some of that lovely syrup to your lychee martini for amplified flavor.

The spirit of the cocktail

While you can use either gin or vodka to make a classic martini, you’ll definitely want to opt for vodka in this recipe. With its fairly neutral aroma and flavor, vodka allows the lychee to shine as the star of this drink.

How to Make a Lychee Martini

This recipe makes one serving. Be sure to sip, because it packs a punch!

Ingredients

  • Ice cubes
  • 7 lychees, peeled and pit removed
  • 3 oz. vodka
  • ½ oz. fresh lemon juice
  • A few dashes of orange bitters

Step 1: Muddle and mix

Whether you’re using fresh or canned, muddle six of the lychees in a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice and add the vodka, lemon juice and bitters (we like these). Shake well.

Step 2: Pour and garnish

Strain the contents of the shaker into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with the remaining lychee and enjoy!

Editor’s Tip: If you’re using canned lychees or happen across some lychee juice or liquor, you can add a 1/2 ounce to supercharge the gorgeous flavor of this cocktail.

Ready to kick off summer in style? Check out our top drink recipes to enjoy poolside.

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Camille Berry
Part of the third generation in a family of restaurateurs, Camille was born with a passion for cooking and food. She embarked on a career in hospitality where she excelled as a sommelier and wine director. This hospitality experience has given her a wealth of first-hand knowledge about how to pair all manner of drinks with food—plus some serious kitchen skills. These days, she's hung up her wine key in favor of a pen and covers all aspects of food and drink.