The Lychee Martini
Last weekend a friend took Betsy and I out to Dim Sum and then we went hunting for a good Asian market in the Denver area. I love Asian markets so much just because of the wide variety of stuff you can find there. The same ingredients also tend to be much cheaper than at a normal American grocery store.
While we were wondering around we noticed these huge bags of lychee fruits for just a few bucks. There must have been 100 fruits in each bag. I couldn’t help myself and grabbed a bag of them. I really didn’t know what I was going to do with the little guys because I had never used them before, but I figured I could find something fun.
Betsy and I ended up just eating most of them as a quick snack, but I saved a few to make this bad boy.
Yield: 1 martini
4 lychee fruits, peeled (1 for garnish)
3 ounces vodka or gin
2 teaspoons honey
1) Peel lychee fruits and add three to the bottom of a mixing glass. Also add 1/4 of a lime.
2) Muddle the fruit and lime together for a few seconds, then add honey, and continue to muddle until fruit is completely mashed.
3) Chill your glass with ice and water.
4) Add gin or vodka to the mixing glass with muddled ingredients and ice. Shake well.
5) Strain into chilled martini glass and garnish with 1-2 seeded lychee fruits.
Dealing with Lychee
You probably won’t be able to find fresh lychee unless you have access to an Asian grocery store. I’ve never seen them in a regular store, but you might get lucky. They also sell canned lychee which would work okay for the martini but don’t have quite the flavor of the fresh ones.
These little fruits look a bit intimidating, but they are actually easy to deal with.
Take a good sharp paring knife and cut into the fruit up near the stem. The outer skin is pretty tough, but will cut easily once you get it started.
Then just cut a little circle out of the top of the fruit, exposing the white fruit flesh.
Then for the fun part! You can literally just squeeze the fruit out of the skin. It should pop right out.
Then you’ll be left with a perfect orb of deliciousness.
You can absolutely just pop the fruit in your mouth at this point like a cherry, but lychee do have a pretty substantial seed in the middle. If you want to go a step further, you can carefully cut the seed out of the fruit, leaving the hollow lychee.
I like to do this step for the martini garnish, but that’s it.
Making the Martini
Once you have a few lychee peeled, you can make your martini.
As always, the most important part to any good martini is making sure you have an ice cold glass! So chill down your glass with some ice water before you get started.
Add about 3 peeled lychee to a mixing glass with a big chunk of a lime and start muddling everything together. This will release the juices from the fruit and mix it with the fresh lime juice.
Then add in your honey, gin or vodka, and a good amount of ice. I like gin with mine, but if you want a cleaner lychee flavor then vodka is the way to go.
Shake this all up so everything is nice and cold.
Strain this into your chilled martini glass, garnish it with a lychee or two, and you’re ready to rock!
This is a perfect summer martini. It has a really clean, refreshing flavor and isn’t too heavy.
If you can find some lychee fruits, this is a great way to try them out!