Tropical Toasts: 7 Lychee Cocktails To Inspire

In our opinion, a good cocktail is all about balance. After all, who would want a mimosa that tasted just like orange juice? Lychees, with their mellow flavor profile and excellent sweet to tart ratio, help bring balance to a wide variety of craft cocktails. While this tropical fruit was once a Chinese exclusive, it’s slowly becoming a heavy hitter stateside. Get ahead of the game by firing out some of these lychee cocktails in your restaurant.

Lychee Martini

Potentially the most prevalent lychee cocktail in the US, the classy and fruity lychee martini is the drink that James Bond would have on vacation. Due to the botanicals in gin, it’s better to use vodka as your base in order to let the lychee shine.  Oftentimes bartenders use a Chinese lychee liqueur in this drink, but you can also substitute in a house-made lychee simple syrup if you can’t get your hands on the liqueur. Shake both with your citrus juice of choice and plop a whole lychee in afterwards in lieu of an olive. 

Lychee Bellini

A twist on the classic peach Bellini, lychee Bellinis substitute in a lychee puree for a floral spin that’s just as fruity as the original. While the wine of choice varies from Bellini to Bellini, we recommend using a dry Prosecco to prevent your drink from becoming sickly sweet. If adding to a brunch menu, try pairing it with complimentary citrus or berry flavors, like in our raspberry smooth bowl.

Lychee Mojito

Mo’-jitos over no-jitos. The combo of lychee, rum, and mint is a perfect way to make your customers feel like they’re on a tropical vacation. To start, we’d recommend muddling the mint leaves with your rum before adding a lychee puree in order to help the mint oils infuse into the rest of the drink. If you decide to add lychee pieces into the drink itself, be sure to use them sparingly, as they can quickly overcrowd the glass.

Lychee Margarita

East meets west in this fun take on the classic Mexican beverage. Due to its sweet/tart flavor profile, lychee pairs equally well with orange liqueur and lime, so it naturally feels right at home in margaritas. When crafting this drink, there are two approaches; either add a dash of lychee puree and serve on the rocks or combine lychee pieces with your standard ingredients and blend to perfection. Regardless of your preference, your customers will be ready to hit the beach.

  • Pro Tip: See some of our other favorite margaritas here!

Vodka Lychee-Lemonade

Lychee’s unmistakable floral notes and modest sweet/tart flavor profile combine perfectly with the sugary-sour goodness of lemonade, creating a finished product that lies somewhere between limeade and rose-infused lemonade. In layman’s terms, it makes one heck’ve a base for cocktails. If you’re looking for something quick and dependable this is the drink for you. To prepare, simply add some lychee puree to your favorite lemonade recipe, strain, and top with your vodka of choice.

Pina-Lychee-Colada

Tropical fruit + tropical fruit + tropical fruit = perfection. For this one, we’d recommend blending rather than serving on the rocks in order to give your cocktail a creamier texture. In terms of rum, we’d recommend using a mixture of dark and light rums or exclusively sticking with the latter; the bold flavor of dark rum can overpower your other ingredients if you’re not careful.

Lychee Sangria

Lychees are beautiful enough on their own, so why not show off whole pieces in your next sangria? When adding additional fruits, stay with citrus or ones that have a decent amount of sweetness, like apples or pears! As you’d expect, a white wine base is also ideal, as it helps keeps your sangria effervescent and refreshing.

  • Pro Tip: Looking for an Asian-inspired twist? Try adding sake!