Think of twists on a classic martini and your mind likely jumps straight to an espresso martini, quickly followed by an appletini. Don’t overlook the lychee martini. Full of sweet tropical and melon flavours, it has been popular in bars and restaurants for decades. And now, with the addition of pink sparkling wine, it has become the perfect celebration cocktail. Crack out your cocktail shaker and best martini glasses to add a touch of luxe to your New Year’s Eve party with this fun and flirty cocktail.
Ingredients (Serves 2):
60ml Hoshi Japanese Vodka
40ml lime juice
40ml lychee syrup
Ice cubes, to serve
Lychees, to serve
Bird In Hand Sparkling Pinot Noir, to serve
Edible dried rose petals or cocktail florals, to serve
1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, vermouth, lime juice and lychee syrup. Shake until well combined and chilled.
2. Thread lychees onto cocktail skewers. Strain the vodka mixture into 2 coupe glasses and top with the sparkling wine. Garnish with lychee skewers and dried rose petals or cocktail florals.
Tip: Use the lychee syrup from canned lychees in this recipe, then either drained canned lychees or peeled fresh lychees for the garnish.
Like most good cocktail origin stories, finding the first iteration of the classic lychee martini is tricky. By all accounts, it was born in New York in 1993 at a bar called Decibel. A variation on the recipe was already being made in the Decibel Tokyo bar in Japan and the sweet Asian-influenced drink quickly took America – and then the world – by storm. The cocktail itself is sweet and heavily perfumed, thanks to the floral notes coming from the lychees.
Stocking up on lychee martini ingredients? The only way to make a lychee martini even more captivating in our opinion is to add bubbles, and the Bird in Hand Sparkling Pinot Noir is the perfect choice. Not only does it give the cocktail a crisp acidity, it’s a beautiful pink hue that is just the thing for this cocktail. The other essential ingredient in this Asian-influenced cocktail is the vodka and Hoshi Japanese Vodka fits the bill. Made from Japanese rice, it’s distilled using traditional techniques and has a subtle rich sweetness. We used canned lychee syrup for our cocktail but you could also use a store-bought lychee-flavoured sugar syrup. To use up the rest of the can of lychees, process the fruit with the syrup and freeze in ice cubes. Then blend with vodka or gin to make a frozen lychee cocktail.
Everyone needs a handful of tried and tested party starting cocktails, so add these recipes to your must-try list. A big-batch punch is perfect for serving a large crowd. Our Pink Gin and Pomegranate Punch gets its beautiful hue from pink gin and pink bubbles. Use your Japanese vodka in this big batch Summer Pineapple Punch – it has wonderful tropical flavours and makes enough to serve a crowd. If tangy, citrusy cocktails are more your jam, whip up a Mojito Mojo – full of mint and lime, it’s summer in a glass.
Products featured are available from 15/11/23 to 26/12/23, while stocks last. Some products or varieties featured may not be available in all stores.