Lychee Martini – Recipe & History

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Lychee Martini
Lychee Martini

History Of The Lychee Martini

The earliest reference to a Lychee Martini that I can find comes from a 1981 issue of Market Watch by M. Shanken Communications. In Volume 25, on page 20, the recipe provided is:

  • 1.5 oz Grey Goose
  • 1.5 oz Raspberry Sake
  • 1 oz lychee juice
  • Garnish with a lychee and raspberry

The article states the lychee martini is one of many unique and original cocktails created at the M-Bar in Miami. The cocktail cost $14 even back in 1981, equivalent to $46 USD today. That’s a steep price for 1.5 oz of vodka and flavored sake.

There isn’t much published on the lychee martini, nor is it even mentioned in any articles till around the mid-1990s when it started to pop up in a few New York-based periodicals. Many of the 90s recipes I found were all over the place. No two recipes were the same. One was vodka, dry vermouth, and lychee juice. Another was just vodka and lychee juice, some had lychee liqueur, and others had guava or lime juice. Around 2010 it seems appears that two recipes became the dominant norms.

Recipe #1

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Lychee Liqueur
  • 1 oz Lychee Juice

Recipe #2 (Skinny Girl Recipe)

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Lychee Juice
  • 1 oz Soda Water

Most lychee martini recipes you will find today tend to be one of these two recipes. Personally, between the two, I prefer the Skinny Girl style. While I always love a strong drink, the combination of lychee liqueur and lychee juice (the syrup inside a can of prepared lychees) is too sweet and strong, and not in a good way. The combination of lychee juice and soda water makes for a much more refreshing cocktail. It gives the vodka a lovely light and bubbly essence of lychee flavor rather than a heavy, sweet, and strong lychee flavor.

Recipe Resources


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Lychee Martini

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American






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How to make a Lychee Martini.


  • 1 oz Lychee Juice

  • 2 oz Vodka

  • 1 oz Soda Water


  • Combine all ingredients except for the soda water in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards and add the soda water.

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