If you’re a fan of lychee and looking to add a delightful twist to the classic lemonade, you’re in for a treat. Lychee lemonade is a drink that combines the subtle floral notes of lychee with the familiar lemonade.
About this Recipe
Lychee, with its slightly floral flavor, is the star ingredient in this delightful drink. It’s like a taste of summer in a glass, and it’s incredibly easy to make with four readily available ingredients. And there is no need for complex syrup preparations.
I experimented with a few different types of canned lychees. I first tested it with a can of “sugar-free” lychee that uses xylitol and sucralose (ie Splenda) to preserve the flavor. I found these chemicals introduced an odd aftertaste that I wasn’t fond of.
Instead, I preferred lychees that were packed in real sugar syrup. Since lemonade requires sugar to balance the acidity of the lemons, there is no downside to the syrup. I found it enhances the vibrant flavors of the lychee and pairs harmoniously with the lemons.
Canned Lychee: You can use fresh or frozen lychee if you prefer. The nice thing about canned lychee is that it is available year-round. I buy it at my local Asian grocery store.
Lemons: For that tangy kick.
Sugar (Optional): The syrup from the can of lychees can be enough, but I prefer a little extra sweetness to balance the lemons.
Pinch of Salt
Lychee is native to Southeast Asia, but India is an important producer of lychee fruit. Growing up, lychees were a special treat during train journeys to our farm in Dhanu, Maharashtra. We would buy them from local stations, savoring the anticipation of lychee season and the train ride.
Lychee is closely related to Rambutan, but they are completely different species.
Tips for Preparing Lychee Lemonade
When preparing lychee lemonade, there are a few common mistakes to watch out for:
- Balance of Lychee and Lemonade: Ensure you find the right balance between the floral lychee and the lemon. Taste test as you go.
- Balance of Lemon and Sugar: If you add sugar, strike the right balance to suit your taste buds. Remember, the lychees in syrup can add sweetness, too. They also help to smooth out the acidity of the lemons which I find helps reduce the overall sugar that is needed.
- Dilution: Don’t over-dilute the drink.
Lychee Lemonade Cocktail
Adjust the water content to your preference. For an adult twist, consider replacing some water with gin or vodka (replace approximately 2 cups of water for 1 cup of alcohol).
- 1 10 oz can of lychee in sugar syrup
- ½ cup lemon juice 4-5 lemons
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 4 cups water and ice
- Pinch of salt
- Pour the contents of the can of lychee into a blender, including the syrup. Add lemon juice, sugar, and pinch of salt. Blend until smooth.
- Add water and ice. Blend to combine.