The first time I had this drink was at La Madonna Martini bar in Cancun, Mexico. If you're planning a trip to Cancun, be sure to go to this delicious Italian-Swiss bar and grill. The food and service are impeccable.
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C water
1 C drained canned lychees (15 to 20, from a 16- to 20-oz can)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 C vodka (preferably Grey Goose)
3 Tbsp Cointreau or other orange-flavored liqueur
Show off your Lilly style with your cocktail shaker while you prepare these drinks for your guests. My favorite is the Cocktail Shaker in Shaken Up.
Heat sugar and water in a small saucepan over high heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved, then pour into a heatproof bowl set in a large bowl of ice and cold water. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until syrup is cold, about 3 minutes.
Purée lychees with sugar syrup you already prepared and lemon juice in a blender until smooth. Put this through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the solids. Fill cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes and add lychee purée, vodka, and Cointreau. Shake 15 seconds and strain into Martini glasses. Garnish with a lychee.
It’s easier to make a lot of the lychee mixture before your party and have it on hand to mix in the shaker with the vodka and Cointreau. I’ve had this made with only with lychee juice or lychee liqueur and can tell you that it’s certainly worth the extra effort to make the syrup for this delicious drink.
If you don’t like your drinks very sweet, you can use the lychee juice instead of the sugar and water mixture. You’ll get more of a lychee flavor and a less sweet drink. Personally, I LOVE the sweetness of the recipe just the way it is! Of course, some of your guests may want you to adjust the vodka:lychee ratio, too.
What drinks are you planning to serve this New Year's Eve? Have you ever made a "signature" drink for a party you hosted? I always enjoy making a drink that matches the theme of the party and the guests like to try something new and unexpected.
Have a happy Sunday!