Opt For Gin Over Vodka To Complement The Sweetness Of Your Lychee Martini

For fans of fruity and sweet cocktails, it doesn't get much better than the classic lychee martini. The drink started a buzz in the '90s with its Asian inspiration and drinkable character. From the get-go, there wasn't a definitive form, but vodka was dependably the spirit of choice, often combined with canned lychee or lychee liqueur. As with most other martini variations, a small amount of white vermouth also appears in the mix.

While this combination does craft a tasty cocktail, a spirit swap enlivens the drink. Opt for gin over vodka to imbue floral complexity rather than using the flavorless liquor. In the simplest substitution, the vodka can simply be swapped with the gin in a one-to-one ratio. Or, an entirely new build can take place, matching the gin and lychee's flavors with additions like manzanilla sherry and apricot eau de vie for fruit notes. From such a simple swap, a completely new lychee martini emerges.

Creating complex floral notes

To start, be sure to select the ideal gin for the job. You'll want a botanical expression that complements lychee's sweet and fruit notes rather than overwhelms them. Avoid juniper-forward London dry gins like Beefeater or Bombay. Instead, settle on modern gins noted for their smooth and complex fruity palate. Monkey 47 is a great choice as it is easily found, or, for an even more floral-forward gin, reach for The Botanist Islay Dry Gin, which we ranked as one of the best gin brands.

Next, it's all about building a distinct interpretation with the spirit. Make sure to sip the spirit straight to best ascertain how it'll function with the other components. Then, reach for complements, whether it's the canned lychee or lychee liqueur. Tinker with ratios to nail the perfect balance of sweet and boozy before mixing up for a cocktail crowd. And, don't forget that whole lychee garnish for a post-drink nibble.