Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Vodka Cocktails

Lychee

lychee cocktail in a yellow pineapple mug, garnished with toasted coconut and lime zest
Image: Eric Wolfinger

San Francisco bartender Kevin Diedrich created the Lychee cocktail while working at the now-closed BDK. Inspired by salted pistachio ice cream, he combined tea-infused vodka with coconut-lychee milk, salted pistachio syrup and fresh lime juice for a fun and tropical result.

Absolut Wild Tea vodka is the cocktail’s base. It merges Chinese oolong tea with Swedish elderflower for a smooth and floral taste with hints of red apples, black tea, elderflower and citrus. Diedrich makes the coconut-lychee milk and salted pistachio syrup himself. The former blends light coconut milk with whole lychees, lime juice and zest, salt, vanilla extract, Jamaican rum and fresh grated ginger. The latter is similar to pistachio orgeat and sees roasted nuts cooked on the stove with sugar and water to create a nutty syrup.

Making this drink at home requires a few extra steps, but the result is worth the effort. It’s like a nutty, floral milk punch with the sweetness of lychees. In other words, it’s probably unlike anything else you’ve had before.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces Absolut Wild Tea vodka

  • 1 ounce coconut-lychee milk*

  • 1 ounce salted pistachio syrup**

  • 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • Garnish: lime zest

  • Garnish: toasted coconut

Steps

  1. Add the vodka, coconut-lychee milk, salted pistachio syrup and lime juice to a shaker with ice, and shake until well-chilled.

  2. Strain into a Belgian beer glass over cobbled ice.

  3. Garnish with lime zest and toasted coconut.

*Coconut-lychee milk: Add 2 cups light coconut milk, 1 cup canned whole lychees, 1 lime (zested and juiced), 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tbsp Jamaican rum and 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger to a blender. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate the mixture for 24 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and strain out the solids. Keep, refrigerated, for up to two weeks.

**Salted pistachio syrup: Toast 1 lb raw, shelled pistachios in the oven for 10 minutes until brown and aromatic. Chop into rough pieces. Add 2 cups water and 2 cups turbinado sugar to a saucepan. Add the pistachios and bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Refrigerate the mixture for 48 hours. Strain out the solids and add two ounces of vodka.