Lychee-Infused Wine

luluesque.wordpress-lychee wine-2{Sorry! iPhone shot!}

I keep hearing all this rage about lychee martinis, but I understand they’re made with vodka. I decided to make my own “girly concoction” because 1) I LOVE lychee (along with rambutan and longans) and 2) I really like sweet, white wine – so why not marry the two?

Lychee (pronounced “lit-chee” or “lee-chee”) trees are tropical evergreens that originated from southern China, Malaysia, and Vietnam. They belong in the botanical family Sapindaceae, also known as ”soapberry.” Fruits from this family include maple, horse chestnut, guarana, ackee, longan, rambutan, and lychee. The fruit grows in clusters, much like grapes. It has an interesting snake skin texture, that when the skin is peeled away, reveals an opaque white flesh that is heavenly sweet and succulent, kind of like a peeled grape! Inside each fruit is a single dark brown seed.

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{Sorry! iPhone shot!}

Selecting the Wine or Champagne.

You will want a wine that is not too light nor too bold. You want the lychee infusion to be the focus, thus anything too fruity, leaning in any one direction, may overpower the delicate notes. You may also consider selecting a wine that is not too sweet as you will be using some of the canned juice. Wines such as Moscato, Riesling, or Gewürztraminer, all have very high sugar content. If you decide to choose these wines, just know that you and/or your guest will be consuming “hummingbird syrup!” But to each their own. Interesting enough, Gewürztraminer has strong notes of lychee, so you may just want to try that!



  1. Strain the lychee fruit and keep the juice in a separate container/bottle. Put all the lychee fruit in your pitcher.
  2. Pour the lychee juice into your silicone ice trays. Place them in your freezer for about 1 hour, or until frozen.
  3. Pour the chardonnay into your pitcher.
  4. Refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours.
  5. Scoop a few lychees into your wine glass, add one lychee ice-cube into the glass and serve chilled.
  6. Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint or basil. Voila! Enjoy!

For other lychee-inspired recipes, check out NPR’s “Cracking the Lychee Nut” article.