Trader Joe's Rum of the Gods has a great name…
As much as we enjoy fresh lychees, we typically don’t enjoy lychee cocktails. This is largely because lychee cocktails don’t use fresh lychee – or anything actually derived from it – to flavor them. They’re typically made with a liqueur that doesn’t really capture the soft, perfumy flavor of the fresh fruit. At best, we’ve had lychee cocktails that are boring and, at worst, we’ve encountered some that bordered on soapy. Our solution was to make our own lychee syrup, made with fresh fruit, and use that to bring a little lychee into our libations.
This lovely Lychee Lani blends several tropical fruit flavors in a refreshing tiki drink that showcases the this particular fruit. It starts with our lychee syrup and combines it with fresh lime juice, Clement Mahina Coco liqueur and white rum, along with a touch of orgeat. We used Giffard orgeat, which has a strong floral note to that the really compliments the lychee. If you are using a homemade orgeat (we have a recipe in our book, Tiki Drinks), chances are that you’ve added orange flower water to yours and you’ll get this same floral note. Some orgeat syrups don’t taste like much more than almonds and will still give you a nice drink, but won’t add that extra floral note that the Giffard will contribute.
We used Flor de Cana white rum in the cocktail pictured here, however any other smooth (i.e. aged) white rum will work in this recipe. Angostura, El Dorado and Havana Club (if you have it) are just a few of the other white rum options that will give you good results. This cocktail is served over crushed ice and doesn’t make a huge drink. If you want a cocktail that you can sip more slowly, skip the shaking and swizzle the ingredients in a tall glass, topping the drink with a small splash of soda as you serve it.
1 3/4 oz aged white rum (recommend Flor de Cana)
1 oz homemade lychee syrup
3/4 oz lime juice
1/2 oz Clement Mahina Coco liqueur
1/4 oz orgeat
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, fill with ice and shake until well-chilled. Strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a whole lychee or a lime wheel.