TJ Lee’s Lychee Sparkler

published Nov 3, 2021
Lychee Sparkler Recipe

Canned lychee is the star ingredient in these festive sparklers.

Serves8

Prep10 minutes

Cook5 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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3 glasses of lychee soda. lychees floating in glasses, seltzer water being poured over. black and white fabric runner on table. green plates with chopsticks in back
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: Andie McMahon

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Lychee is an ingredient that’s been a constant in my life. When I was growing up in Taiwan, we had these big markets where my mom would get fresh meats, fruits, and vegetables and they’d have bundles and bundles of fresh lychee. We’d bring one home, crack them open, and start eating them right away.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: Andie McMahon

Because lychee is in so many Asian desserts and drinks, I decided to make it the star here. Instead of fresh lychee, I use canned fruit because it’s easier to prep — especially when you’re getting ready to host a holiday or dinner party. Rather than throwing away the syrup in the can, I add a few tablespoons of it to the drink along with simple syrup to add more lychee flavor. Taste it as you’re mixing it, but the soda should be a refreshing carbonated drink that’s lightly sweetened.

Lychee Sparkler Recipe

Canned lychee is the star ingredient in these festive sparklers.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 5 minutes

Serves 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1 cup

    water

  • 2

    (11-ounce) cans unsweetened lychee, such as Polar

  • Ice

  • 8 cups

    chilled sparkling water

Instructions

  1. Place 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

  2. Drain 2 (11-ounce) cans lychee, reserving the canning liquid.

  3. For each soda, fill a tall glass (at least 12 ounces) halfway with ice. Top with 4 of the lychees, 3 tablespoons of the canning liquid, and 2 tablespoons of the simple syrup. Pour in 3/4 cup sparkling water and stir to combine. Taste and add more syrup or sparkling water as needed.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The simple syrup can be made up to 1 week ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container.