Lychee Martinis hit peak popularity when Kristina Magro, now chief cocktail evangelist at the craft beer–focused Lone Wolf Tavern in Chicago, worked behind the bar of a big-box steakhouse back in 2010. Lychee in its natural form is quite sweet, but Giffad’s Lichi-Li “is not cloying or viscous—less syrupy than bright and floral,” she says. A longtime fan of “50-50” Martinis, Magro combines the liqueur with an equal portion of manzanilla sherry, introducing a savory element to one half of the mix. For the opposing half, she goes with Germany’s Monkey 47 gin, whose complex botanical mash, far from “a juniper bomb,” provides an appealing backbone.
- 1 1/2 ounces gin, Monkey 47
- 3/4 ounce manzanilla sherry, preferably Lustau Manzanilla Papirusa
- 3/4 ounce lychee liqueur, preferably Giffard Lichi-Li
- 1 dash absinthe
Garnish: fresh lychee
- Rinse a chilled cocktail glass with absinthe and set aside.
- Combine remaining ingredients in a mixing glass over ice and stir until chilled.
- Strain into prepared cocktail glass.
- Garnish with fresh lychee.