This lychee smoothie might be more of a shake, but it’s full of lychee flavor!
The most important part of this recipe are the lychees.
If you’ve never had them before, these fruits are really floral and sweet, with a juicy, almost crisp texture. The flavor is pretty mild though, so I don’t like to pair them with anything too strong (which can hide all that delicious lychee).
You might think that fresh lychee are best for this smoothie. However, I actually prefer using canned.
Not only are the fresh lychee more expensive than the canned (and they require peeling), but it’s harder to appreciate them in a smoothie rather than eating them plain and fresh.
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When you use the canned, you also get the lychee syrup that the lychees are packed in, which adds sweetness and even more lychee flavor to the beverage.
How to Make
In a blender, combine the lychee, milk, syrup, and salt. Blend until the lychees are broken down to your desired consistency, then pour into a serving glass and sip away!
Freeze the Lychees
I don’t like adding ice into my smoothies for a few different reasons (the blender at my house isn’t very strong, and it dilutes the drink).
So, frozen fruit is my go to. You still get a cold, thick beverage, without destroying your elderly blender.
In this recipe, I like to freeze the drained lychees for a few hours before using them. Anyone with a strong enough blender or without much time to spare can add a few handfuls of ice, and I promise it will still be delicious.
The salt helps the flavors of the beverage come to life, and I swear that you don’t have to add as much sugar or sweetener when there’s a pinch of salt involved.
Rosewater, orange blossom water or anything light and floral goes really nicely with the lychee. You sprinkle in a teensy bit for some variation!
I do realize this is more of a shake rather than a smoothie since the main ingredients are milk and lychee, so throw in other fruit as you see fit. Raspberries or strawberries sound nice, or anything else that has a bit of a sweet tart vibe and won’t overpower the lychee.
I can’t say I’ve tried it (and honestly, not sure you’re the kind of person who clicked on a smoothie post to debate the idea of adding alcohol), though you can definitely try spiking this drink.
My first thought would be soju, since it’s pretty smooth and mild. Gin also makes sense in my mind, since it’s so fragrant.
Either way, or if you add another kind of alcohol, let me know how it goes if you try!
Making it Pink
This recipe as is yields a drink that is an off white color. If you want to switch up the color, feel free to add a drop of pink food coloring.
My favorite way to give the smoothie a hint of a pink hue is blending in a strawberry or a few raspberries (fresh or frozen is fine). A few pieces of fruit contribute a touch of color without completely overshadowing the lychee flavor.
- ¾ cup canned lychees drained
- ½ cup milk cold
- ¼ cup lychee syrup from the can
- 1 pinch salt
- Freeze the canned lychees for 1-2 hours, or until mostly frozen.
- Add everything to a blender and process until your desired texture is reached. You can add more lychees or milk/syrup/water to adjust the consistency as needed.
- Pour into a glass and serve immediately!
If you don’t have time to freeze the lychees, you can add in a handful of ice.
If you want to give the smoothie a hint of pink, you can blend a few red berries into the drink or add a drop of food coloring.