Sam’s rum, lychee and lemon cocktail

The recipe was born as an afterthought. Sam loves lychees — canned, for convenience — and her favorite thing to do with them is to make a lychee smoothie by roughly pureeing the fruits in a blender along with the syrup, sugar and ice. But because she can’t finish an entire can of lychees by herself, whenever she makes lychee smoothie, everyone else in the house gets a glass (or two or three) of her addictive potion. Well, except Alex who really doesn’t like lychees.

One time, we had guests at home and Sam made her signature lychee smoothie. But because we were already having cocktails, I commented that, perhaps, Sam could add something alcoholic to her smoothie to make it a bit more attuned with the rest of the drinks that we were having. She said, rather automatically, “Rum.” I took my glass, poured some rum into it, stirred everything and tasted the mixture. It tasted good — but it needed something more. Lemon, I thought, and I squeezed a quarter of a lemon into the glass. I stirred the drink again and it was awesome. Perfect for a sweltering summer night. Sam's rum, lychee and lemon cocktail

Last night, Sam made her lychee smoothie again and I reminded her that we should take photos. She was the one who decorated the glassed with paper umbrellas and whole lychees.

Recipe: Rum, lychee and lemon cocktail


  • a can of lychees (with the syrup)
  • sugar, to taste
  • crushed ice
  • rum (we used Bacardi Gold), as much or as little as you like
  • 2 lemons, quartered


  1. Dump the contents of the can into the blender.
  2. Add about three cups of crushed ice and two tablespoons of sugar.
  3. Pulse until the ice crystals are broken into smithereens. If the machine has a hard time processing everything, add water, about a quarter cup at a time.
  4. When you’re happy with the consistency, add the rum, pulse, taste and add more sugar, as needed. Remember to pulse the machine a couple of times after adding sugar to make sure that the sugar crystals melt into the mixture.
  5. To serve, pour the smoothie into glasses. Squeeze a quarter of a lemon directly into each glass. Stir and serve.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8