That I chose to turn these gorgeous Lychees into a drink surprised even me.  Being very much a fruit over juice person, I am not sure where this idea came from.  Maybe it was the memory of the only fruit juice I ever think back on longingly.  The small tetrapak boxes of Lychee juice served on domestic flights in India.  When after hours of flying across continents and countries with painful layovers, you get on that last flight to take you to a place that is also another home.  Bleary-eyed and exhausted, you almost pounce on the steaming hot tray that probably holds the best airline food of your entire journey with some Nimbu-Pani (Indian lemonade) or sometimes, the Lychee juice nestling on the side.

Or it could have been all the beverage posts leading up to the 4th of July.  Whatever the reason, I soon found myself getting caught up in the excitement and peeling, chopping and muddling away to get an absolutely delightful drink.  Given the delicate and wonderfully floral nature of the fruit, I did not want to pair it with anything strong or overpowering.  At the same time, I did not want to leave it plain since I wasn't planning on adding too much sugar.  I had some wonderful key limes in the fridge and a Thai Basil plant flourishing in the garden so just a few slices of fresh ginger were needed to complete the picture.

Although this was going to be a non-alcoholic drink, I wanted to use the same technique as cocktails to muddle the fruit and herbs so as to extract the best flavor.  And it worked like a charm.  Since I did not have the specific tools, I was thinking a potato masher should work just fine and then my eyes fell on the pastry tamper.....which worked beautifully :)

Although I am no expert on pairings of fruit and spirits, I would guess that a splash ...or two :),  of anything that matches a delicate fruit with flowery undertones would work !!  And of course, you can have it like I a tall glass of mocktail. So as I plan to sit on my porch and watch the fireworks in the distance, sipping this cool drink, I hope you will be having a fabulous evening too :)

Happy 4th of July!

Lychee, Thai Basil & Ginger Limeade

Print Recipe

Makes approx 4 - 250 ml portions

1 cup of Lychees (After peeling and removing seed)
3 slices fresh ginger
5-6 Thai Basil leaves
2 small Key Limes
3 tbsp sugar or maple syrup (you may need to add more depending on how sweet the Lychees are)
1 liter cold water

Transfer the Lychee flesh to a short, sturdy jug or metal glass.  Add the ginger slices and thai basil.  Add the juice of the key limes to it.

Muddle the mixture with a muddler or a rounded ladle.  Or you can blend it in a blender.  Add the water and stir well.

In either case, strain it through a fine mesh strainer.  You can save the leftover pulp to throw into a smoothie since there is very little ginger and basil in it.  I directly strained it into the glasses

Add 2-3 ice cubes to each glass and pour the limeade.   Top with a sprig or a few leaves of the thai basil.



  1. Thanks for this recipe! I'm going to make it this week, without the basil. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  2. Hey my next best to Peaches is Lychees. I am going to make this for sure.

  3. Hey my next best to Peaches is Lychees. I am going to make this for sure.

  4. Loved the combination. Will be trying this soon.

    1. Thanks so much, Madhavi :) Let me know what you thought of it :)