Homemade lychee syrup is just so easy to make, and it’s perfect to flavor so many different types of drinks! You don’t need access to fresh lychee because you can make this easily with canned lychee!
Easy and delicious lychee syrup that is sweet, floral, and so fragrant! Perfect to sweeten all your summer drinks!
Lychee is one of my absolutely favorite fruits to eat, but unfortunately I don’t get to eat fresh lychee often here in Ottawa. In Australia, I would feast on lychees that were sweet, juicy, floral, fruity, and cooling, all throughout summer. But here in Canada, lychee is so fleeting and expensive. So canned lychee is what is widely available/accessible. But that’s A-OK, because you can make this spectacular lychee syrup with canned lychee as well!
Why I love this recipe
- So easy to make.
- You can use canned lychee to make this recipe, which is more accessible than fresh lychee.
- Incredible flavor and can be used to flavor so many different drinks! You can make homemade lychee soda with this syrup too.
- Freezer friendly, so you can make a big batch and freeze for later.
What you can make with this lychee syrup recipe
Lychee soda – This syrup can be used as a soda syrup! Just mix it with soda water / sparkling water to make a delicious homemade lychee soda.
Lychee cocktails – Substitute the simple syrup with this lychee syrup to make interesting and delicious cocktails!
Lychee mocktails – Check out this easy lychee mocktail made with this lychee syrup and non-alcoholic gin.
Lychee lemonade – In place of sugar, add this syrup to your lemonade. This will add such a wonderful and subtle fruity and floral flavor! Trust me, it tastes AMAZING!
Ingredients to make lychee syrup
Canned lychees – You will need 2 cans, but you can easily double this recipe too.
Sugar – This helps concentrate the syrup and the flavor of lychees.
See “other flavors that pair with lychee” section below for more ideas on what to add to your own lychee syrup.
How to make lychee syrup
The first step is to prepare the ingredients.
I like using 1 whole can PLUS the liquid in the second can. This is so I can save the lychees in the second can to garnish drinks and to eat of course. But you can absolutely use both cans of lychee.
Then you can decide if you want to add any other flavors. I usually make a classic lychee simple syrup, but this time I wanted to add a little ginger. I have made lychee ginger sangria on the blog before, and loved that flavor combination. So I wanted to add a little spice to my syrup. But this lychee syrup is incredibly delicious WITHOUT ANY additions too.
Place all the lychee and syrup in a blender. Blend to process the lychees until they are completely blended. If you don’t have a blender, you can use an immersion blender too. It’s OK if the lychees are not finely blended, because we will be straining everything at the end.
Add the blended mixture with the sugar into a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the syrup mixture comes to a boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer until the mixture has reduced close to half the volume. The time will vary depending on the pot size and stove you use. In my kitchen, it takes about 1 hour of simmering at medium heat. It’s important not to let it “boil” at high heat, because you want the syrup to gently simmer to extract and concentrate the flavor.
Once it has simmered, let it cool down to room temperature. Then pass the mixture through a sieve, and then a nut milk bag to remove all the pulp. If you need to, squeeze the pulp to extract all of the liquid.
Store the syrup in a clean, dry container with an air-tight lid.
You can use the syrup at room temperature, but I like to keep it in the fridge, so it’s mostly used once chilled.
Pour the syrup into a clean, dry container. Make sure it’s an air-tight container, whether it’s a jar, a bottle, or just a storage container.
The syrup can be kept in the fridge for up to a week, but this will depend on how you handle the syrup as well.
If the syrup is kept at room temperature for prolonged periods of time in between refrigeration, this will make it go bad faster.
When using the syrup, if it comes into contact with other items or foods, this can also decrease its shelf life.
You can also freeze this syrup for up to 4 or 5 months, and thaw it out in the fridge before using it.
Other flavors you can add to this lychee syrup
Lychee has a delicate and subtle flavor. So you have to be careful about what flavors you add to the lychee syrup, without overpowering the lychee flavor.
Ginger. Ginger will add a little warming spice to the syrup. I added some ginger to the syrup here to add a little warmth to the drinks I make.
Lime. You can add a little lime juice. This will perk up the lychee flavor. But be careful not to add too much because it can certainly overpower the flavor of lychee.
Strawberry or raspberry. These berries pair so well with lychee! But again, do not let it overpower the flavor of lychee.
Mint. Add some mint to the syrup and let it infuse. The floral notes from the lychee and the minty fresh flavor from the mint complement each other so well.
Tea. Tea is a no-brainer to pair with lychee! But you want to avoid teas that have strong tannins such as black tea. I recommend,
- Green tea (not matcha)
- Oolong tea
- Jasmine tea (my favorite)
Other questions and tips about this recipe
You can use fresh lychee, but since fresh lychee tends to be more expensive than the canned version, I prefer to use canned lychee for this lychee syrup.
However, if you do prefer to use fresh lychee, the following is the ratio I use to make the syrup.
For every 200 g of fresh lychee (or fresh lychee puree), I use 100 g of sugar and 100 g water. This is a 2 : 1 : 1 ratio.
The cook times will be different though, so keep an eye on your syrup for the correct consistency.
Since we are making this syrup with canned lychee, this will already contain sugar. Therefore, it cannot be made into a sugar free syrup.
If you do use fresh lychee or lychee puree, you could add artificial sweetener. However, I am unfamiliar with how to handle artificial sweeteners to make a syrup, so unfortunately I cannot give any more advice on this.
Homemade Lychee Syrup Recipe
- 2 cans lychee 565 g weight (each can)
- 100 g white sugar ½ cup
- Place the canned lychee and sugar in a blender. If you prefer, you can leave a few pieces of lychee in a separate bowl to use later as garnish for your drinks.2 cans lychee
- Blend until the lychee is processed.
- Place the blended lychee mixture and sugar in a saucepan and heat over medium heat while stirring. Stir to dissolve the sugar and bring it to a boil.100 g white sugar
- Lower the heat and allow the mixture to gently simmer until it reduces to about 60% of its initial volume. The initial volume was about 4 cups for me, and the syrup was simmered until it reached about 2.5 cups in volume. This generally takes me about 1 hour at medium heat on my stove.
- Once the syrup is simmered, let it cool down to room temperature.
- Pass the mixture through a nut milk bag, and squeeze the pulp to remove as much liquid as possible.
- Pour the syrup into an airtight container or bottle, and chill in the fridge until needed.
- The syrup can be kept in the fridge for up to a week with proper food handling practices. If you want to keep the syrup for longer, store the syrup in the freezer for up to 4 – 5 months.
Tips & Tricks
Adding other flavorsYou can add other flavorings to this syrup to make it more interesting. But be careful not to let it overpower the lychee flavor. Lychee is a more delicate flavor and can be easily overpowered with stronger flavors. Ginger – Add about 50 – 70 g ginger into the blender with the lychee to add some ginger flavor to the syrup. Vanilla – Add 1 tbsp of vanilla extract to the syrup after cooking, and stir it in to let it infuse while the syrup cools down. Tea – Add 1 oolong tea bag to the lychee mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil and let the tea bag simmer in the syrup for about 5 minutes before removing it. Lime – Add about 3 – 4 tbsp of lime juice to the mixture before simmering it. This will also help to brighten the flavor of the lychee. Berries – Add some whole raspberries or strawberries to the mixture (DO NOT BLEND IT), while simmering the syrup. This will infuse the syrup with berry flavor.
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