For today's recipe, we'll show you how to make a delicious and refreshing lychee iced tea. It's an easy and delicious fruit tea inspired by the traditional Chinese lychee tea, perfect for cooling down on those hot summer days!
To prepare this lychee drink, you'll need fresh or canned lychees, green tea, and a sweetener of choice. That's it!
Traditional lychee tea is an ancient scented tea from China, made by infusing tea leaves with aromatic, roasted or smoked lychee fruits.
If you can find it, you can use this lychee-flavoured tea to brew a sweet and fragrant tea and then let it cool down completely before serving it with ice.
Can't get it? No, worries! You can make your own lychee tea from scratch using lychee fruits and plain tea and following the classic iced fruit tea recipe method.
How? Boil lychees in a little water with a sweetener until syrupy. Then, tip the lychee syrup into your cold tea brew, stir well, and you're done — super easy!
As mentioned above, you can make this iced tea with fresh or canned lychees, depending on what you can find.
Asian food markets should have lychees when they're in season; otherwise, canned lychees are easier to get online or at a well-stocked supermarket.
Otherwise, you can swap lychees with rambutans or longans, which belong to the same family. They're not as sweet as lychees, but you can top the iced tea up with extra sweetener to make up for that.
As for the tea base, we recommend using green tea instead of black tea. It's more delicate and mellow, and it won't overpower the light floral flavour of lychees.
Prepare a big jug of this refreshing lychee tea to keep at hand when you need a summer cooler. And if you'd like to try another exotic cold tea, we think you'll love this passion fruit iced tea!
- Green Tea Bags
- Lychees (fresh or canned)
- Sweetener (sugar or sugar-free erythritol)
- Ice Cubes (to serve)
Let's start by preparing the green tea base.
Boil the 1 L of water, pour it into a pot, bowl, or jug and add the green tea bags.
You can swap green tea bags with loose leaf tea, using two teaspoons of leaves for every bag.
Let the tea steep for 3-4 minutes, then remove the bags or loose leaves.
Allow the green tea to cool down completely in the fridge.
Meanwhile, let's clean and prep the lychees.
Use a knife to score the lychee shell and squeeze it between your fingers until the shell cracks.
Peel the shell off, and you'll be left with a white, grape-like fruit.
Cut the fruit in half along the seed, open the two "cheeks", and remove the brown, hard seed.
Now, let's prepare the lychee syrup for the iced tea.
Thinly chop the lychee pulp and add it to a pot, followed by the sweetener (sugar or sugar-free erythritol) and the remaining water.
Simmer the lychees over low heat for 4-5 minutes while stirring and mashing the fruit bits to release extra flavour.
Without removing the lychees, let the syrup infuse and cool down completely in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
You can sieve the lychee syrup through a fine sieve, mashing the fruit to release all the liquid.
However, we recommend you keep the lychee bits in the syrup as they'll add more flavour to the tea — and then, you can eat them when you're done sipping!
Finally, stir the lychee syrup into the cold green tea in a jug, keep it in the fridge, and serve it ice cold.
Or, divide the syrup among tall glasses, add green tea, top with ice cubes, and serve.
Enjoy your homemade lychee iced tea!
And if you have leftover lychees, you can whizz them into a smoothie or prepare a tropical lychee bubble tea with coconut milk.
Finish off this lychee drink with a few slices of lime and a few leaves of mint or Thai basil.