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Jul 27, 2008 04:26 PM

Chinese cocktails?

I am having a party for the opening ceremonies of the Olympic games and wanted to serve Chinese cocktails to go with the Chinese food. Any suggestions?

Would lychee martinis qualify?

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  1. Well, Lychee "martinis" would be chinese flavors in a drink. Truthfully, China isn't very known for its cocktails. Truthfully, they tend to just drink straight liquors. You can probably find some baiju in a well stocked liquor store. Sipped in small shotglasses. I suppose something like Tsingtao would also be appropriate, but this is the wrong board for that. For cocktails, I guess just go with whatever you want. If you want chinese flavors, I would suggest things with lychee, ginger, pomegranate, pummelo, maybe even something savory with soy sauce. Another idea, perhaps, is to do a cocktail with a color for each of the 5 olympic colors.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Xaga

      China isn't known for its cocktails, but I recently saw something on cocktails being created in high-end HK restaurants. I think it was on TV, though.

    2. I don't know how you'd make a lychee martini. Were you thinking of infusing gin or vodka with fresh lychees? That could work.

      If you're going to get fresh lychees, how about blending up some frozen lychee daiquiris with a shot of mandarin orange liqueur? In fact, I think I'll work on that!

      8 Replies
      1. re: Chefpaulo

        To make lychee cocktails you use fresh lychee juice, pureed lychee, lychee syrup, the syrup from cans of canned lychee, lychee liqueur, and muddle lychee and/or garnish with fresh or canned lychee.

        Lychee's are hard to infuse since they are delicate and oxidize very fast. I have several batches of muddy brown lychee vodka aand liqueur I made. They look and taste terrible. I had to add so much acid to keep it clear that it tasted like lemons. So I am very impressed with decent quality lychee liqueur like Lichido.

        1. re: Chefpaulo

          I bought some lychee liquer and plan to mix with vodka and garnish with a fresh or canned lychee.

          Also serving Tsingtao.

          1. re: lisaf

            Try to get a bottle of chinese mautai (Its been quite a few years...not sure of the spelling) or Golden Star mei kuei lu chiew.

            No matter what you mix this stuff with, it'll be an acquired taste. At the very least, it can be a fantastic conversation starter...

            1. re: porker

              Maotai or Moutai are the usual spellings.

              1. re: Xaga

                I was only exposed to Maotai or Moutai through a friend (who got it on the black market in Toronto...). He swears that it is very popular in China - considered 'top shelf' as it were. Do you know if this is true or not?
                My western palate could not even get used to the stuff..

                1. re: porker

                  There are all price ranges and quality to Mao Tai and other Chinese spirits. I have had some premium ones that were fantastic. I have also had some rotgut that made me want to cry.

                  1. re: JMF

                    I don't recall the brand I had (its been maybe 7 years), but it came in a white cylindrical bottle. Looked like an old-style motor-oil can.
                    I used to serve it to unsuspecting guests by the thimble-full. I'd tote it as the worst tasting drink they'll ever try. They couldn't beleive such an outlandish claim, so would accept. The smell would be their first clue, then they'd drink, then they'd contort their faces in disgust..."You're right! Its the WORST stuff I ever drank!"
                    Like I say, quite a conversation starter!

                  2. re: porker

                    It is definitely very popular in China. I would also agree that it is considered top shelf there. Whether or not this is more because of reputation or actual quality, but it is definitely considered good baiju. A simple comparison would be Grey Goose to Vodka. Not necessarily the best, but known for quality.

          2. There's a French ginger liqueur called Canton which is quite good. It comes in a bottle that looks both elegant and cheesy at the same time. If you're not going for "authentic", I'd play around with it. It's a great addition to your bar and I'm sure it can mix well with lychees.


            2 Replies
              1. re: JMF

                Unfortunately they don't sell that in my state. Washington has state run liquor stores, so limited inventory and inflated prices. Good times.

                In fact, I couldn't find Lichido, so I went with the Soho Lychee liquer.

            1. Here's a great cocktail combining lychee & ginger flavors. It is so good.

              Lichido Liqueur
              Canton Ginger Liqueur
              Grapefruit Juice

              Now that's a cocktail befitting the Olympics in China!

              5 Replies
              1. re: Dizzyginger

                What are the proportions, without them it's just a group of ingredients.

                1. re: JMF

                  2 parts Lichido Liqueur
                  2 parts
                  1 part Canton Ginger Liqueur
                  1 part Grapefruit Juice

                  Mix with plenty of ice. Garnish with Lychee Nut or Grapefruit Wedge.

                2. re: Dizzyginger

                  I am curious about the combinations as well. I've never tried lichido liqueur myself either. Seems like a light drink, but does sound like a promising summer drink. I'm wondering if maybe substituting a chinese liquor or beer for the sake, just for the sake of "authenticity"

                  1. re: Icantread

                    I don't know if the beer wouldn't make it taste too bitter?? Sake is mild and doesn't interfere as much with the Lichido and Canton flavors intermingling with the grapefruit juice

                    1. re: Dizzyginger

                      fair enough, and if anything the beer would weaken the alcohol content further.