I remember the first time I had sangria. I was 19. For my birthday, I convinced my parents to let me travel around Europe ALONE. When I look back at it, I had no idea where that courage and bravery came from. Now at 29, I’m pretty scared of traveling out of the country by myself. Just thinking about everything that could possibly go wrong already makes me nervous. Anyway, 19 year old Maryanne was different, she was fearless and super independent.
Traveling for my birthday is something I look forward to all year. I just came back from a trip and I am already dreaming about next year’s travels. For my 29th birthday, my family and Alex went to Hawaii. Gone are the days of traveling alone. I prefer to be with family, always. Sometimes who you are with matters more than where you are.
One of my favorite things from Hawaii was the abundance of lychee. Lychee infused water, lychee sorbet, and lychee shaved ice. But the stand out from the bunch was the lychee sangria I had in Kauai. Never before had I though about adding lychees to white wine. It was so cool, refreshing, and flavorful. The light and sweet lychees pair well with a crisp and clean Sauvignon Blanc. Naturally, I had to make my own version back at home.
St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur is my favorite. If it is in a cocktail menu, you bet I’m ordering it. St. Germain surprisingly smells very similar to lychee, making it a perfect addition to my lychee sangria. Plus, it adds a nice aroma that is hard to replicate. To sweeten this drink with even more lychee essence, I used the heavy syrup from the canned lychee. Some thinly sliced limes add a pop of color while also highlighting the citrusy notes of the white wine.
This lychee sangria is a winner. It smells wonderful, tastes great, and is an ideal beverage to sip on during warm summer nights. This was the perfect drink to toast to when my family and I arrived back home from a very enjoyable and memorable family vacation.
Note: Fresh lychees are available at Asian markets. Recently, I found them at Trader Joe’s, but they were twice as expensive. The exterior skin of lychees varies from different shades of red and green. They turn brown when refrigerated, but that doesn’t mean that the fruit has gone bad. Canned lychees can be found at pretty much any supermarket nowadays. The canned lychee photographed above is my favorite. Try to find canned lychee that lists “lychee” as the first ingredient, not sugar or water.
I used Matua Sauvignon Blanc (2013). It is available at Costco and major wine retailers. It tastes amazing and it is very affordable.
This lychee sangria is a winner. Easy to make and super refreshing, it is destined to be a party favorite. It smells wonderful, tastes great, and is an ideal beverage to sip on during warm summer nights.
Yield: about 1 liter
- 750 mL bottle Sauvignon Blanc
- 1/2 cup St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
- 20 oz canned lychee in heavy syrup, drain but reserve syrup
- 3/4 cup reserved lychee syrup
- 2 limes, sliced thin
- fresh lychee, to garnish
- In a large pitcher combine Sauvignon Blanc, St. Germain, drained lychees, 3/4 cup reserved lychee syrup and thinly sliced limes. Cover and let chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours to allow flavors to infuse. (Allowing sangria to chill overnight is best.)
- Stir before serving. Serve chilled, with ice if desired. Garnish with fresh lychees.
The Little Epicurean