This simple recipe for Homemade Lychee Syrup features real, fresh lychees, sugar and water. It's a sweet, floral and fruity syrup that imparts a delicate fragrance in drinks or desserts.
I've always liked making my own simple syrups.
Commercially-made syrups usually contain artificial flavours, colours and preservatives, and it's so easy to make your own at home.
One of my favourite summer fruits is lychee.
What is lychee?
Lychee is a small, round tropical fruit with a white, soft, juicy flesh and a red-green rough textured rind/skin.
It contains a dark brown inedible seed in the middle.
The lychee skin turns from green to dark red as it ripens.
What does lychee taste like?
Ripe lychees taste sweet and impart a strong floral fragrance, similar to rose.
They're juicy, and have a texture similar to longan or rambutan.
How to choose fresh lychee
Look for lychee with bright red pebbly skin, about 1" in diameter.
They should be sold in a cluster, rather than individual.
The lychee should have a sweet fragrance, indicating it is ripe.
Why you'll love this recipe
This Lychee Syrup is truly simple to make.
It's a versatile syrup that you can add into iced summer drinks or used in desserts as a cake syrup.
There's only 3 ingredients!
Only 3 ingredients
- lychees: peeled; fresh is best if available; you can use canned as well, just be sure to drain the lychees before using
- granulated sugar: I used cane sugar, which does impart a little bit of a yellow colour to the syrup; you can use white granulated sugar if you prefer
Tools you'll need
- small saucepan
- muddler: or use the back of a wooden spoon; helps to extract the lychee juice from the fruit
- small sieve: used to strain out the lychee pieces
- funnel: only necessary if pouring into a jar with small opening
How to make it
Add the water and sugar to the saucepan.
Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Add in the lychees and give it a stir, pressing lightly on the fruit. (Note: lychees will release additional liquid).
Let the syrup reduce and thicken, until it can lightly coat the back of a spoon (reaching a consistency similar to maple syrup).
Pour the syrup along with the lychees into a jar, and let cool.
Once cool, place the syrup into the fridge for 1 hour to let the flavour from the lychees permeate the syrup.
Pour the lychee syrup through a sieve into a clean glass jar (press lightly on the lychees to extract their juice). Use a funnel if transferring into a small opening. (You can discard the lychees, or eat them -- however, they may be a little sweet).
How to store the syrup
Store the Lychee Syrup in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
How to use the syrup
Use the Homemade Lychee Syrup as a flavoured simple syrup.
It's great in drinks, especially fruity or alcoholic drinks.
Try it in my Raspberry Lychee Fizz.
Pair the syrup with shaved or crushed ice, like a snow cone.
Alternatively, use it as a cake soak, or syrup for Almond Croissants.
For an elevated Lychee Syrup with even more floral flavour, you can add a touch of rose water.
FAQs & troubleshooting
Can I use canned lychees?
Yes, you can use canned lychees. Just be sure to drain the lychees first before adding to the syrup.
Note: some canned lychees in syrup contain citric acid which gives the lychees an acidic/tinny taste. Place the lychees in a colander and give them a rinse under running water. Then drain and then proceed with the recipe.
My syrup is a little runny
Using fresh lychees will make the syrup a little runny initially as the fruit will release liquid. Just extend the cooking time to reduce the amount of liquid. We're aiming for a consistency similar to maple syrup.
Can I store the syrup at room temperature?
No. This syrup doesn't contain any preservatives, so it's best to keep it stored in the fridge.
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Homemade Lychee Syrup
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 125 ml water
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 12 fresh lychees peeled (or canned)
- To a small saucepan, add the water and sugar.
- Heat over medium heat and bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Add in the lychees and give it a stir, pressing lightly on the fruit. (Note: lychees will release additional liquid).
- Let the syrup reduce and thicken, stirring occasionally, until it can lightly coat the back of a spoon (with a consistency similar to maple syrup).
- Pour the syrup along with the lychees into a jar, and let cool.
- Once cool, place the syrup into the fridge for 1 hour to let the flavour from the lychees permeate the syrup.
- Pour the cooled lychee syrup through a sieve into a clean glass jar (press lightly on the lychees to extract their juice). Use a funnel if transferring into a small opening. (You can discard the lychees, or eat them -- however, they may be a little sweet. I like throwing them into a smoothie).
- Use as you would in flavouring drinks or desserts.
- Store the syrup in the fridge for up to 1 week.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.