China Martini Cocktail Recipe

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China Martini Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 16, 2024


The China Martini is an exotic twist on the classic Martini, infusing the traditional gin and vermouth base with the sweet and fragrant notes of lychee and a hint of citrus from the triple sec. It's a relatively modern concoction, likely inspired by the global trend of incorporating Asian flavors into Western-style cocktails. This drink is perfect for those who appreciate a balance of sweet and strong flavors, and it's especially popular among fans of fruit-infused cocktails.

  • Origin: Modern creation
  • Popularity: Enjoyed by those who like fruit-forward cocktails
  • Best Enjoyed: As an aperitif or at a sophisticated cocktail party

How China Martini Tastes?

The China Martini offers a harmonious blend of botanical gin notes with the lush sweetness of lychee, complemented by a subtle citrus undertone from the triple sec. The dry vermouth provides a sophisticated herbal counterpoint, creating a cocktail that is both aromatic and complex. It's a sweet, yet strong drink with a silky texture and a lingering floral aftertaste.

Interesting facts about China Martini

  • The lychee fruit originates from China, which is likely the inspiration for the cocktail's name.
  • Lychee liqueurs are often used in cocktails to add a unique, sweet and floral flavor that is hard to replicate with other ingredients.
  • The China Martini can be considered a 'New World' cocktail, blending Eastern flavors with Western mixology techniques.


A few good options for China Martini are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose

Hayman's London Dry Gin

The sturdy backbone of any martini, Hayman's provides a classic dry profile which perfectly complements the sweet lychee liqueur. No gin, no grin! Without it, you'd miss the herbal kick that defines a martini. Try using a different brand of London Dry Gin if Hayman's isn't on your shelf—each has its own botanical nuances, which can slightly alter the drink's character.

Emma Rose

Kwai Feh Lychee Liqueur

This sweet, floral liqueur introduces an exotic twist to the cocktail, adding a touch of the East. Without it, you'd lose the 'China' in your China Martini! If you can't find Kwai Feh, any lychee liqueur will do—though flavors may vary.

Mary Mitkina

De Kuyper Triple Sec

A dash of Triple Sec gives a kick of orangey zest, lifting the overall flavor profile. Leaving it out would make the cocktail less complex. Cointreau could be a classy substitute if you're feeling fancy.

Alex Green

Dry Vermouth

It's all about balance. Dry Vermouth brings herbaceous notes and a necessary dryness, keeping the drink sophisticated and not too sweet. Substitute with another dry vermouth if need be—each one will bring its own herbal whisper to the mix.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make China Martini Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Pour in the London Dry Gin, Kwai Feh lychee liqueur, Triple Sec, and Dry Vermouth.
  3. Stir all ingredients with a bar spoon until well chilled.
  4. Fine strain into a chilled martini glass.
  5. Optionally garnish with a lychee fruit on a cocktail skewer.

Pro Tips

  • Always use fresh ice when stirring to ensure the drink is properly chilled without being overly diluted.
  • Chilling the martini glass before serving helps maintain the cocktail's temperature.
  • For a more pronounced lychee flavor, you can infuse the gin with fresh lychees for a few hours before making the cocktail.

Perfect Pairings


  • Dim Sum: The delicate flavors of steamed or fried dumplings complement the lychee and citrus notes of the China Martini.
  • Sushi: Especially with light fish like snapper, the clean flavors pair nicely without overwhelming the palate.


  • Mango Sticky Rice: The sweetness of the mango and the rich rice balance the sharpness of the gin.
  • Lychee Sorbet: Echoes the lychee liqueur in the cocktail for a refreshing pairing.


  • Goat Cheese: Its tanginess will balance the sweet and citrus elements of the drink.


  • Roasted Nuts: Salty and crunchy snacks are always a winning combo with a martini-style drink.

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What you could change in China Martini

  • If Hayman's London Dry Gin is not available, any high-quality London Dry Gin can be used.
  • Cointreau can be a suitable substitute for De Kuyper Triple Sec for a slightly more refined citrus flavor.
  • In the absence of Kwai Feh, any quality lychee liqueur can be used, though the flavor profile may vary slightly.

Explore all drinks starting with C here

And of course - twists🍹

Lychee Rose Martini

  • Add 0.25 oz of rose water to infuse a floral bouquet. The cocktail will have a more pronounced floral note, enhancing the lychee's sweetness and creating a more romantic profile.

Spicy China Martini

  • Muddle a small slice of jalapeño pepper in the mixing glass before adding the other ingredients. The spice will offer a fiery contrast to the sweetness, which daring palates might enjoy.

Eastern Breeze Martini

  • Substitute the triple sec with 0.25 oz of sake and add a dash of cucumber juice. It will bring a more subtle citrus flavor with a crisp fresh finish, ideal for those looking for a lighter touch on the palate.

In case you forgot basics how to make China Martini

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on China Martini

How can I make the China Martini if I'm allergic to lychee?

You can substitute the lychee liqueur with another fruit liqueur of your preference that doesn't trigger your allergy, keeping in mind this will alter the flavor profile of the cocktail.

Is the China Martini suitable for vegans?

Yes, the China Martini ingredients listed are vegan-friendly, but always check individual brand ingredients to ensure they align with vegan standards.

What is the best time to serve a China Martini?

The China Martini, being rich and aromatic, is an excellent choice for pre-dinner drinks or a sophisticated cocktail hour.

Can I make a large batch of China Martini for a party?

Yes, you can pre-mix a larger quantity, keeping the ratios consistent. Serve it stirred with ice and strained into individual glasses to maintain the proper dilution and temperature.

What are some common garnishes for a China Martini?

Apart from a lychee fruit, you can garnish with a twist of orange peel or a cocktail cherry to complement the fruity flavors.

How long does it take to properly chill a martini glass?

Chilling a martini glass in the freezer for about 20 minutes should suffice; otherwise, fill it with ice and cold water for a quick chill while you mix the drink.

What's the difference between stirring and shaking a martini?

Stirring gently chills and dilutes a martini without adding air bubbles, providing a clear and smooth drink, while shaking creates a colder, slightly frothy cocktail with tiny ice shards.

Can I use a different vermouth if I don't have Dry Vermouth?

While dry vermouth is recommended for a China Martini, you can experiment with other vermouths like Blanc or even a sweet vermouth, though this will change the cocktail's character.

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