Salty Lychee Cocktail
Lychee cocktails are always popular, but in this one, a salted lychee soda gets an added boost from pineapple juice and the chocolatey notes of a malt spirit
It’s not often that we get to buy “new make” spirit, i.e. unaged whisky. Redlands Estate in Tasmania (now known as Old Kempton Distillery) are one of the few producers who make what we call paddock to bottle spirits, including whisky. What that means is that they grow their own barley, which they then malt and ferment to make whisky. We were lucky enough to lay our hands on their malt spirit, which they sold in 375ml bottles in the earlier years (it’s now no longer available, although they do a lavender malt). The malt spirit had a yeasty flavour but also lovely tropical notes, plus a malty chocolate flavour that lingers at the back. It made sense to include some pineapple juice in the cocktail to draw out those tropical notes but what really made the whole thing pop was the salted lychee soda, which we found in the aisle in the local supermarket.
The Hopt Salted Lychee soda is made in New Zealand and uses real hop extracts as well as lychee juice with a bit of salt. Hops, which most people would commonly associate with beer, adds a bitter balance to the sweetness of the lychee. Combined with the pineapple and malt spirit, this is a simple 3 ingredient highball style drink that is really refreshing to drink!
60ml Redlands Malt Spirit (now Old Kempton Distillery)*
60ml pineapple juice - we actually used the one from the can
120ml Hopt Salted Lychee soda
Combine malt spirit and pineapple juice in tall glass. Stir then fill with ice. Pour in soda and give a gentle stir to mix everything together. Garnish with dried pineapple and mint. We also froze some ice balls with mint in them, which is what we used to fill the glass but you can use normal ice of course.
*If you don’t have any of the Redlands malt spirit, try this out with any other “new make” spirit (may also be referred to as “white dog” or “moonshine”) you may have from any other distillery, though you may have to adjust the pineapple juice depending on the sweetness of the malt spirit used.