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Strawberry lychee “nojitos” are the perfect mocktails for summer

Old fahioned lychee cocktail on the rustic background
Photo credit: Mindstyle/Getty Images

You’re probably already in the habit of labeling which batch of brownies has nuts in it, or even grabbing a gluten-free crust for pizza night. Now, it’s time to think about clever drink options for guests who are avoiding alcohol — and they’re sure to enjoy this strawberry lychee nojito recipe.

Making a round of nojitos isn’t difficult, but it takes a bit more effort than, say, cracking open a can of sparkling water that tastes like the memory of a fruit. But trust me: For guests and loved ones who aren’t looking to get boozed up, this recipe is worth the time. 

MORE: Sweet & fruity faux champagne recipe

For this nojito recipe, you’ll need:

  • 1 can (20 ounces) lychees in syrup, with juice reserved
  • 1 pint strawberries, stemmed
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 2  bottles (20 ounces) club soda, seltzer or clear carbonated drink such as 7Up

The key to a mojito is muddling the sugar and mint together so that the fresh herbaceousness comes through, and the same principle applies with or without the booze. 

Start by putting two strawberries (minus the stems) and two lychees in the bottom of a glass with a few fresh mint leaves. Use a muddler (or the thick end of a spoon) to crush and twist the fruit and mint together. 

MORE: Re-create the Starbucks banana frappuccino with this at-home recipe

Once it’s all mushed together (and smells amazing), fill the rest of the glass with soda water and a good splash of juice from the canned lychees. Add more juice if you like your nojito on the sweeter side; you can use a clear soda like 7Up or Sprite instead of seltzer, too.

Strawberry lychee "nojitos"

Yield 4 12-ounce drinks plus extra fruit

Ingredients

  • 1 can (20 ounces) lychees in syrup, with juice reserved
  • 1 pint strawberries, stemmed
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 2  bottles (20 ounces) club soda, seltzer or clear carbonated drink such as 7Up

Instructions

  1. Place 2 strawberries, 2 lychees and 3–5 mint leaves in each glass and muddle together until well combined and fragrant.
  2. Fill each glass nearly full with soda water. 
  3. Add 1–2 tablespoons lychee syrup to each glass and adjust sweetness to preference with lychee syrup.

Notes

  • Add a tiny umbrella for maximum summertime fanciness.
  • Tall, skinny Mason jars are ideal for this, but any highball glass with a sturdy bottom will do. 
  • If you're making a batch for a crowd, avoid the temptation to muddle too far ahead of time; you’ll lose the fragrance and color of the mint. Instead, set up a DIY bar with all the fixings, and mix the first round yourself. After that, folks can help themselves and mix as they like. 

If you’re looking for more non-alcoholic summer drink options, check out our copycat banana frappuccino recipe below.

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