Summer Cocktail Recipe: Rambutan Martini

by Pamela

summer cocktail, vodka martini, vodka martini recipe, rambutans

Today it’s all about simple and delicious. And by today I mean the day, not some metaphorical now versus then thing. I’m just not that deep. Sure, call me shallow…whatever. After the week I’ve had all I want to do right now is have a rambutan martini (why, look what I have here in my hand….a rambutan martini), a big hammock and a nice long nap. Well, one out of 3 ain’t bad. So let’s just get right to it shall we?

It’s cocktail Friday, so big surprise – I’ve got a cocktail recipe for you (more specifically, a vodka martini recipe). So the cocktail part of this post might not be quite the mystery, but the rambutan part might be.

A rambutan is a Southeast Asian fruit that’s similar to a lychee. You may remember that I made a lychee martini last summer. Rambutans taste very similar to lychees in that they have a slightly tropical flavor (but not strong) and have a similar texture to a grape. They’ve also got a smooth pit in the center of the fruit that you don’t want to eat (it’s definitely not as tasty as the fruit).

A summer cocktail recipe made with rambutans

Probably the strangest thing about rambutans is their outer covering. They’re kind of soft and fuzzy, not like kitten soft and fuzzy, but well…you get the idea.

Melissa’s Produce was kind enough to send me a box of these to play with. When I got them, I put them into a bowl on the counter until I decided what I was going to do with each and every one of them. Craig came home and saw this and immediately thought that I had lost my mind and went crazy on Ebay. He was convinced I had concocted some sort of craft project that required thousands of koosh balls. I’m positive he thought I was going to re-decorate a room by gluing them onto the walls. He began to demand I tell him how much I spent and where the rest of the boxes were, that I was no doubt hiding. Boys are really lucky that some women still find them attractive enough to carry on the species (even though they can be really dumb sometimes).

Once I explained to him (and he finally believed me – only by watching me eat one) that these were not rubber toys, that they were in fact fruits, he finally walked away and left me in peace.

I ate a few right out of their hairy little covers and tossed some into a fruit salad, but decided that another vodka martini recipe would be in order to really showcase the rambutans. I mean, couldn’t we all use a summer cocktail about now?

So summer cocktail it is!

This rambutan martini is simple to make and contains no added sugar (like no simple syrup). I really wanted the subtle flavor (and sweetness) of the fruit to stand out on its own. I paired it with some ginger liqueur and fresh limes.

Being the giver that I am, I made up a nice batch of this summer cocktail and took some to my neighbors (that, and the fact that I bring them baked goods is one of the reasons why they love me). Apparently, a bunch of the women on my street are reading that 50 Shades series of books. So they were all very pleased that they would have a nice little vodka martini to sip while they were savoring the words in the book.

Happy sipping and have a great weekend. I am heading back to my hammock (imaginary as it may be).

Relationship Advice

Hopefully there’s a middle ground.

Somewhere between complicated and simple lies the woman


Recipe: Summer Cocktail Recipe: Rambutan Martini


  • 4-6 Rambutans (peeled)
  • 1/2 Lime (cut into quarters)
  • 1 1/2 Ounces Vodka
  • 1/2 Ounce Ginger Liqueur


  1. In a cocktail shaker, add the rambutans and 2 of the lime quarters.
  2. Muddle the limes and rambutans with a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon. Smash up the rambutans, but avoid smashing the pits as much as possible (its easier to strain them out if they aren’t smashed up to bits).
  3. Pour in the vodka and ginger liqueur.
  4. Add some ice to the shaker, cover and shake well.
  5. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a lime wheel.
  6. Serve

Quick notes

The number of rambutans that you use is determined by how juicy they are. I’ve made this cocktail with 4, but have also needed as many as 6. You’re just looking for a good amount of liquid in the shaker when you muddle the rambutans with the lime. If you need a more exact liquid amount, I’d look for around 1/4 of a cup of liquid once you muddle the rambutans and lime in the shaker.


If rambutans are out of season, you could also make this with lychees. I’d use fresh, but you could also use canned lychees if you drain them first.

Preparation time: 7 minute(s)

Cooking time:

Diet type: Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 1

Culinary tradition: USA (General)


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Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef May 22, 2012 at 5:09 am

Regardless what you call it, the drink sounds delicious!

myfudo May 21, 2012 at 8:00 pm

A real unique treat. I googled the fruit and learned it is a cousin of longan and lychee…Juicy I am sure it is. Found in SouthEast Asia, quite interesting. Thanks for sharing. And thanks for the tips too =)

Dominik MJ • the opinionated alchemist May 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Sounds interesting… however: this is not a Martini cocktail.
Please – do understand: only because it is served in the same glass it is NOT a Martini!

Martini= Gin [purist exclude vodka – but yes – most of us would also agree on vodka], Vermouth – garnish – thats it [ok we could add for the dirty Martini some olive brine – but this is it really!!!].

No liqueur, no juice, no fruit, nothing but mentioned.

I don’t blame you – as it is so common to call these drinks Martini. But this is simply wrong.
However – you could actually call it Rambutan Ginger Kamikaze…

Pamela May 19, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Thanks Dominik, always look forward to your insightful commentary. I called it a martini because most people would recognize it as that. Where the term kamikaze, for many incites thoughts of shots. But you are correct.

Dorothy at Shockinglydelicious May 18, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Oh yeah, that looks tasty! I have my fresh lychees steeping in vodka. Tomorrow is the day!

Pamela May 19, 2012 at 8:36 am

Can’t wait to hear how you like it.

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