Lychee Vinegar Recipe

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Photo from All Day Cocktails/Gavin Green

This recipe comes to us via a buddy of Nick’s, chef Mike Layfield, who he worked with during his stint at Lûmé Mike was in charge of all things fermented at the restaurant and has since moved on to start Felds Farm with his wife, Lauren, just outside of Hobart. Lychee and vinegar are a match made in heaven; the sweet, floral flavours of the lychee are brought back by the funky tartness of the vinegar. You’ll need to start this recipe about six weeks ahead.

Makes approximately 1 litre (34 fl oz/4 cups)


  • 200 g (7 oz) raw honey
  • 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) lychees
  • 1 vinegar mother (see Note)


  1. Combine the honey with 800 ml (27 fl oz) water in a saucepan and heat over a low heat to combine.
  2. Crush the lychees in a sterilised preserving jar and pour the honey water on top. Cover with a piece of muslin (cheesecloth) and leave to ferment for 2 weeks (or until it has stopped bubbling). Strain into a clean glass jar and add the vinegar mother. Seal and leave to sit for a further 4 weeks to allow the alcohol to turn into vinegar. Compost your lychees. The vinegar will last for up to 6 months.

Note: You can buy vinegar mothers at health-food stores.

For another day:

  • Salad dressing. Mix equal parts lychee vinegar, oil and lemon.
  • Make lychee lemonade (lemon soda). Add just a splash.
  • Tropical fruit salad. Mix with equal parts condensed milk and pour over your tropical fruit salad.

Also from All Day Cocktails:

Enjoy cocktails at any time of day with this collection of fresh, creative low- and no-alcohol recipes. Celebrating seasonal ingredients, and with a focus on sustainability, All Day Cocktails showcases nearly fifty varieties of citrus, berries, tropical fruits, stone fruits, pome fruits, vegetables, herbs and nuts. Each variety features a versatile prep recipe that can extend into your cocktails and beyond, meaning All Day Cocktails is much more than your average cocktail book. All Day Cocktails brings you ninety cocktail recipes plus fifty prep recipes, including: bitters, caramels, cordials, coulis, granitas, honeys, jams, jellies, juices, kefirs, liqueurs, sherbets, shrubs, syrups, tisanes and vinegars.

Recipes excerpted with permission from All Day Cocktails: Low (and No) Alcohol Magic by Shaun Byrne and Nick Tesar. Hardie Grant, August 2019, RRP $24.99 Hardcover.

Inspiration for edible alchemy.