Inspired by one of Hollywood’s top actresses during Prohibition, the Mary Pickford cocktail is a tasty tipple that has passed the test of time. It’s also easy to craft with just a handful of ingredients.
Move over Dirty Shirley! We have a new favorite cocktail that’s named after another 20th century actress. It’s also sweet and has a homespun yet sophisticated appeal.
But, unlike the Dirty Shirley, the Mary Pickford’s sweetness has subtlety. It’s also pink – very pink – a cocktail color that always makes us smile.
Discover more cocktails in colors that span the rainbow.
What Is The Mary Pickford Cocktail?
The Mary Pickford cocktail is crafted with two liquors (white rum and maraschino liqueur), pineapple juice and grenadine syrup. A maraschino cherry garnish completes the classic cocktail.
It’s also a cocktail with a history as colorful as its namesake.
History Of The Mary Pickford Cocktail
Born Gladys Smith in Canada, Mary Pickford was so popular in Hollywood that she acquired a third name – America’s Sweetheart. She won an Oscar, married Douglas Fairbanks and co-founded United Artists with Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith.
Ironically, her many accomplishments didn’t include inventing the cocktail with her name.
That mixology honor most likely goes to a New York bartender working at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba. Legend has it that Eddie Woelke crafted the cocktail for Pickford when the mega-star traveled to Havana, along with Chaplin and Fairbanks, during the roaring 20s.
But let’s be real. A Vanity Fair article proved that Pickford, Chaplin and Fairbanks never traveled to Cuba during that decade. However, like most cocktail legends, it’s a story worth retelling.
Despite the Mary Pickford’s questionable origin, there’s no question that the cocktail gained notoriety when it appeared in Basil Woon’s 1928 book When It’s Cocktail Time in Cuba and in Harry Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book two years later. It quickly gained fame thanks to its name, color and recipe.
The cocktail has evolved over the past century. Its original recipe included just three ingredients – white Bacardi rum, fresh pineapple juice and a dash of grenadine. Over time, maraschino liqueur was added to the mix and the ingredient ratio shifted. Plus, many bartenders no longer use fresh pineapple juice.
But some things have remained the same – the Mary Pickford drink is still pink and it tastes as delightful as ever
Mary Pickford Ingredients
The Mary Pickford cocktail doesn’t require any unique ingredients despite its storied past. These are the only required items:
We channeled the original recipe by using Bacardi Carta Blanca rum. Now distilled in Puerto Rico, this popular rum has a 37.5% ABV. However, your favorite white rum will work well too.
Discover our favorite rum cocktails.
Luxardo produces our preferred maraschino liqueur which should be no surprise since we’re obsessed with the Italian company’s maraschino cherries.
We initially bought a bottle of Luxardo maraschino liqueur, which has a 32% ABV, to craft Hemingway Daiquiris and have since used it to craft cocktails like the Aviation, Brooklyn, Martinez and Last Word. We can now add the Mary Pickford to this eclectic cocktail list.
Discover our favorite maraschino liqueur cocktails.
We recommend using grenadine syrup produced by Monin. This French company doesn’t add any artificial colors or flavors to its bright red pomegranate syrup which makes it better than other commercial grenadine syrups. You can buy a bottle of Monin grenadine syrup from Amazon.
Discover our favorite grenadine cocktails.
We mentioned that we’re obsessed with Luxardo cherries and that hasn’t changed over the years.
Buy a jar of Luxardo cherries from Amazon.
How to Craft A Mary Pickford Cocktail
This easy Mary Pickford cocktail recipe only requires the following basic bar tools:
Discover 10 essential bar tools for the home mixologist.
Once you gather the Mary Pickford’s bar tools and ingredients, the first step is to measure the white rum and pineapple juice with a jigger. We use a Japanese jigger for this step to ensure clean, accurate pours.
Buy a Japanese Jigger from Amazon if you don’t have a jigger or want an inexpensive upgrade.
Immediately pour the rum and juice directly into a shaker. We use a Boston shaker in this and other recipes both for ease of use and tidiness.
Buy a Boston shaker from Amazon if you don’t have a shaker or if you want to improve your at-home mixology experience.
Measure the grenadine and maraschino liqueur with a measuring spoon and pour each into the same shaker.
Add ice and shake until the ingredients are chilled and combined – approximately 20 seconds.
Once shaken, the drink will be frothy thanks to the pineapple juice.
Strain the shaken ingredients into a coupe glass.
Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
Pause to admire the Mary Pickford’s pretty pink color. It’s a stunner!
Mary Pickford Drink Alternatives
Feel free to experiment with the Mary Pickford recipe. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Mary Pickford Cocktail FAQs
A Mary Pickford cocktail is a Prohibition cocktail named after a famous actress of that era.
The Mary Pickford cocktail was invented in Havana. However, the namesake actress was not in Cuba when the classic cocktail was invented.
White Rum, Maraschino Liqueur, Grenadine, Pineapple Juice, Ice Cubes (for shaking) and a Maraschino Cherry (garnish)
The Mary Pickford cocktail is shaken, not stirred.
Mary Pickford Cocktail Recipe
- 2 ounces white rum
- 2 ounces pineapple
- 2 teaspoons grenadine
- 1 teaspoon maraschino liqueur
- 1 maraschino cherry (for garnish)
- ice cubes (for shaking)
- Pour white rum, pineapple juice, grenadine and maraschino liqueur into a shaker.
- Add several ice cubes and shake vigorously until liquids are chilled and mixed - approximately 20 seconds.
- Strain into a coupe glass.
- Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Japanese Jigger - Premium Double Cocktail Jigger, 1oz/2oz made from Stainless Steel 304
Premium Cocktail Shaker Set: Two-Piece Pro Boston Shaker Set. Unweighted 18oz & Weighted 28oz Martini Drink Shaker made from Stainless Steel 304
OXO SteeL Cocktail Strainer
OXO Good Grips 6-Piece Plastic Measuring Spoons with Scraper- White
Monin - Grenadine Syrup, Delightfully Sweet, Natural Flavors, Great for Cocktails, Mocktails, Sodas, and Smoothies, Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free (750 Milliliters)
Luxardo, Gourmet Cocktail Maraschino Cherries 400G Jar
15PCS Cocktail Picks, Upgrade Stainless Steel Martini Picks, Reusable Metal Cocktail Skewers, 4.3 Inches Cocktail Toothpicks for Martinis Olives Appetizers Sandwich by FATLODA
Thirsty For More Cocktails?
Try our Absinthe Frappe, Amaretto Sour, Americano, Aperol Spritz, Aviation, Bee’s Knees, Bellini, Between the Sheets, Bijou, Black Russian, Boulevardier, Brandy Alexander, Bronx, Brooklyn, Brown Derby, Café Maria Theresia, Caipirinha, Clover Club, Coquito, Corpse Reviver #2, Cosmopolitan, Creamsicle, Cuba Libre, Daiquiri, Dark and Stormy, Diplomat, Dirty Shirley, Eggnog, Emerald, Espresso Martini, French 75, French Connection, Fuzzy Navel, G+T, Garibaldi, Gibson, Gimlet, Gold Rush, Grasshopper, Hanky Panky, Hemingway Daiquiri, Hugo Spritz, Hurricane, Irish Coffee, Jungle Bird, Kentucky Mule, Kir Royale, Last Word, Lemon Drop Martini, Limoncello Spritz, Mai Tai, Manhattan, Maple Bourbon Smash, Margarita, Martinez, Mauresque, Milk Punch, Mind Eraser, Mint Julep, Mojito, Moscow Mule, Mudslide, Negroni, Negroni Sbagliato, New York Sour, Old Fashioned, Old Pal, Paloma, Paper Plane, Pimm’s Cup, Pina Colada, Pink Lady, Pisco Sour, Porto Tonico, Ramos Gin Fizz, Ranch Water, Revolver, Rum Old Fashioned, Sazerac, Sex on the Beach, Sidecar, Siesta, Spicy Margarita, Tequila Sunrise, Tipperary, Tom Collins, Tomate, Vesper Martini, Vieux Carré, Whiskey Ginger,Whiskey Sour, White Lady, White Russian and Woo Woo cocktail recipes.
View the latest Web Story.
Pin It For Later
About The Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on their website 2foodtrippers. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers a unique taste of the world.
Original Publication Date: July 6, 2023