While the Sex on the Beach cocktail has a name that will either make you giggle or cringe, there’s no denying that our Sex on the Beach recipe is both easy to craft and delightful to sip.
If you’re like us, the idea of ordering a Sex on the Beach cocktail at a bar makes you cringe with embarrassment. Let’s face it – time hasn’t been kind to the drink’s name or reputation.
Sure, bellying up to the bar and requesting sex on the beach might have been cute back in the 1980s. But that’s also the decade when people were proud to wear acid wash denim and pumped-up shoulder pads.
While we won’t suggest pulling old jeans, pink polo shirts or puffy jackets out of your closet, we do think you should give the Sex on the Beach cocktail a second chance. But this time we encourage you to make it in the privacy of your own home. The fruity drink, which tastes like a vacation in a glass, is as easy to craft as a summer breeze,
What Is A Sex On The Beach Cocktail?
If a Fuzzy Navel and a Cape Codder were to have a baby, that baby would be the Sex on the Beach.
The combination of the Fuzzy’s Navel’s orange juice and peach schnapps with the Cape Codder’s vodka and cranberry juice is pure cocktail magic.
History Of The Sex On The Beach Cocktail
Sex on the Beach became part of pop culture in the 1980s but its exact origin has a few stories which may or may not be true.
The best story involves a bartender named Ted Pizio who gave the people what they wanted at a St. Lauderdale bar. Not only did he create a sweet sensation of a drink, but he also named it after the two things spring break partiers typically seek. The drink eventually became more popular than wet t-shirt contests back when those were a thing.
The 1988 movie Cocktail memorialized the drink for posterity when Tom Cruise stood atop a bar and declared:
I am the last barman poet.
I see America drinking
the fabulous cocktails I make,
Americans getting stinky
on something I stir or shake.
The Sex on the Beach,
the schnapps made from peach,
the Velvet Hammer,
the Alabama Slammer!
Hey, we can’t make this stuff up.
Sex On The Beach Ingredients
The Sex on the Beach cocktail’s ingredients are far less provocative than the drink’s name implies. They include the following:
The four liquid ingredients (vodka, peach schnapps, cranberry juice and orange juice) are added in a 2:1:2:2 ratio. While you should be able to find the two juices at your local market, you’ll likely need to buy the two liquors at a liquor store if you don’t already have them on hand.
Since you don’t need special vodka to craft a Sex on the Beach cocktail, we recommend using what you have in your liquor cabinet. We typically have Absoult vodka on one of our shelves. Absolut is ideal for this recipe since the vodka brand took America by storm during the same decade that the Sex on the Beach cocktail reached peak popularity.
Absolute Vodka has an ABV of 40%.
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If you’re in America, you’re probably going to use DeKuyper’s Peachtree peach schnapps to craft this recipe. It’s not the only peach schnapps on the market, but it’s the most common bottle sold at American liquor stores.
DeKuyper’s sweet peach liqueur has a 15% ABV.
How To Craft A Sex On The Beach Cocktail
Once you’re organized and ready, the first step in this recipe is to fill a highball glass with ice cubes.
Next, measure the four liquid ingredients. We like to use a Japanese jigger for this step as it gives us accurate measurements and pours easily.
Buy a Japanese jigger from Amazon if you need a jigger or want an inexpensive upgrade.
Pour the liquids directly into the highball glass as you measure each.
Gently stir with a bar spoon.
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Garnish the cocktail with an orange wheel and a maraschino cherry or two.
Add a straw if you’re so inclined. Either way, start sipping before the ice begins to melt.
Sex On The Beach Cocktail Alternatives
The Sex on the Beach cocktail may or may not become your new guilty pleasure. If not, consider the following alternatives:
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Did you craft this cocktail? If so, please rate the recipe below.
Sex on the Beach Recipe
- Partially fill a highball glass with ice.
- Pour vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice and cranberry juice into the highball glass.
- Gently stir.
- Garnish with an orange wheel and a maraschino cherry or two.
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 the 2foodtrippers website. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers their unique taste of the world.
Original Publication Date: May 5, 2023