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Sex on the Beach Cocktail

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.

Sex on the Beach Cocktail from Above Close Up
Image: ©2foodtrippers

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?

Crafting a Sex on the Beach Cocktail
If you’re a fan of the Fuzzy Navel and Cape Cod cocktails, then you’ll likely be a fan of the Sex on the Beach cocktail too. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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 Cocktail
Every drink has a history – even the Sex on the Beach cocktail. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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.

Sex on the Beach Cocktail with Striped Red Straw
Can you remember when you drank your first Sex on the Beach cocktail? If you’re a generation x’er like us, it was probably during the 1980s. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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

Sex on the Beach Cocktail Ingredients
The Sex on the Beach cocktail’s ingredient list includes orange juice, peach schnapps, vodka, cranberry juice and ice cubes (not pictured). Its typical garnishes are an orange slice and a maraschino cherry. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The Sex on the Beach cocktail’s ingredients are far less provocative than the drink’s name implies. They include the following:

  • Vodka
  • Peach Schnapps
  • Cranberry Juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Orange Wheel (for garnish)
  • Maraschino Cherry (for garnish)
  • Ice Cubes

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.

Sex on the Beach Cocktail Next to Absolut Vodka Bottle
Vodka transforms the Sex on the Beach cocktail from a sweet sipper to a potent potable. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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%.

Discover our favorite vodka cocktails.

Sex on the Beach Cocktail with Peach Schnapps Bottle
Without peach schnapps, the Sex on the Beach cocktail would be a Madras cocktail. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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

Sex on the Beach Cocktail Mise en Place
We got jiggy once we assembled the necessary ingredients and bar tools to craft a Sex on the Beach cocktail. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Once you’re organized and ready, the first step in this recipe is to fill a highball glass with ice cubes.

Adding Ice to Sex on the Beach Cocktail
We moved quickly once we added ice to this glass since we didn’t want the ice to melt. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

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.

Discover more colorful cocktails.

Stirring Sex on the Beach Cocktail
We added a few extra ice cubes when we stirred this Sex on the Beach cocktail. Feel free to do the same. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Garnish the cocktail with an orange wheel and a maraschino cherry or two.

Sex on the Beach Cocktail from Above
A striped red straw completed our garnished Sex on the Beach cocktail. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Add a straw if you’re so inclined. Either way, start sipping before the ice begins to melt.

Sex On The Beach Cocktail Alternatives

Crafted Sex on the Beach Cocktail
The best way to determine if you’re a Sex on the Beach fan is to craft a cocktail at home and drink it. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The Sex on the Beach cocktail may or may not become your new guilty pleasure. If not, consider the following alternatives:

  • Add extra peach schnapps to craft a peachier Sex on the Beach cocktail.
  • Leave out the peach schnapps and replace the orange juice with pineapple juice to craft a Bay Breeze cocktail.
  • Leave out the peach schnapps and orange juice to craft a Cape Cod cocktail.
  • Leave out the vodka and cranberry juice to craft a Fuzzy Navel cocktail.
  • Leave out the cranberry juice to craft a Hairy Navel cocktail.
  • Leave out the peach schnapps to craft a Madras cocktail.
  • Leave out the peach schnapps and replace the orange juice with grapefruit juice to craft a Sea Breeze cocktail
  • Leave out the peach schnapps and cranberry juice to craft a Screwdriver.
  • Leave out the orange juice to craft a Woo Woo cocktail.

Discover 10 essential bar tools for the home mixologist.

Did you craft this cocktail? If so, please rate the recipe below.

Sex on the Beach Cocktail
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5 from 1 vote

Sex on the Beach Recipe

The Sex on the Beach cocktail isn't just for vacations. Crafting one at home is easy. And, as a bonus, you don't have to say the name out loud.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Drink
Cuisine: Cocktail
Servings: 1
Calories: 192kcal

Ingredients

  • ounces vodka
  • ¾ ounces peach schnapps
  • 1 ½ ounces orange juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 ½ ounces cranberry juice
  • ice cubes
  • maraschino cherry (garnish)
  • orange wheel (garnish)

Instructions

  • 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.

Estimated Nutrition

Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 0.5g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 118mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 104IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.2mg
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About The Authors

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.

Disclosures

Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

Funding
We purchased the ingredients and tools used to craft this cocktail.

Original Publication Date: May 5, 2023

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