The Bocce Ball

The Bocce Ball

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
228 Calories
0g Fat
24g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 228
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 5mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 20g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 88mg 438%
Calcium 29mg 2%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 344mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The bocce ball is a tall, refreshing juice highball with a recipe that's popular enough to memorize. It is a simple mixed drink, although there are a few ways to make it.

The main elements in any bocce ball are amaretto and orange juice. The almond notes pair very well with citrus, creating a fun twist on the average orange juice highball.

Some variations, like this one, include a shot of vodka and opt for less amaretto, creating a drink that is more similar to the screwdriver. A splash of soda water also adds a touch of air to the drink, making it a bit more refreshing.

"This is simply a fantastic cocktail. Amaretto and orange play well with each other as vodka brings weight to the party, and the soda water adds texture to the already good time. It is rare that a cocktail hits all the right categories of texture, mouthfeel, and taste; this one does." —Sean Johnson

Bocceball Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka

  • 1/2 ounce amaretto liqueur

  • 5 ounces orange juice

  • Splash soda water

  • Orange slice, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    The Bocce Ball ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Pour the vodka, amaretto, and orange juice into a tall Collins glass filled with ice.

    Pour the vodka, amaretto, and orange juice into a tall Collins glass filled with ice

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Add a splash of soda water.

    The Bocce Ball with soda water in a glass

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Garnish with an orange slice, and serve.

    The Bocce Ball in a glass, garnished with orange slices

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

You might also consider switching to a flavored vodka to add more dimension. Citrus vodkas or any light fruit flavors are great options, and cake or whipped cream vodkas can add a sweet, creamy background.

Vodka-Free Version

This recipe is the straight amaretto and juice version of the bocce ball, and it's equally delicious. It is a nice option for those days when you want a lower-proof drink and it is perfect for a casual brunch when made with fresh orange juice.

Again, the soda is a nice finishing touch that lightens up the drink, though you can easily skip it.

To make this drink, pour 2 ounces of amaretto into an ice-filled collins glass. Add fresh orange juice and a splash of club soda.

The Bocce Ball Bomb Shot

The bocce ball's ingredients can also be used to create a bomb shot, which is when a shot of liquor is dropped into a tall glass filled with a second beverage. Amaretto and orange juice are all that you will need, and you will find that it is considerably less intense than the Irish slammer or Jäger bomb. You don't have to fill the pint glass with orange juice. Instead, pour just 4 to 5 ounces, or fill the glass about 1/3 of the way full. Fill a shot glass with amaretto, then drop the shot into the pint glass and drink.

How Strong Are These Bocce Ball Drinks?

Surprisingly, despite the hard liquor, these bocce ball drinks are not much stronger than the average beer or glass of wine. The vodka does make the first recipe the strongest of the three, though each is nice and mild in comparison to many other cocktails.

To estimate their strength, let's assume that we poured an amaretto that's on the low end of the liqueur's spectrum, just 42 proof. For the vodka, we'll use the 80-proof standard because there are only a few bottles around that go above that. Each drink would be approximately the following strength:

  • Bocce ball with vodka: 8 percent ABV (16 proof)
  • Bocce ball without vodka: 5 percent ABV (10 proof)
  • Bocce ball bomb shot: 6 percent ABV (12 proof)