The Grinch Cocktail

Grinch cocktail recipe

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
28 Calories
0g Fat
7g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 28
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 4mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 3mg 14%
Calcium 5mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 36mg 1%
*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.)

As you might imagine, "The Grinch," inspired by Dr. Seuss's classic character, is a popular name for green cocktails around the holiday season. It is most often made with Midori, which not only gives the cocktail its sweet melon flavor but also that signature green color. In true Grinch fashion, the drink is garnished with a cherry, strawberry, or other red fruit to represent the character's heart.

Among all of the drink recipes that have taken on the name, this fruity martini is considered the original and is the Grinch recipe you will find in almost every bartending guide. Other Grinch cocktails add vodka; there's also a rum recipe with a tropical fruit twist, and even a tall absinthe-melon drink that is simply fascinating. All of the variations are incredibly tasty; which you choose will depend on your personal taste and mood. Have fun with these and you're sure to find a little of that Christmas cheer.


  • 2 ounces melon liqueur

  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon simple syrup

  • Maraschino cherry, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for the Grinch Cocktail

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  2. In a cocktail shaker, pour the melon liqueur, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Fill with ice.

    Mixing a Grinch Cocktail

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  3. Shake well.

    Shaking a Grinch Cocktail

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  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

    Straining a Grinch Cocktail

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  5. Garnish with a maraschino cherry. Serve and enjoy.

    Grinch Cocktail With a Maraschino Cherry

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  • Since it has a liqueur base, don't add too much syrup or the Grinch will be too sweet. The lemon juice counteracts that and should give the drink a nice balance of sweet and sour. Add a little more lemon if you're using a rich simple syrup or store-bought brand.
  • Fresh lemon juice is highly recommended because bottled versions are often sweetened, which is the last thing you want in this drink. A large lemon can yield 1 3/4 ounce of juice and that's enough for three cocktails.
  • Midori may be the most popular, but it's not the only green melon liqueur available. Explore other brands that you come across to see if you have a preference; the Grinch is an excellent cocktail for comparing them.

Recipe Variations

  • Adding vodka is a popular way to give the Grinch a little kick while retaining the flavor. Keep the recipe's syrup and lemon juice, and pour 1 1/2 ounces Midori and 1 ounce of vodka. Bring in a little extra flavor with a flavored vodka; cucumber is a perfect pairing for melon and citrus vodkas are a nice, subtle accent as well.
  • For a rum-laced Grinch, try this tropical mixed drink: Shake 1 ounce each of Midori, coconut rum, and banana liqueur with ice. Strain into an old-fashioned glass over fresh ice, add a splash of lemon-lime soda, and garnish with a cherry or strawberry. Make it in a tall glass and add more soda if you like.
  • Absinthe will also produce a green cocktail and when paired with melon liqueur, its anise flavor creates a very interesting Grinch recipe. If you are a fan of classically styled cocktails and shy away from sweet martinis, this is the Grinch you should try: Build 1 ounce of absinthe, 1 1/2 ounces of melon liqueur, and 1/2 ounce of lime juice in a tall glass filled with ice. Top with ginger ale and garnish with a cherry.

How Strong Is the Grinch Cocktail?

Sweet, fruity cocktails are deceptive and not always as light as you may think. The average alcohol content for the original Grinch is 14 percent ABV (28 proof). With vodka or rum, it will fall in the 20 percent ABV (40 proof) range, or about the strength of the cosmopolitan. Because it includes soda, the absinthe Grinch is milder and can be as low as 11 percent ABV (22 proof) when made with 3 ounces of ginger ale.