4 Ways to Create Green Cocktails

Transform Your Drinks Into Emerald Delights

Green Melon Japanese HIghball
bhofack2 / Getty Images

Green cocktails have a certain allure, and they're always a ton of fun. The show-stopping color draws you in, while the flavor is generally either fruity, minty, or an herbal blend, depending on the recipe. They're perfect for any party with a green theme, such as St. Patrick's Day, or when you simply want a drink with a bright, uplifting color.

While green liquors are the primary way to create emerald-colored drinks, there are other options. For instance, you can use green fruits, veggies, and herbs, or practice your color mixing skills. Let's explore the ingredients that will help you create the perfect emerald-colored drink.

Use Green Liquor

Green-colored liquors make mixing green drinks incredibly easy. Some, like Midori or a sour apple schnapps, have a brighter green tint than ones like green crème de menthe. Your choice, as well as the other ingredients, will affect how green your drinks turn out.

As long as you mix one of these liquors with ingredients that do not have an intense color of their own (e.g., blue curaçao, Chambord), your drinks should be some shade of green. There are plenty of proven drink recipes available for each, so explore the options while you have a bottle in the bar.

  • Absinthe: Known as "the green fairy," absinthe's anise flavor is not as universally appealing as other options. Since it has a strong taste, many recipes do not use enough absinthe to affect the color. For the greenest absinthe drinks, try the absinthe cocktail or obituary cocktail.
  • Green Chartreuse: This herbal liqueur appears in many fancy and classic cocktails. For an authentic taste with the boldest color, the Chartreuse martini is perfect.
  • Green Crème de Menthe: When you're in a mood for a sweet mint drink, you'll find tons of recipes for this liqueur. It's most often paired with chocolate and cream, though there are some surprising flavor pairings. The strength of the color and quality will vary by brand.
  • Midori Melon Liqueur: Midori is the most popular melon-flavored green liqueur, though there are others available. It's an excellent option for cocktails that anyone will enjoy. A few recipes dilute the color so it's barely noticeable.
  • Sour Apple Schnapps: Hiram Walker, DeKuyper, and other schnapps producers make boldly colored green apple schnapps. They're fun but typically very sour and sweet. You will find it in drinks like the apple martini and green Dublin apple cocktail.
  • Ty Ku Liqueur: A tropical fruit and soju-based liqueur, this one has a neon-green color. It's great for shooters and will hold its color against light mixers, as seen in the hello kitty recipe.
  • UV Green Vodka: This apple-flavored vodka with a bright green color is everywhere. It can turn many vodka cocktails a bright green, but will also affect the drink's flavor.
  • Other Spirits: Now and then, liquor producers create green spirits. You can't miss them on liquor store shelves. Most do not last long on the market, so if you find something you like, stock up.

Use Yellow + Blue = Green

This approach goes back to one of the first lessons in art class: If you mix yellow and blue, you get green. It carries through to drinks and, for the most part, it works pretty well.

For example, mix up a vodka cocktail with pineapple juice and add just a drop of blue curaçao. The drink will be a shade of green. Serve this mix on the rocks and top it off with a splash of clear soda for a quick drink.

Admittedly, there are more green cocktail mixers than there are blue ones, so your choices are limited. You will most likely need to use blue curaçao and Hpnotiq with a yellow mixer for a Hpnotiq margarita or an Incredible Hulk.

Use Green Herbs, Fruits, and Veggies

Fresh ingredients are an excellent option for creating green drinks. While these natural colorings will not produce the same vivid green that the spirits do, the effect is there. It's also hard to beat the fresh taste.

  • Mint: Many favorite cocktails, including the mint julep and mojito, feature this herb and its crisp, refreshing taste.
  • Lime: While limes are used most often as a garnish or accent juice, they can give drinks a lime green color when muddled or blended. Lime-heavy cocktails include the popular caipirinha and frozen lime margarita. Fresh-squeezed limeade is another option.
  • Kiwi: These brilliant little green fruits are a fun addition to drinks such as the kiwi martini and nonalcoholic green lemonade.
  • Cucumber: Fresh from the garden, cucumber cocktails are making a splash on the cocktail scene. Create cucumber ribbons to wrap around the glass to maximize the green appeal.
  • Grape: Opt for green grapes and muddle the sweet juice into your drinks. You can also toss them into a blender for a quick green smoothie.
  • Melon: Choose a green-flesh melon like honeydew for tasty summertime drinks. You can even use it in place of watermelon in many cocktails.
  • Apple: Drinks that focus on fresh green apples are rare though you could at least use a green apple garnish for a splash of color.
  • Green Veggie Juice: For a savory drink, pick up a bottle of green vegetable juice or create a custom blend of your own. It's the key to a green bloody Mary and offers a vitamin boost.
  • Avocado: The guacarita is a popular avocado recipe, and there are a few others out there. To make it, place half an avocado in the blender instead of the strawberries in this strawberry margarita.

Use Artificial Coloring

Every St. Patrick's Day, food coloring makes green beer. The shortcut is not common in cocktails, but it will work in a pinch. To transform a neutral-colored drink into a stunning green delight without altering the taste, add a couple of drops of green food coloring.


These green cocktail recipes are a great place to start if you are looking for a sure bet.