Iceberg Cocktail

Iceberg Cocktail
S&C Design Studios
  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)

The name "iceberg" has been used for a few different cocktail recipes over the decades. Whether you're in the mood for vodka or want to float a margarita on your beer, there's an iceberg for you.

The vodka-based iceberg recipe has been around for quite some time. It is an easy, two-ingredient cocktail that can take on two completely different tastes depending on which liqueur you choose. 

For a subtle anise, choose Pernod or another anise-flavored pastis or liqueur. When you're in the mood for a minty drink, go with peppermint schnapps. Either variation makes for a nice winter sipper and the key—especially if you opt for the anise version—is to use a top-shelf vodka. Since it makes up the majority of the drink, it will make a big impact on the overall taste.


  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 teaspoon ​pastis (Pernod, or  peppermint schnapps)

Steps to Make It

  1. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the ingredients.

  2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Tips and Tricks

This iceberg makes an excellent dinner drink, either before or after a meal. The anise version is often preferred as an aperitif and the peppermint would be a good choice for dessert.

While the drink makes a nice presentation when served up in a cocktail glass, it can also be served on the rocks. Simply fill an old-fashioned glass with ice and strain the shaken drink over top.

You have a number of options for an anise liqueur. Pernod is a popular choice and one of the best-known pastis throughout the world. Though they have the same base flavor, French-made pastis tend to be smoother, sweeter, and gentler than anise spirits like absintheouzo from Greece, or raki from Turkey.

Pastis are often served on the rocks with a little water. It's rather similar to the iceberg recipe, which uses both diluted ice and vodka to soften the pastis' flavors. In the recipe, anise's bold flavor is made even gentler by using just a teaspoon, though you can pour a little more to suit your taste.

As far as the timeline of the two liqueurs goes, pastis was most likely the recipe's original liqueur. It does have a strong flavor that can be an acquired taste and is far more common in Europe and Asia. For this reason, it is possible that at some point a bartender poured peppermint schnapps as a substitute to transform the drink into a more palatable option.

A Beer and Margarita Iceberg

There is a more modern cocktail recipe that also takes on the iceberg name. It is an entirely different drink and the name refers to the visual effect that mimics an iceberg floating on top of a glass of beer. It is sometimes called a margarita iceberg or a Mexican iceberg.

For this iceberg, you will begin by blending up a frozen lime margarita. Fill a frosty pint glass about 3/4 full of beer without creating too much of a foamy head. Place a scoop of the margarita slush on top of the beer and watch it float.

This drink is quite tasty and can be adapted in many ways. For the beer, amber ales, light lagers, and citrus beers like Blue Moon are popular choices. You can also choose to rim the glass with a mixture of chili pepper and salt or your favorite margarita rimming ingredient.