Nevada Cocktail

The Nevada Cocktail
The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)

Few rum cocktails are as easy and refreshing as the Nevada cocktail. If you're a fan of grapefruit cocktails, it's a fantastic choice. You can even think of it as an enhanced greyhound served in a pretty package for rum drinkers.

The recipe's been around for a long time. It's a simple mix of rum and grapefruit juice with a hint of lime and a touch of sugar and bitters. Each of the ingredients comes with a few options and the proportions are often tweaked. With a little experimentation, you're sure to find the perfect combination and be able to recreate your ideal Nevada cocktail for anyone who stops by for a visit.


  • 1 1/2 ounces light rum
  • 1 1/2 ounces grapefruit juice
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons superfine sugar
  • Dash bitters
  • Garnish: lime wedge

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the rum, grapefruit and lime juices, sugar, and bitters.

  3. Shake well.

  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime wedge.

  5. Serve and enjoy!


  • Light (or white) rum is often poured into the Nevada cocktail, though some people prefer other styles of rum. Try it with a bold Navy rum, gold or aged rums, or spiced rum to see which you enjoy most.
  • Likewise, fans of this cocktail often have a preference on the grapefruit juice. Experiment with white, pink, or ruby red grapefruit juice.
  • Fresh citrus juices will definitely make a better cocktail. Grapefruits yield a lot of juice (about 5 or 6 ounces), so a single fruit is perfect for a few drinks. For the lime juice, you can make it easy by simply squeezing the juice from one lime into the shaker.
  • There are options for the sugar too! Superfine sugar is often preferred, though you'll often see the suggestion to use powdered sugar in this recipe. To avoid worries about diluting granulated sugar, use 1/2 ounce of simple syrup instead.
  • The bitters are open for interpretation though aromatic bitters (e.g., Angostura) is most common. Play with some of the newer flavors, including grapefruit, lemon, peach, or rhubarb for a fun twist.
  • This is a fantastic drink to serve on the rocks in an old-fashioned glass as well.

Recipe Variations

  • One popular variation pours 2 ounces of rum, 1 ounce of grapefruit juice, then 1/2 ounce each of lime juice and simple syrup (no bitters).
  • Another one is heavier on the lime, mixing 1 1/2 ounces each of rum and lime juice, 1 ounce of grapefruit juice, 3 teaspoons powdered sugar, and bitters.

How Strong Is a Nevada Cocktail?

For a martini-style of drink, the Nevada cocktail is one of the lightest you will find. All that citrus juice brings the alcohol content down to a relaxed 13 percent ABV (26 proof), making it similar to a glass of wine.

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