Sex on the Beach: A Seductive, Fruity Vodka Cocktail

Sex on the Beach Recipe

The Spruce

  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
314 Calories
8g Fat
15g Carbs
16g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 cocktail (1 serving)
Amount per serving
Calories 314
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 49mg 16%
Sodium 36mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Protein 16g
Calcium 19mg 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.)

Have you had a sex on the beach lately? This popular vodka cocktail is one of those fruity drinks that anyone will enjoy and everyone can make. It's a great tropical highball for hot summer nights or an afternoon at the beach.

The sex on the beach recipe is incredibly easy: simply choose your favorite vodka and add the sweet mix of fruits. You may want to add your own twist by switching to a flavored vodka as well. Start out with either strawberry or coconut as they're both fun additions, but don't stop there. The peach, black currant, orange, and cranberry flavors will host almost any vodka you want to pour.

If you are just starting out as a bartender, you will find that the sex on the beach is a good drink to add to your memory bank. It is one of those that you can turn to next time someone says, "I feel like something different, something fruity."

It should be noted that there are many sex on the beach recipes out there. As the drink spread across the U.S. in the 1980s, bartenders came up with their own versions and kept the provocative name. This just happens to be one of the most popular versions that have been passed around (and even this one has a number of variables).


Click Play to See This Recipe Come Together


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Sex on the Beach Ingredients
    The Spruce 
  2. Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.

    Combined cocktail liquids and orange slices
     The Spruce
  3. Garnish with the orange slice and maraschino cherry.

    2 Sex on the Beach cocktails with fruit
    The Spruce
  4. Serve and enjoy!


Recipe Variation

  • The choice of vodka is not important in this drink. Feel free to use your favorite "well" vodka and save some cash. There are some good and inexpensive vodkas available that are perfect for heavily flavored cocktails like this.

The Crème de Cassis

The one ingredient that you may not have on hand is the crème de cassis, though you now have a good excuse to pick up a bottle. This is a black currant-flavored liqueur that also makes an appearance in the Kir and Chimayo cocktails.

It is not an essential in the bar, but it is nice to have around. Don't worry, it is an inexpensive liqueur. Just look near the schnapps and it should be there.

Though the more traditional recipe for a sex on the beach uses crème de cassis, its infrequent use in the bar has caused many to turn to Chambord as a substitute. The difference between the black currant and black raspberry liqueurs is not significant, so if you stock Chambord, go ahead and use it. Grenadine can also be used.

How Strong Is the Sex on the Beach?

Let's assume that we use an 80-proof vodka with Peachtree Schnapps (48 proof) and pour according to the recipe. In this case, our sex on the beach would have an alcohol content of about 11 percent ABV (22 proof). It is a very average mixed drink, just keep an eye on the number of drinks you have because they can sneak up on you.

The History of the Cocktail

The name alone gives this cocktail its obvious appeal. The "sex on the beach" moniker is fun, suggestive, and great for selling drinks. Where did the drink and its name originate? That is a good question.

It is without fail that the true origins of many of our favorite cocktails are a little hazy. We are talking about alcohol, after all, so it goes with the territory. This drink is no different and there are a few popular stories circulating.

One of the more common accounts of the sex on the beach's creation is a flashback to 1987 and the rise of peach schnapps. It seems that National Distribution, a big liquor distributor, held a contest in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for the bartender who sold the most peach schnapps.

Ted Pizio from the bar Confettis won the $1000 prize. Pizio's mix of vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice and grenadine was a hit. He gave it the name because sex on the beach was one of the main reasons to spend spring break in Ft. Lauderdale.

It is a great story, but according to some bartenders who worked in the 80s, this was not the drink's first appearance. Some claim to have mixed the drink as early as 1981. There are also stories from that early that refer to the Chambord version under the name "Florida sunset."

What Is So Great About this Drink?

There are many things to like about this drink, but it has to be the name that made it famous. The 70s and 80s were filled with tall, fruity, vodka-based drinks and many had the funky, sexy, and sometimes wacky names that get stuck in the minds of drinkers.

The sex on the beach is a perfect example of how a great name can make an otherwise mediocre drink stand out from the crowd. Don't get me wrong—it is a nice drink, just not spectacular. It is the name that makes it memorable and one you'll tell friends about.