Sex on the Beach Cocktail

Sex on the Beach Recipe

The Spruce Eats

  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Serving: 1 serving
  • Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
314 Calories
8g Fat
15g Carbs
16g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
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.)

A fruity vodka cocktail with a fun and provocative name, the sex on the beach has been a popular cocktail since the 1980s. There are many recipes for this drink because bartenders often came up with their own versions as it spread across the U.S. This is one of the most popular, though it also has a few variables.

Sex on the beach recipes have two main things in common: vodka and lots of fruit flavors. The majority also include peach schnapps and orange and cranberry juices. Essentially a spiked tropical fruit punch, it's very easy to mix up and rather delicious, especially on a hot summer day (on the beach, of course).

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 sweet blend of fruit flavors will host almost any vodka you want to pour.


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Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Sex on the Beach Ingredients
    The Spruce 
  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes, pour all of the ingredients.

    Combined cocktail liquids and orange slices
     The Spruce
  3. Shake well.

  4. Strain into a highball glass.

  5. Garnish with the orange slice and maraschino cherry.

    2 Sex on the Beach cocktails with fruit
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  6. Serve and enjoy!


Is There a Good Substitute for Crème de Cassis?

Crème de cassis is a black currant-flavored liqueur that also makes an appearance in the Kir and Chimayo cocktails. While not essential in the bar, it's a nice, inexpensive liqueur to have around. Though it's key in the more traditional sex on the beach recipe, 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. Grenadine can also be used.

Where Was the Sex on the Beach Created?

It is without fail that the true origins of many famous cocktails are a little hazy. 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 points to 1987 and the rise of peach schnapps. Reportedly, liquor distributor National Distribution held a contest in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to see which bartender could sell the most peach schnapps. Ted Pizio from the bar Confettis won the $1000 prize thanks to his mix of vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice, and grenadine. 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. 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."

Why Is It Called Sex on the Beach?

Since the origin is unclear, the true meaning behind the name is as well. However, it likely stems from a scenario similar to the spring break theory. 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. "Sex on the beach" is fun, suggestive, and great for selling drinks. It's a memorable name and one you'll tell friends about.

How Strong Is the Sex on the Beach?

The sex on the beach is made primarily of nonalcoholic mixers, so it's not as strong as you might expect. On average, the alcohol content falls in the 11 percent ABV (22 proof) range. It is a very average mixed drink, but it's easy to drink, too. This one can sneak up on you.