All About Sex on the Beach

Everything you need to know about the summer cocktail
April 08, 2022
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Sex on the Beach is one of the most refreshing summer cocktails | © Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock

There is no other drink that brings the image of lazing on the beach during an arid summer day to life more than the notorious Sex on the Beach cocktail.

It is no surprise that it originated from the USA’s east coast – the Sunshine State of Florida, to be more precise. The mixture of chilled orange, cranberry juice, peach schnapps, and Vodka gives the perfect hit to wind down your day. 

But there’s so much more going for this rejuvenating beverage, beginning with its provocative name. Here’s some interesting scoop about the mainstay of cocktail menus. 


Of course, the first thing that makes one wonder about the drink is its extraordinary name. How did the Sex on the Beach cocktail get christened? 

© @my.favouritefood / Instagram

While there are a few stories behind it, it is mostly believed that the drink was created and named by bartender Ted Pizio at Confetti’s Bar in Florida during the 1980s.

Inspired by an ad from a peach schnapps company, he came up with the idea of the invigorating fruity brew and named it for what he thought were the two most popular tourist attractions of Spring Break – the beach and sex.

Hall of Fame

Unsurprisingly, the popularity of the boozy drink shot up quickly. The very next year after its conception, it made its appearance in the film Cocktail

The film features Tom Cruise, who plays the role of a full-time business student and part-time bartender. The famous scene is of him reciting a poem, mentioning how Sex on the Beach cocktail has gone down in the annals of cinema history. It was also the catalyst that made the boozy brew reach far out into the world.

Cocktail – The Last Barman Poet | © nafanek / YouTube

Another recent artistic connection is the song Cake By the Ocean by DNCE. It is said that the name of the song came up after the name of the drink got lost in translation with the Swedish producers working on the band.  

What’s in it

Burst of flavours | © @mehrnazed / Instagram

This cocktail is an explosion of citrus and berry flavors. The fresh and tangy ingredients add a punch to the taste and make the drink eye-candy as well. Quite befitting the name, eh!

Here’s what goes into the drink:

40ml Vodka
20ml Peach schnapps
40ml Orange juice
40ml Cranberry juice
Ice cubes
Orange wedge and maraschino cherry for garnish

The alcohol content in the drink is generally considered to be about 11.61%. In other words, Sex on the Beach can sneak up on you – it’s not as boozy as the Long Island Iced Tea, but a couple of these will make you wobblier for sure.

How it’s served

Sex on the Beach is mostly served in a highball or Collins glass of 300-410ml. It has a lot of ice and is definitely garnished to sex it up. A slice of orange and a maraschino cherry make the perfect topping to add oomph to the cocktail. Not to mention that the ombre colors would make it the perfect shot for your next social media post.


© deeredivine / Instagram

The colorful cocktail has several variations. Safe Sex on the Beach is its non-alcoholic recipe, made with cranberry juice, grapefruit juice, and peach nectar. 

Sex on the Beach in Winter replaces the orange juice with grapefruit and adds a little coconut cream. 

Creamy Sex on the Beach is devoid of both orange and cranberry juices. Instead, it features sugary pineapple juice. Grenadine, coconut rum, and heavy cream are also part of the package. 

Sex in the Driveway is a bright blue fizzy drink. Blue curaçao and Sprite take the place of orange and cranberry juice.

Do It Yourself

Sex on the Beach Cocktail Recipe | © Cocktail Cards / YouTube

Sex on the Beach is one of the most visually pleasing and flavourful cocktails out there. So you might wonder if it is an artful task to concoct one. Spoilers – it is not. 

In fact, this fruity brew is one of the easiest drinks to make – even if your eyes are closed. If you’re an amateur who is just starting out into the world of cocktails or you’ve got some unannounced guests and have no time for elaborate creations, the Sex on the Beach cocktail is always a safe bet and your easiest go-to. 

© @woolfcervejaria / Instagram

Though freshly whipped juices give the max flavors, you can always just pour it out of the cartons. Mix it with a dash of vodka and rain them over ice. No garnish? No worries. Just close your eyes and down it. 

Though fashionable in the 1980s and 1990s, the Sex on the Beach cocktail has remained a beloved favorite among generations for decades.

A pleasing sight to the eyes and a much-needed craving for hot seasons, it is a classic that has earned its place on the list of official cocktails under the International Bartenders Association.

It is not a glamorous drink you want to order at a slick party, but it will always be your best pal on vacations.


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