Balalaika Cocktail Recipe

Jump to Recipe ⬇️

Balalaika Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Balalaika cocktail is named after the Russian stringed musical instrument, which has a triangular body. This cocktail is believed to have originated in the 1930s and gained popularity among the elite class. It is a classic cocktail that has been enjoyed by many generations.

  • The Balalaika is often associated with Russian culture and music
  • It became popular in high-end bars and clubs during the 1930s
  • The cocktail has a timeless appeal and is still enjoyed today

How Balalaika Tastes?

The Balalaika cocktail has a refreshing, citrusy, and slightly sweet taste. It is well-balanced with a hint of tartness from the lemon juice and a smooth, velvety texture from the vodka and triple sec.

Interesting facts about Balalaika

  • The Balalaika cocktail is named after a Russian musical instrument
  • It is a classic cocktail that has been enjoyed for generations
  • The cocktail is often associated with Russian culture and music


A few good options for Balalaika are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


Vodka is the backbone of the Balalaika, providing a strong, clean taste. Using 45ml strikes just the right balance – enough to assert its presence without overpowering the other flavors. Too little and you won't feel the kick; too much could send you to Mother Russia in a heartbeat. Nostrovia!

Emma Rose

Triple Sec

Triple Sec gifts the cocktail a subtle orange zest that's sweet yet tart. With 20ml, it's the friendly neighbor that doesn't overshadow but complements the vodka's kick. Skimp on it and you'll lose the sweet symphony; overdo it and your taste buds may stage a citrus rebellion.

Alex Green

Lemon Juice

The dash of 15ml lemon juice is like the high note in a choir, bringing acidity and brightness. It cuts through the vodka's strength and triple sec's sweetness, creating a harmonious chord. Neglect the lemon juice and the Balalaika becomes a bland ballad; drown it and the cocktail turns into a sour serenade.

Mary Mitkina


Not just a chilling factor – ice shakes up life into the cocktail, blending flavors while keeping it cool. The right amount ensures a smooth, refreshing sip without watering down the integrity of the vodka. No ice? Prepare for a lukewarm letdown. Too much, and you're just nursing a cold splash.

Emma Rose

Lemon Twist

The lemon twist isn't just a fancy fidget-spinner for adults – it adds an essential aromatic allure and a zesty garnish. It's the finishing touch that says, 'I'm sophisticated, yet fun.' Without the twist, the cocktail simply dresses down for the occasion.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Balalaika Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. Add 45ml of vodka, 20ml of triple sec, and 15ml of lemon juice
  3. Shake well until chilled and combined
  4. Strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass
  5. Garnish with a lemon twist

Pro Tips

  • Chill your glass before pouring the cocktail to keep it cool longer.
  • Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for a more authentic taste.
  • Shake the cocktail shaker until it's frosty on the outside for a well-chilled drink.

Perfect Pairings


  • Caviar: The clean, crisp taste of the vodka is a classic pairing with the salty notes of caviar, making it a luxurious combination.
  • Smoked Salmon: The citrus element of the lemon juice complements smoked salmon beautifully.
  • Cheese Platter: A selection of mild cheeses, such as Brie or Camembert, can balance the drink's zesty flavors.

Main Courses

  • Grilled White Fish: The acidity of the lemon juice in the Balalaika can cut through the richness of grilled fish.
  • Chicken Piccata: The lemony sauce of this dish would echo the citrus notes of the cocktail.
  • Roasted Duck Breast: The sweetness of the triple sec can offset the gamey taste of the duck.


  • Lemon Sorbet: A palate cleanser that synergizes with the citrus theme of the Balalaika.
  • Vanilla Panna Cotta: The creaminess of the dessert contrasting with the sharpness of the cocktail.
  • Fresh Fruit Salad: Especially citrus fruits that will complement the drink's tangy profile.

🍹 Discover the Top 50 All-Time Recipes! 🍹

Enter your email, and we'll send the exclusive list straight to your inbox.

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously

What you could change in Balalaika

  • You can substitute Triple Sec with any other orange-flavored liqueur like Cointreau or Grand Marnier.
  • If you don't have vodka, you can use gin for a different flavor profile.

Explore all drinks starting with B here

And of course - twists🍹

Czar's Cup

Ingredients: 45ml of vodka, 20ml of elderflower liqueur, 15ml of lime juice, ice, lime twist.

Elderflower liqueur in place of triple sec offers a floral note, and lime brings a tangier twist; the Czar's Cup is like the Balalaika's posh cousin from the countryside. It sings with woodland whimsy and will have you toasting to the health of the bees!

Siberian Sunrise

Ingredients: 45ml of vodka, 20ml of blood orange liqueur, 15ml of lemon juice, ice, blood orange twist.

Swap triple sec for blood orange liqueur and you've got a cocktail that rises boldly with the sun – vibrant and with a hint of raspberry-like tartness. The Siberian Sunrise doesn't just wake you up; it leads a frosty Sputnik into dawn.

Kremlin Cooler

Ingredients: 45ml of vodka, 20ml of triple sec, 15ml of lemon juice, ice, a splash of cranberry juice, lemon twist.

Adding a splash of cranberry juice to the original recipe gives this drink a blush of color and a berry-like tartness that cools even the steamiest Moscow muggy evening. The Kremlin Cooler is your ticket to a refreshing Russian summer.

In case you forgot basics how to make Balalaika

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

Find the cocktail you'd love!

If you want to drink something else - you can use our AI-augmented search to find the best cocktail for you!
Completely free!

Frequently Asked Questions on Balalaika

What is the best kind of vodka to use for a Balalaika cocktail?

The best vodka to use for a Balalaika cocktail would be a higher-end and smoother vodka, such as Grey Goose or Belvedere. However, any vodka of your choice would work.

What does a Balalaika cocktail pair well with?

Balalaika cocktails pair well with light appetizers such as seafood dishes, or meals with citrus flavor profiles.

What type of glassware is commonly used to serve Balalaika cocktails?

The traditional glass to serve a Balalaika cocktail in is a martini glass, however, if a martini glass is not available, any type of cocktail glass can be used.

I’m not a fan of sweet drinks, what can I do to balance out the sweetness of the Triple Sec in the Balalaika cocktail?

If the sweetness of the Triple Sec is too much, simply adjust the lemon juice to add a noticeable tartness to the cocktail. Remember, the best drink is the one you enjoy most.

More similar recipes to Balalaika!

Explore new cocktails you'd love!

Please rate this recipe