Dancing Bear Cocktail Recipe

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Dancing Bear Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:15

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 Dancing Bear cocktail is a delightful mix of vodka, peach schnapps, and fruit juices. It's named after the famous Grateful Dead song and is a favorite among fans of the band. This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy a fruity, refreshing drink with a kick.

  • Origin: The Dancing Bear cocktail was created in the late 20th century, during the height of the Grateful Dead's popularity.
  • Popularity: It's particularly popular among fans of the band, but its delicious taste has won it fans from all walks of life.

How Dancing Bear Tastes?

The Dancing Bear cocktail is a sweet and fruity concoction. The peach schnapps and fruit juices give it a refreshing, tropical taste, while the vodka adds a strong, crisp undertone. It's a well-balanced cocktail that's both sweet and tangy.

Interesting facts about Dancing Bear

  • The Dancing Bear cocktail is named after a Grateful Dead song.
  • It's a popular choice for summer parties and barbecues due to its refreshing taste.
  • Despite its sweet and fruity flavor, it's quite strong, thanks to the vodka.


A few good options for Dancing Bear are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


Vodka is the backbone of this dance, adding a robust yet neutral spirit that lets the other flavors lead. With 1.5oz, it’s just enough to give you a buzz without stepping on any toes. Omit it, and you’ll find the party a bit dull. If you’re feeling adventurous, swap it for white rum to add a little cha-cha to the mix.

Mary Mitkina

Peach Schnapps

1oz of Peach Schnapps brings the sweet melody into our mix, giving the cocktail its fruity twang. Skimp on it, and the fruitiness won't sing on your palate; too much, and it's a peachy overkill. No peach schnapps? No problem! Try apricot brandy for a similar vibe but with a slightly deeper tone.

Alex Green

Orange Juice

With 2oz of orange juice, we're splashing in some sunshine. It's all about balance – too little, and the cocktail tastes flat; too much, and it's a morning juice bar. Substitute with tangerine juice if you're feeling zesty for a tangy twist.

Emma Rose

Pineapple Juice

2oz pineapple juice adds that tropical twist, making every sip feel like a mini vacation. Without it, you'd lose the cocktail's lively flair. If you crave a change, mango juice could do the trick, adding a different kind of tropical sweetness.

Mary Mitkina


The 0.5oz of grenadine is the sunset in your glass, providing color and a touch of sweetness. Miss it out, and you'll lose some of the magic. Pomegranate juice is a nice alternative for a slightly tart makeover.

Alex Green

Cherry and Orange slice

These are your dance partners, the final garnish that makes the cocktail visually delightful. Without them, the presentation won’t have that zing, but you’ll still have a tasty drink. Switch it up with a pineapple wedge or a lime wheel for a different look with a tiny flavor tweak.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Dancing Bear Drink

  1. Fill a shaker with ice cubes.
  2. Add vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice, and pineapple juice.
  3. Shake well.
  4. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice cubes.
  5. Top with grenadine.
  6. Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh fruit juices for the best taste.
  • Chill your glass before serving for an extra refreshing cocktail.
  • Don't overdo it with the grenadine, it's meant to add a hint of sweetness, not overpower the other flavors.

Perfect Pairings


  • Grilled Shrimp Skewers: The sweet and citrus notes of the cocktail complement the smokiness of the shrimp.
  • Coconut Crusted Chicken Tenders: The tropical flavors of the chicken blend well with the fruity dance of the cocktail.
  • Cheese Platter with Fresh Fruits: A selection of mild cheeses and fruits will harmonize without overpowering the cocktail's flavors.


  • Tropical Fruit Salad: Echoes the cocktail's fruity sweetness while offering a refreshing finish.
  • Key Lime Pie: The tartness of the pie will be balanced by the cocktail’s sweet profile.
  • Orange Sorbet: It’s a cool, citrus-forward dessert that pairs perfectly with the orangelicious vibe of the drink.

Non-Alcoholic Pairings

  • Sparkling Water with a Splash of Citrus Juice: To cleanse the palate between sips of the cocktail.
  • Iced Tea with Peach Flavor: Complements the peach schnapps in the drink.

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What you could change in Dancing Bear

  • Peach Schnapps: You can substitute peach schnapps with peach brandy or peach liqueur.
  • Orange Juice: You can use any other citrus juice like grapefruit or lemon juice.
  • Pineapple Juice: You can substitute pineapple juice with apple juice or pear juice.

Explore all drinks starting with D here

And of course - twists🍹

Berry Bear

  • Swap the orange juice for mixed berry puree
  • Garnish with fresh berries By switching to berry puree, you get a Berry Bear that’s ripe with summer flavors and a tad more tartness. It's a 'beary' delightful twist for those who fancy a walk on the wild berry side.

Honey Bear

  • Add 0.5oz of honey syrup
  • Use lemon juice instead of orange juice Sweet as a bear and smooth as honey, this version adds a golden glow to your cocktail hibernation. The lemon juice cuts through the sweetness, ensuring your taste buds aren’t overwhelmed by the bear hug of flavors.

Fiery Bear

  • Include a small slice of jalapeño in the shaker
  • Substitute pineapple juice with mango juice Turn up the heat and watch the bear dance! The jalapeño gives it a subtle spicy kick, and swapping in mango juice invites a different tropical twist. This cocktail is not for the faint of heart — or taste buds!

In case you forgot basics how to make Dancing Bear

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

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Frequently Asked Questions on Dancing Bear

Can the Dancing Bear be served without garnish?

Yes, you can serve the Dancing Bear cocktail without garnish, but the cherry and orange slice adds an extra burst of flavor and color to the presentation.

Can I prepare this cocktail in advance for a party?

Yes, you can prepare the base mixture (vodka, peach schnapps, and fruit juices) in advance and store it in the fridge. However, add the grenadine and the garnish just before serving.

Could I use a different type of alcohol instead of vodka?

Vodka is traditionally used in the Dancing Bear cocktail due to its neutral taste. However, you can experiment with other clear spirits such as gin or rum, depending on your preference.

What type of glass is best for serving the Dancing Bear cocktail?

Typically, the Dancing Bear cocktail is served in a highball glass, but any glass that can hold the volume of the drink will work.

What other Grateful Dead-inspired cocktails are there?

Other cocktails inspired by the Grateful Dead include the Touch of Grey and the Sugar Magnolia. Each has its own unique twist inspired by the famous band’s songs.

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