Deathwish Cocktail Recipe

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Deathwish Nutrition Facts

Calories:approx 600



Carbohydrates:approx 40g

Alcohol %:approx 40%

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 Deathwish cocktail is a concoction known for its potent combination of spirits. It's a drink that's not for the faint of heart, often ordered by those who are looking to test their limits or enjoy a particularly intense drinking experience.

  • Origins The exact origins of the Deathwish cocktail are shrouded in mystery, but it seems to have emerged from a culture of extreme cocktails.
  • Popularity It has gained a following among thrill-seekers and party-goers who crave a strong and memorable drink.
  • Audience This cocktail is best suited for those who appreciate a powerful kick and complex flavors.

How Deathwish Tastes?

The Deathwish cocktail is an intense symphony of flavors. It's a bold, fiery, and sweet drink with a spicy cinnamon undertone from the Goldschlager, and a refreshing anise note from the Sambuca. The citrus from the lemonade provides a tangy contrast, while the Aftershock adds a cool, minty finish.

Interesting facts about Deathwish

  • The Deathwish cocktail often comes with a warning due to its high alcohol content.
  • It's not uncommon for this cocktail to be served on special occasions like Halloween or dare-themed parties.
  • The combination of colorful ingredients can create a visually striking layered effect if poured carefully.


  • Sambuca: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Vodka: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Lemonade: Top Up
  • Aftershock (blue): 1 oz(30ml)
  • Goldschlager: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Aftershock (red): 1 oz(30ml)
  • Tequila silver: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Bols blue curacao: 1 oz(30ml)

A few good options for Deathwish are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


A fragrant, anise-flavored liqueur that gives a nice kick and aromatic depth. Without it: You'd miss the licorice notes that add complexity. Alternative: Try a splash of ouzo for a similar anise essence, but beware, it might be less sweet!

Emma Rose


The backbone, providing a strong alcohol base without overpowering other flavors. Too much: You'd dull the cocktail's complexity. Not enough: It might be too sweet. Alternative: Give unflavored rum a go if you're out of vodka; it will add a slightly sweeter edge.

Alex Green


It adds a refreshing, citrus twang and helps to balance the strength. Leaving it out: Expect a less palatable, seriously strong drink. Alternative: Sparkling water and a squeeze of lemon could simulate the zing, though less sweet.

Mary Mitkina

Aftershock (Blue) & (Red)

Cinnamon and cool mint flavors from these liqueurs layer visual appeal and a taste sensation. Skipping them: You'd lose the visual 'wow' and flavor contrast. Alternatives: For a similar effect, use blue curaçao for the blue and a cinnamon schnapps for the red.

Emma Rose


The cinnamon schnapps with gold flakes that give a spicy kick and bling. Without it: The drink would be milder and less festive. Alternative: Ordinary cinnamon schnapps will work, sans the glitter.

Alex Green

Tequila Silver

It brings a peppery punch, standing up to the other bold ingredients. Without it: Less complexity and mild flavor. Alternative: Mezcal, for a smokier profile.

Mary Mitkina

Bols Blue Curacao

Orange flavor wrapped in a lovely blue hue that complements the cocktail's palette. Without it: You'd lack the citrus undertone and vibrant color. Alternative: Any orange liqueur, but your drink may not be as blue as a Smurf's dream.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Deathwish Drink

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
  2. Pour in the Sambuca, Vodka, Goldschlager, Tequila Silver, and Bols Blue Curacao.
  3. Top up with lemonade.
  4. Carefully layer the Aftershock (Blue) and then the Aftershock (Red) over the back of a spoon to create distinct layers.
  5. Serve immediately with a warning to sip cautiously.

Pro Tips

  • Chill the spirits before making the cocktail to ensure a crisp, refreshing drink.
  • Use a cocktail spoon for layering to achieve clear, distinct layers.
  • Serve with a stirrer so that guests can blend the layers if they prefer a more homogenous drink.

Perfect Pairings


  • Bold Spiced Nuts: The intense flavors of the Deathwish cocktail match well with spicy snacks.
  • Crispy Fried Calamari: With a light batter, this dish can cleanse the palate between sips.

Finger Foods

  • Jalapeño Poppers: Their cheesy and spicy profile complements the cocktail's strong flavors.
  • Mini Tacos: The citrus from the lemonade will resonate with the zesty flavors of taco fillings.


  • Dark Chocolate: Its bitterness can balance the sweetness and spiciness of the cocktail.
  • Lemon Sorbet: A cooling choice for a fiery drink, aligning with the lemonade notes.

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What you could change in Deathwish

  • Sambuca: Any anise-flavored liqueur can be used as a substitute.
  • Goldschlager: A cinnamon schnapps can replace Goldschlager if needed.
  • Aftershock: If unavailable, a similar mint or cinnamon flavored liqueur can be used.

Explore all drinks starting with D here

And of course - twists🍹

Deathwish Fizz

  • Ingredients: Swap lemonade for club soda and add a half ounce of lemon juice.
  • Recipe: Follow the original recipe, substituting lemonade.
  • Taste: This version has a drier, sharper profile, lightening up the heavy sweetness and providing a crisp edge.

Tropical Deathwish

  • Ingredients: Use coconut rum in place of vodka, and pineapple juice instead of lemonade.
  • Recipe: Coconut rum and pineapple juice will give this cocktail a tropical twist.
  • Taste: Expect a more exotic, sweet flavor, with the coconut giving a smooth finish.

Chilled Deathwish

  • Ingredients: Add a scoop of lemon or lime sorbet before serving.
  • Recipe: Scoop the sorbet into the glass last, allowing it to slowly melt into the drink.
  • Taste: The added sorbet creates a chilly, dessert-like variant, with additional citrus zest.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Deathwish

What type of glass is recommended for serving the Deathwish cocktail?

The Deathwish cocktail is typically served in a highball glass to accommodate the layering of various ingredients and to provide enough space for the 'top up' of lemonade.

Can I make the Deathwish cocktail in advance?

It is not recommended to pre-mix the Deathwish cocktail due to its layered presentation. It is best prepared fresh to maintain the visual appeal and integrity of the flavors.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Deathwish cocktail?

No standard non-alcoholic version exists given the cocktail's emphasis on a variety of spirits. However, a mocktail inspired by the Deathwish could be crafted using non-alcoholic substitutes for the individual liquors and focusing on the drink's color and presentation.

Can the Deathwish cocktail be made without ice?

While it can be made without ice, serving the Deathwish chilled over ice enhances the flavor and experience. If you prefer no ice, it's advisable to chill all the ingredients beforehand.

What are some safety tips for enjoying the Deathwish cocktail?

Due to its high alcohol content, it's important to consume the Deathwish cocktail responsibly, pacing your intake and ensuring not to drink on an empty stomach. It's also wise to have a designated driver or a safe transportation plan if you're drinking away from home.

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