Fort Lauderdale Cocktail Recipe

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Fort Lauderdale 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 Fort Lauderdale cocktail is a refreshing and tropical drink that originated in the sunny city of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife, Fort Lauderdale is the perfect place to enjoy this delightful cocktail. The drink is popular among tourists and locals alike, and is often enjoyed poolside or at beachfront bars.

  • The Fort Lauderdale cocktail was created in the 1980s
  • It is named after the city where it was first made
  • The cocktail is popular among beachgoers and partygoers

How Fort Lauderdale Tastes?

The Fort Lauderdale cocktail has a fruity and tropical taste, with a hint of sweetness and a touch of sourness. The combination of orange, cranberry, and pineapple juices creates a refreshing and well-balanced flavor profile. The vodka adds a subtle kick, making this cocktail both light and invigorating.

Interesting facts about Fort Lauderdale

  • The Fort Lauderdale cocktail is often served in a hurricane glass, which is a tall, curvy glass that showcases the vibrant colors of the drink
  • The cocktail is sometimes garnished with an orange slice and a cherry, adding a pop of color and a touch of sweetness
  • The Fort Lauderdale cocktail is a great choice for a hot summer day or a beach-themed party


A few good options for Fort Lauderdale are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


  • Why 1.5 oz? Just enough to kickstart the party without turning your drink into a Russian winter. Less would be a tease, more and you're signing up for dance lessons with the floor.
  • Why it's used: It's the canvas of the cocktail world—smooth, with just a hint of warmth to elevate the fruity flavors. Without it, you might as well be sipping on a fancy juice box.
  • Alternatives: Sub in white rum for a tropical twist, or gin if you're feeling herbaceous.

Alex Green

Orange Juice

  • Why 1.5 oz? It's the Goldilocks amount—just right. Enough to whisper 'sunshine' but not so much that it screams 'morning routine'.
  • Why it's used: Brings a zesty, fresh vibe. It's like liquid sunshine in a glass. No orange juice? You'll miss out on the 'Florida' in Fort Lauderdale.
  • Alternatives: Try blood orange for a crimson twist, or grapefruit juice for a bitter edge.

Emma Rose

Cranberry Juice

  • Why 1.5 oz? Balances the sweetness with a tart wink and a nudge. Like that one friend who always speaks their mind. Too little and it's shy, too much and it's a gossip.
  • Why it's used: Adds a tangy sharpness and a rosy hue—every drink likes to dress up.
  • Alternatives: Pomegranate juice for deeper flavor or raspberry juice for extra sweetness.

Mary Mitkina

Pineapple Juice

  • Why 1.5 oz? It's your tropical passport without leaving your barstool. Perfectly portioned to make you feel the breeze without the sunburn.
  • Why it's used: Gives a sweet, exotic tang that takes you straight to the beach. Omit it, and your cocktail is just playing dress-up without the costume.
  • Alternatives: Mango juice for a sultrier sweetness, or coconut water for a lighter touch.

Alex Green


  • Why 1 cup? It's the cool crowd at the party. Enough to chill, not too much to water down the conversation.
  • Why it's used: Keeps the drink cold, crisp, and refreshing—the party doesn't start until ice walks in.

Emma Rose

Orange Slice

  • Why it's used: It's the sunshine garnish that says 'hey, look at me!'.

Mary Mitkina

Maraschino Cherry

  • Why it's used: A sweet little encore after the last sip. Plus, it's like a mini treasure hunt at the bottom of your glass.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Fort Lauderdale Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. Add vodka, orange juice, cranberry juice, and pineapple juice to the shaker
  3. Shake well to combine and chill the ingredients
  4. Strain the mixture into a hurricane glass filled with fresh ice
  5. Garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry

Pro Tips

  • Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously to ensure all the ingredients are well combined
  • Use freshly squeezed orange juice for a more authentic and fresh flavor
  • Chill the glasses before serving to keep the cocktail cooler for longer

Perfect Pairings


  • Grilled Shrimp: The sweet and tangy flavors of the Fort Lauderdale cocktail complement the smoky flavors of grilled shrimp.
  • Cheese Platter: A variety of cheeses, especially those with a bit of tang like goat cheese, will pair nicely with the fruity notes of the cocktail.

Main Courses

  • Chicken or Pork dishes with citrus or tropical glazes: These proteins with fruity glazes will echo the flavors in the cocktail.
  • Fish Tacos: The refreshing citrus of the cocktail will cleanse the palate between bites of flavorful fish tacos.


  • Lemon Cheesecake: The citrus from the cocktail will nicely cut through the richness of the cheesecake.
  • Fruit Tart: Complement the fruity notes in the drink with a dessert that showcases fresh fruits.

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What you could change in Fort Lauderdale

  • Vodka: Can be substituted with white rum or gin for a different flavor profile
  • Orange Juice: Can be substituted with grapefruit juice
  • Cranberry Juice: Can be substituted with pomegranate juice
  • Pineapple Juice: Can be substituted with mango juice

Explore all drinks starting with F here

And of course - twists🍹

The Tropical Sunset

  • Ingredients: Use coconut rum instead of vodka, and a splash of grenadine for color.
  • Recipe: Follow the original, but pour grenadine over the back of a spoon to create a 'sunset' layer.
  • Taste Change: It's a sweeter, more tropical vacation. Like Fort Lauderdale during spring break.

The Floridian Fizz

  • Ingredients: Add a splash of club soda and use a grapefruit slice for garnish.
  • Recipe: After shaking the original ingredients, top with club soda for a fizzy lift.
  • Taste Change: You're now brunching on a sunlit patio, with a twist of effervescence tickling your nose.

The Berry-Lauderdale

  • Ingredients: Substitute cranberry juice with raspberry liqueur and add a few fresh raspberries.
  • Recipe: Muddle the raspberries at the bottom, then follow the original recipe. Drizzle raspberry liqueur on top.
  • Taste Change: It's a berry merry twist. Sweeter, with a whisper of mischief—perfect for beachside gossip or poolside confessions.

In case you forgot basics how to make Fort Lauderdale

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 Fort Lauderdale

Are there any themed parties where the Fort Lauderdale cocktail would fit in well?

Yes, the Fort Lauderdale cocktail with its tropical flavor and colorful presentation is perfect for a pool party, beach-themed party, or a summer BBQ.

Does the Fort Lauderdale cocktail contain any allergens?

The classic Fort Lauderdale cocktail doesn't contain common allergens like nuts, dairy or gluten. However, some people might be allergic to certain fruits. Always check with your guests before serving.

Is this cocktail considered strong?

The alcohol content of the Fort Lauderdale cocktail depends on how much vodka you use. According to the original recipe, it's not considered a strong cocktail.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Fort Lauderdale cocktail?

Yes, you can make a non-alcoholic (mocktail) version by simply omitting the vodka. The combination of fruit juices alone makes a refreshing tropical drink.

How should I store leftover Fort Lauderdale cocktail?

It's recommended to drink the Fort Lauderdale cocktail fresh. However, you can store the leftover cocktail in a sealed container in the fridge for upto a day. Shake well before serving.

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