Grateful Dead Cocktail Recipe

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Grateful Dead Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %: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 Grateful Dead cocktail is a strong, colorful drink that is a favorite among fans of the iconic rock band for which it is named. It's a variation of the Long Island Iced Tea, but with a fruity twist. This cocktail is for those who appreciate a potent drink with a complex flavor profile. It's a mix of five different spirits, sweetened with raspberry liqueur and balanced with sour mix. It's a drink that takes you on a journey, much like the music of the band itself.

How Grateful Dead Tastes?

The Grateful Dead cocktail is a potent, sweet, and sour drink. The raspberry liqueur adds a fruity sweetness that balances the strong flavors of the spirits. The sour mix adds a tangy note that cuts through the sweetness, making it a well-rounded and complex drink.

Interesting facts about Grateful Dead

  • The Grateful Dead cocktail is named after the iconic rock band, the Grateful Dead.
  • It's a variation of the Long Island Iced Tea, but with a fruity twist.
  • Despite its potent mix of spirits, the drink is surprisingly smooth and easy to drink.


A few good options for Grateful Dead are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose

A few good options for Grateful Dead are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


The vodka is the backbone, offering a neutral canvas that allows the other spirits to shine. Its potency is kept in check at 0.5 oz – tipsy but not over the top. Without it, you lose the cocktail's strong foundation. Substitute it with another neutral spirit, like white rum, and you'll get a sweeter profile.

Emma Rose


Tequila is the life of the party, bringing the fiesta with its distinctive agave taste. Half an ounce is the sweet spot – any more and it might overshadow the others. Skip it and you'll miss out on the warmth and zing it provides. Swap with mezcal for a smokier vibe.

Alex Green


Rum lends a sugarcane-kissed sweetness that balances the tartness well. It's like sugar in your coffee, but for cocktails. Omitting this would make the drink less balanced. If you prefer, use spiced rum for an added kick of flavor.

Mary Mitkina


Gin adds complexity with its botanicals, it's the herb garden in your alcohol. Too much gin and you're lost in the woods, too little and the drink lacks depth. Leave it out and you lose an intricate layer. A possible substitute is a floral liquor, which would give a different, but still fragrant angle.

Emma Rose

Raspberry Liqueur

The raspberry liqueur is the fruity star that sweetens the deal in this boozy congress. It brings a berry twist without overpowering. No raspberry liqueur, no fruity cheer. A similar substitute could be Chambord for a more luxurious berry note.

Alex Green

Sour Mix

Sour mix is the mediator, making sure all ingredients shake hands and play nice. It adds brightness and tang to the mix. Without it, the drink is less refreshing and harmonious. Lemon or lime juice mixed with simple syrup could work as a homemade alternative.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Grateful Dead Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add the vodka, tequila, rum, gin, and raspberry liqueur.
  3. Top with sour mix.
  4. Shake well until chilled.
  5. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice.
  6. Garnish with a lemon wheel and serve.

Pro Tips

  • Use high-quality spirits for a smoother taste.
  • Make sure to shake the cocktail well to ensure all the ingredients are well mixed.
  • Serve in a chilled glass for the best experience.

Perfect Pairings


  • Spicy Appetizers: The bold and varied flavors in the cocktail would match up well with the spice and zest in items like buffalo wings or jalapeño poppers.
  • Barbecue: The sweet and sour components of the Grateful Dead pair nicely with the savory notes of barbecued meats.
  • Chocolate Desserts: The raspberry liqueur can complement chocolate dishes, playing up the fruit and cocoa interplay.


Pairing with other drinks isn't common due to the strong flavor profile of the Grateful Dead, but if necessary, go for a simple beer to cleanse the palate between each sip of the cocktail.

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What you could change in Grateful Dead

  • You can substitute the raspberry liqueur with Chambord or any other raspberry-flavored liqueur.
  • If you don't have sour mix, you can make your own by combining equal parts lemon juice and simple syrup.

Explore all drinks starting with G here

And of course - twists🍹

Blackberry Grateful Dead

Replace raspberry liqueur with blackberry liqueur for a woodsy, autumnal twist. The darker berries bring a more robust flavor, making it a wonderful choice for cooler weather.

Grateful Living

Remove the tequila and double the sour mix for a lighter, more citrus-forward cocktail. It's a less intense option, ideal for those who want to be thankful without teetering.

Electric Dead

Add a splash of blue curaçao to the mix for a vibrant hue and a hint of orange flavor. This adds a visual punch and a zesty twist, perfect for electrifying your evening.

In case you forgot basics how to make Grateful Dead

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 Grateful Dead

Is it necessary to use all spirits to make Grateful Dead cocktail?

Yes, the Grateful Dead is a multi-spirit cocktail and requires Vodka, Tequila, Rum, Gin, and Raspberry Liqueur to achieve its unique flavor profile.

Can I enjoy this drink if I'm not a fan of Grateful Dead band?

Absolutely! While the name is inspired by the band, you do not need to be a fan to enjoy the drink.

What is the primary taste of this cocktail?

The Grateful Dead cocktail is potent with a sweet and sour flavor profile, primarily from the combination of various spirits and raspberry liqueur.

Can I use normal iced tea instead of Long Island iced tea?

No, Long Island iced tea is a cocktail in itself with a blend of spirits. It is not actually a type of iced tea, so a normal iced tea would not suffice.

What will happen if I replace Raspberry Liqueur with a different fruit liqueur?

You can, but the taste will change. The Raspberry Liqueur gives the Grateful Dead cocktail a fruity sweetness that pairs well with the flavors of the spirits.

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