Iron Butterfly Cocktail Recipe

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Iron Butterfly Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:20

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 Iron Butterfly is a popular cocktail that has been around for decades. It's a creamy, dessert-like drink that is perfect for those who enjoy sweet and indulgent cocktails. The Iron Butterfly is often enjoyed as an after-dinner drink or at parties and gatherings. It's a hit among those who love creamy and sweet cocktails.

How Iron Butterfly Tastes?

The Iron Butterfly is a rich and creamy cocktail with a sweet, indulgent taste. The combination of vodka, Irish cream, and amaretto gives it a smooth and velvety texture, while the hint of coffee liqueur adds a subtle depth of flavor.

Interesting facts about Iron Butterfly

  • The Iron Butterfly is often served in a martini glass, adding to its sophisticated appeal.
  • Despite its creamy texture, this cocktail is quite potent due to the combination of vodka and Irish cream.
  • The name 'Iron Butterfly' is also the name of a famous rock band from the 1960s.


A few good options for Iron Butterfly are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


The vodka here is the strong, silent type; it brings the 'iron' to the butterfly without overpowering the drink. At 1oz, it's just enough to give the cocktail a kick without turning it into a heavyweight. Skip the vodka, and you've got a less potent, creamier affair - not a butterfly but maybe a caterpillar.

Mary Mitkina

Irish Cream

This one's the smooth talker of the group, adding a velvety texture and a slight whiskey undertone. It's the creamy heart of the cocktail, and 1oz ensures it's heard without drowning out the others. Omitting it's like forgetting the icing on a cake - sure, you still have a cake, but why would you want to?

Emma Rose


The sweet whisper of almond from the Amaretto cozies up nicely to the other ingredients. It's like that person who walks in and suddenly it's a party. At 1oz, it adds sweet complexity without over-sweetening the mix. Without it, you're missing a layer of flavor — it's a butterfly with one wing.

Alex Green

Coffee Liqueur

Now, this is the jolt of energy that gives the drink its character. It weaves in rich coffee flavor that's necessary for balance. At 1oz, it keeps the party going but doesn't turn it into an all-night raver. If you skip this, you're left with a drink that's lost its buzz - a decaf Iron Butterfly, if you will.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Iron Butterfly Drink

  1. Fill a shaker with ice cubes.
  2. Add all ingredients.
  3. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass.
  4. Garnish with a cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Make sure to shake the cocktail well to ensure all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Using high-quality ingredients will make a big difference in the taste of your Iron Butterfly.
  • Chill your martini glass before pouring the cocktail to keep it cool longer.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Chocolate Desserts: The rich, creamy flavors in the Iron Butterfly complement the sweetness of chocolate, especially dark or bittersweet varieties.
  • Nuts and Cheese Plate: The nutty notes from the Amaretto pair well with a variety of nuts and cheeses, like almonds and aged cheddar.
  • Coffee-Flavored Treats: Since the cocktail has coffee liqueur, it naturally pairs with coffee cake or tiramisu.

Drink Pairings

  • Espresso: To amplify the coffee notes in the cocktail, pair it with a strong espresso.
  • Stout Beer: The creamy and rich profile of a stout can match well with the Iron Butterfly's flavor profile.

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What you could change in Iron Butterfly

If you don't have Irish Cream, you can substitute it with a mix of heavy cream and a dash of whiskey. If you don't have Amaretto, you can use a nut-flavored liqueur.

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Espresso Iron Butterfly

  • Add a shot of espresso for a real coffee kick.
  • The espresso will deepen the coffee flavor and add a bit of texture to the cocktail, making it more suitable for coffee lovers.
  • It's like turning your cocktail into your morning alarm - it'll wake you right up!

Vanilla Iron Butterfly

  • Use vanilla-flavored vodka instead of regular vodka.
  • The vanilla adds a smooth, aromatic sweetness that can make the Iron Butterfly more dessert-like.
  • Imagine your cocktail wearing a vanilla perfume; it's the same beautiful butterfly but with a new, sweet scent.

Spicy Iron Butterfly

  • Add a dash of cinnamon or a cinnamon stick as garnish.
  • This gives a warm, spicy twist to the cocktail, creating a more complex flavor profile.
  • It's the Iron Butterfly with a little bit of fire under its wings, taking off to flavor town.

In case you forgot basics how to make Iron Butterfly

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 Iron Butterfly

What is the origin of the name 'Iron Butterfly' in this cocktail?

The name 'Iron Butterfly' is believed to be derived from the popular 1960s rock band of the same name. However, the cocktail doesn't have a direct connection to the band or its music.

What kind of vodka is best for making an Iron Butterfly?

It is recommended to use a high-quality, smooth vodka. The brand is up to your personal preference.

Can I make an Iron Butterfly without alcohol?

Yes, you can make a non-alcoholic version of the Iron Butterfly by excluding the vodka and using non-alcoholic substitutes for the Irish Cream and Amaretto.

How can I make a vegan Iron Butterfly?

You can replace the Irish Cream with a non-dairy cream and a small amount of non-alcoholic Irish Cream flavoring.

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