Life Saver Cocktail Recipe

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Life Saver 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 Life Saver cocktail is believed to have originated in the 1970s, during the disco era. It was a popular choice among partygoers who enjoyed its vibrant colors and refreshing taste. The cocktail is named after the famous Life Savers candy, which shares a similar color palette and fruity flavors.

  • The disco era was known for its lively music, energetic dance moves, and colorful fashion
  • The Life Saver cocktail was a favorite among those who wanted a fun and fruity drink to enjoy while dancing the night away
  • The cocktail's name and appearance were inspired by the popular Life Savers candy, which has been a staple in American culture since 1912

How Life Saver Tastes?

The Life Saver cocktail is a delightful mix of sweet, sour, and fruity flavors. It has a tangy citrus taste from the orange and pineapple juices, balanced by the sweetness of the grenadine and the slight bitterness of the amaretto. The overall flavor is refreshing, vibrant, and perfect for a lively night out.

Interesting facts about Life Saver

  • The Life Saver cocktail is often served in a tall glass, showcasing its vibrant colors and making it an eye-catching drink
  • The cocktail's fruity flavors and refreshing taste make it a popular choice for summer parties and beachside gatherings
  • The Life Saver is sometimes garnished with a slice of orange or a cherry, adding a touch of elegance and extra flavor to the drink


Amaretto (1 oz)

The sweet, almond-like flavor of Amaretto adds a nutty depth to the cocktail. Too much amaretto can overpower the drink, while too little won't provide enough flavor. If you skip it, you'll lose the signature richness. *Alternatives: Frangelico for a hazelnut twist.

Mary Mitkina

Orange Juice (2 oz)

Brings a bright, citrusy zing and helps to balance the sweetness of the Amaretto. Too much can turn the cocktail too acidic, too little could make it too sweet. Without it, you'd miss the fresh and fruity punch. *Alternatives: Tangerine juice for a different citrus note.

Emma Rose

Pineapple Juice (2 oz)

Adds a tropical flavor and a bit of tartness, complementing the citrus notes. The balance of pineapple juice is crucial for the tropical character. Using less might render the cocktail too mild, and more can be excessively tart. *Alternatives: Mango juice for a more exotic twist.

Alex Green

Grenadine (0.5 oz)

Provides a hint of pomegranate sweetness and creates a beautiful layered color effect. Too much could lead to an overly sweet cocktail; too little might not achieve the desired color gradient. *Alternatives: Raspberry syrup for a berry flavor and pinker hue.

Mary Mitkina

Ice (1 cup)

It chills the drink, melding the flavors together. Without enough ice, the cocktail could taste watered-down as the ice melts. *Alternatives: Frozen fruit cubes can add flavor as they melt.

Emma Rose

Garnish (Orange Slice, Maraschino Cherry)

The orange slice adds a fresh, aromatic appeal, and the cherry provides a sweet finish. They're not just for show, they enhance the overall sensory experience. No garnish makes for a less inviting presentation. *Alternatives: A pineapple wedge or tropical flower for a different look.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Life Saver Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. Add the amaretto, orange juice, and pineapple juice to the shaker
  3. Shake well until chilled and combined
  4. Strain the mixture into a tall glass filled with fresh ice
  5. Slowly pour the grenadine over the back of a spoon, allowing it to sink to the bottom of the glass
  6. Garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry

Pro Tips

  • Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously to ensure all ingredients are well mixed
  • Chill your glass before pouring the cocktail to keep it cool for longer
  • Pour the grenadine slowly to create a beautiful layered effect

Perfect Pairings

Pairings for Life Saver Cocktail


  • Fried Calamari: The sweetness of the cocktail contrasts nicely with the savoriness of the calamari.
  • Mozzarella Sticks: The cheese’s creaminess is a good match for the fruity flavors of the drink.

Main Courses:

  • Grilled Chicken Salad: The citrus notes in the cocktail complement the freshness of the salad.
  • Hawaiian Pizza: The pineapple in the cocktail echoes the pineapple topping on the pizza.


  • Coconut Cream Pie: Tropical flavors from both the pie and cocktail create a harmonious pairing.
  • Orange Sorbet: Enhances the citrusy notes of the cocktail for a refreshing after-dinner treat.

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What you could change in Life Saver

  • Amaretto can be replaced with almond syrup for a non-alcoholic version
  • Orange Juice can be substituted with grapefruit juice for a more tangy flavor
  • Pineapple Juice can be replaced with mango juice for a tropical twist

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And of course - twists🍹

Tropical Life Saver

  • Swap amaretto with coconut rum for a beachy vibe.
  • Add a splash of cream of coconut for richness.
  • Serve in a coconut shell garnished with a small umbrella. Change: A silkier texture and pronounced coconut flavor perfect for pretending you're on vacation.

Berry Life Saver

  • Use raspberry syrup instead of grenadine.
  • Add a few fresh raspberries into the shaker.
  • Garnish with a raspberry skewer. Change: A berry explosion in your glass, adding tartness and depth to the Life Saver original recipe.

Sparkling Life Saver

  • Top the cocktail with a splash of prosecco or champagne after adding the grenadine.
  • Garnish with a twist of lemon.
  • Serve in a fluted glass to emphasize the effervescence. Change: Adds a festive fizz, turning the Life Saver into a celebratory drink.

In case you forgot basics how to make Life Saver

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 Life Saver

What alcohol base is in the Life Saver cocktail?

The Life Saver cocktail contains Amaretto which is an Italian liqueur that has a sweet, slightly bitter taste. It's flavored traditionally with almonds, but sometimes apricots.

What is the best time to drink the Life Saver Cocktail?

The Life Saver cocktail is versatile and can be enjoyed at any time. However, given its sweet and fruity profile, it would work brilliantly as a dessert cocktail or as a refreshing drink on a hot afternoon.

Can I make a batch of the Life Saver cocktail ahead of time?

Yes, you can make a batch of the cocktail. However, it's best to add the garnish only before serving to maintain its freshness. Also, remember to stir the batch well before serving.

Can I use something else instead of a cocktail shaker to mix the ingredients?

Yes, if you do not have a cocktail shaker, a jar with a tight lid can also be an effective tool to shake up your ingredients.

How long does it take to make a Life Saver cocktail?

Usually, mixing the Life Saver cocktail doesn't take more than 5 minutes. However, if you include the preparation time for gathering the ingredients and the cleanup afterwards, it might take about 15 minutes total.

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