Lifesaver Cocktail Recipe

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Lifesaver 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 Lifesaver cocktail is a delightful concoction that was first popularized in the 1980s. It's a fruity, tropical drink that's perfect for those who enjoy sweet and refreshing cocktails. It's often served at beach parties and summer gatherings, making it a favorite among those who love the sun and the sea.

  • The Lifesaver is named after the popular candy, which shares its sweet and fruity flavors.
  • It's a versatile drink that can be enjoyed on any occasion, but it's particularly popular during the summer months.

How Lifesaver Tastes?

The Lifesaver cocktail is sweet, fruity, and refreshing. It has a tropical taste with a hint of coconut and pineapple, balanced by the tartness of the lime. The rum adds a warm, rich undertone that complements the sweetness of the other ingredients.

Interesting facts about Lifesaver

  • The Lifesaver cocktail is named after the Lifesaver candy, which is known for its sweet and fruity flavors.
  • It's a popular choice for summer parties and beach gatherings.
  • Despite its sweet taste, the Lifesaver cocktail contains a fair amount of alcohol, making it a strong drink.


White Rum

The backbone of the Lifesaver, white rum brings a crisp and slightly sweet base. At 1.5 oz, it's just enough to kickstart the party without knocking the lights out. Skimp on rum, and you'll be swimming with the fishes in terms of flavor. More rum and you might be mistaken for a pirate. A clear substitute like vodka keeps the party going but drops the Caribbean vibe.

Alex Green

Pineapple Juice

1 oz of pineapple juice is like a tropical hug for your taste buds. Too much and you're in smoothie territory, too little and you're leaving the tropics behind. Pineapple juice brings brightness and some acidity which balances the sweetness. No pineapple juice? Try mango for a different island touch!

Emma Rose

Coconut Cream

At 1 oz, coconut cream is your ticket to creamy, dreamy paradise. Too little and the cocktail loses its silky robe, too much and you're spooning your drink. It sweetens and smoothens, and without it, it's just not a Lifesaver. For a lighter version, coconut water could play the part, but remember, it's not as creamy.

Mary Mitkina

Lime Juice

0.5 oz gives the zesty zing needed to perform CPR on the drink. Lime juice cuts through the sweetness and adds complexity. Miss it and the drink could feel flat, too much and you’re puckering more than kissing. No lime? A squeeze of lemon can also do the CPR but expect a slightly sharper edge.

Alex Green


1 tsp of this sweet syrup is like the belt on a life jacket—it’s there to pull it all together. If you forget it, you're missing a touch of color and sweetness. More than a teaspoon, and it's a sugar rush at sea. A dash of raspberry syrup could rescue the situation with a different kind of berry sweetness.

Emma Rose

Maraschino Cherry

1 piece as the garnish is the cherry on top, quite literally. It adds a dash of sophistication and a hint of cherry flavor that winks at you from the edge of the glass. Leave it out, and no one needs to know, but it's like skipping the final polish on a newly built ship.

Mary Mitkina

Pineapple Slice

1 piece for garnish. It's the sails on your Lifesaver ship. No pineapple slice, and your cocktail might feel naked, as it also adds to the tropical aroma that invites the first sip. Plus, it's a snack for when you're castaway on Flavor Island.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Lifesaver Drink

  1. Fill a shaker with ice cubes.
  2. Add white rum, pineapple juice, coconut cream, lime juice, and grenadine.
  3. Shake well until the outside of the shaker becomes frosty.
  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and a slice of pineapple.

Pro Tips

  • Make sure to shake the cocktail well to properly mix all the ingredients.
  • Use fresh lime juice for the best flavor.
  • Chill your cocktail glass before serving to keep your drink cool for longer.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

Pair the Lifesaver cocktail with light, tropical-inspired dishes:

  • Appetizers: Coconut shrimp or ceviche to complement the coconut and citrus notes
  • Main Course: Grilled chicken with a pineapple salsa or a light seafood curry with a tropical twist
  • Dessert: Lemon sorbet or a slice of key lime pie for a refreshing end

Drink Pairings

Complement the Lifesaver with:

  • Chilled sparkling water to cleanse the palate
  • A light pale ale that won't overpower the cocktail's flavors
  • A non-alcoholic tropical punch for those who want a similar taste profile without the alcohol

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What you could change in Lifesaver

  • You can substitute the white rum with coconut rum for a more intense coconut flavor.
  • If you don't have pineapple juice, you can use orange juice instead.

Explore all drinks starting with L here

And of course - twists🍹

Spicy Lifesaver

Ingredients: 1.5 oz Spiced Rum, 1 oz Pineapple Juice, 1 oz Coconut Cream, 0.5 oz Lime Juice, 1 tsp Grenadine, Jalapeño slice Recipe: Same as original, but muddle a slice of jalapeño in the shaker before adding the other ingredients. This twist brings heat to the beach party. The spiced rum and jalapeño slice introduce a kick that'll make you feel like you just rescued someone with your bare hands.

Berry Lifesaver

Ingredients: 1.5 oz White Rum, 0.5 oz Raspberry Puree, 0.5 oz Pineapple Juice, 1 oz Coconut Cream, 0.5 oz Lime Juice, 1 tsp Blue Curacao Recipe: Blend the ingredients instead of shaking them, pour into a glass, and float the Blue Curacao on top. Forget old-school—you're in a berry new world. The puree and Blue Curacao give it a vibrant look, and your tongue will be surfing on a berry wave.

Skinny Lifesaver

Ingredients: 1.5 oz White Rum, 1 oz Pineapple Juice, 1 oz Coconut Water, 1 tsp Lime Juice, 1 tsp Grenadine, Pineapple Slice Recipe: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. For those watching the shore-line, this lower-calorie version uses coconut water for a lighter texture, but still manages to throw the lifebuoy of flavor at you.

In case you forgot basics how to make Lifesaver

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 Lifesaver

When is the best time to have a Lifesaver cocktail?

The Lifesaver is perfect for any time of the day and any occasion. However, its tropical and refreshing taste makes it an ideal drink for hot days or summer parties.

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

Yes, to make it non-alcoholic, simply omit the rum. It will still taste tropical and fruity.

What food pairs well with the Lifesaver cocktail?

The sweet and fruity taste of the Lifesaver pairs well with light appetizers such as grilled shrimp or a fresh fruit salad.

Can I turn Lifesaver cocktail into a frozen cocktail?

Definitely! Simply add the ingredients into a blender with crushed ice, blend till smooth and there you have it - a frozen Lifesaver cocktail!

What kind of rum works best for the Lifesaver cocktail?

A white rum is usually used but feel free to be creative and mix it up with your preferred rum. A flavoured rum such as coconut rum also works well with this cocktail.

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