Lounge Lizard Cocktail Recipe

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Lounge Lizard 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 Lounge Lizard is a classic cocktail that has been enjoyed by many over the years. It's a simple yet delicious blend of dark rum, amaretto liqueur, and cola, garnished with a maraschino cherry or lime wedge. It's a favorite among those who enjoy a sweet, refreshing drink with a kick. This cocktail is perfect for those chill, laid-back evenings at the lounge, hence the name 'Lounge Lizard'.

How Lounge Lizard Tastes?

The Lounge Lizard is a sweet, refreshing cocktail with a hint of nuttiness from the amaretto. The dark rum gives it a strong, robust flavor, while the cola adds a bubbly, sugary sweetness. The maraschino cherry or lime wedge garnish adds a tangy, fruity finish.

Interesting facts about Lounge Lizard

  • The Lounge Lizard is a versatile cocktail that can be enjoyed year-round, but it's especially refreshing during the summer months.
  • The name 'Lounge Lizard' is often used to describe someone who spends a lot of time in bars or lounges.
  • Despite its simplicity, the Lounge Lizard has a complex flavor profile due to the combination of dark rum, amaretto, and cola.


Dark Rum

Used as the base spirit, Dark Rum brings rich, sweet, and molasses-like flavors which are the backbone of the cocktail. Using 1.5 oz keeps the drink strong but not overpowering. Too much could dominate the drink, while too little would make it weak. An alternative might be bourbon for a less sweet, smokier cocktail.

Emma Rose

Amaretto Liqueur

Amaretto adds a sweet, almond-like flavor that complements the dark rum perfectly. Half an ounce is just enough to notice without turning the drink into an almond syrup fest. Skip it, and you'll lose the depth it provides. You could use a hazelnut liqueur for a nuttier twist.

Mary Mitkina


Cola is the mixer that binds all the flavors while adding its own vanilla and spice tones. The recommended 4-6 oz lets you adjust sweetness and strength. No cola means a very strong, less palatable drink. A spicier ginger beer could be an interesting alternative.

Alex Green

Maraschino Cherry

This cherry is a sweet treat that adds a pop of color and a touch of fruity decadence. Lose it, and you'll miss out on that classic cocktail garnish charm. A fresh cherry could work as well for a less sugary option.

Emma Rose

Lime Wedge

The lime wedge adds a citrusy zing that cuts through the sweetness, providing balance. Without it, the drink might be too sweet. A lemon wedge could serve as an alternative for a different type of citrus note.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Lounge Lizard Drink

  1. Fill a glass with ice.
  2. Pour in the dark rum and amaretto liqueur.
  3. Top off with cola, to taste.
  4. Garnish with a maraschino cherry or lime wedge.
  5. Stir gently and serve.

Pro Tips

  • Use a high-quality dark rum for the best flavor.
  • Chill your glass beforehand for a colder, more refreshing drink.
  • Don't overdo it with the cola - you want to be able to taste the rum and amaretto.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Meats: The robust flavor of dark rum pairs beautifully with grilled meats like steak or barbecue ribs, as the caramel notes in the rum complement the char on the meat.
  • Spicy Dishes: The sweetness of the amaretto and cola can help balance the heat from spicy foods such as buffalo wings or a spicy curry.
  • Chocolate Desserts: The Lounge Lizard's rich flavors can match well with chocolate-based desserts, offering a delightful contrast.
  • Salty Snacks: Salty snacks like nuts or pretzels can bring out the subtle sweetness of the amaretto and cola.

Drink Pairings

  • Coffee: A coffee or espresso could make a nice after-dinner follow-up to this cocktail.
  • Beer: A crisp lager might be enjoyed alongside this sweeter cocktail as a refreshing palate cleanser.

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What you could change in Lounge Lizard

  • Dark Rum: You can substitute with light rum or bourbon for a different flavor.
  • Amaretto Liqueur: If you don't have amaretto, you can use a different nut-flavored liqueur.
  • Cola: You can use diet cola for a lower-calorie option.

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And of course - twists🍹

Espresso Lizard

  • Add 0.5 oz of espresso to the mix.
  • Follow the standard recipe, then pour the espresso over after stirring.
  • The bitterness of the espresso will counteract the sweetness, adding a sophisticated coffee edge that's perfect for an after-dinner treat.

Spicy Lizard

  • Substitute cola with ginger beer.
  • Dark rum and ginger beer replace the cola for a spicy kick.
  • The richness of rum with the heat of ginger beer creates an exciting twist with a zesty finish.

Tropical Lizard

  • Mix in 0.5 oz of coconut cream.
  • Blend the rum and amaretto with ice and coconut cream for a slushy consistency.
  • This creamy version will feel like a tropical escape, with rich coconut flavors softening the rum's impact.

In case you forgot basics how to make Lounge Lizard

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

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 Lounge Lizard

How should I store my White Rum for the best taste?

Store your white rum in a cool, dark place away from any heat sources. Always make sure the cap is closed tightly to avoid any potential evaporation and flavor changes.

Can I make my own Blue Curaçao?

While it's possible to make homemade curaçao, it can be a time-consuming process, requiring specific ingredients like bitter orange peels and high proof alcohol for infusing. Moreover, the distinctive blue color may not be achieved without food coloring.

What's the difference between freshly squeezed and store-bought pineapple juice?

Freshly squeezed pineapple juice tends to have a brighter and more vibrant flavor than the store-bought version. However, both can be used in making a Lounge Lizard cocktail.

Are there any non-alcoholic substitutions for Lime Juice?

You can use a mix of water and citric acid, which can mimic the sourness of the lime juice. But keep in mind that it will not provide the same aromatic quality.

Where did the Maraschino cherry originate from?

Maraschino cherries originated from Croatia. They were first soaked in Maraschino liqueur (made from Marasca cherries), but modern versions are typically made by soaking cherries in a sugar syrup.

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