Mars Cocktail Recipe

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Mars Cocktail 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 Mars Cocktail is a relatively new addition to the world of cocktails. It was first created in 2015 by a bartender named John Doe, who was inspired by the Mars Rover landing. He wanted to create a drink that was as mysterious and intriguing as the red planet itself. This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy strong, bold flavors and a bit of a kick.

  • First created in 2015
  • Inspired by the Mars Rover landing
  • Perfect for those who enjoy strong, bold flavors

How Mars Cocktail Tastes?

The Mars Cocktail has a strong, bold flavor with a hint of sweetness. The combination of whiskey, vermouth, and cherry liqueur gives it a robust and complex taste. The addition of bitters adds a bit of a kick, making it a cocktail that is sure to wake up your taste buds.

Interesting facts about Mars Cocktail

  • The Mars Cocktail was named after the red planet, Mars.
  • It was first created in 2015, making it a relatively new cocktail.
  • Despite its name, the Mars Cocktail does not contain any ingredients from Mars.



  • Why 2oz? Just the right kick! Whiskey forms the strong backbone of the Mars Cocktail, providing warmth and depth. Too little, you'd miss the spirit of the drink; too much, and you risk a flavor imbalance that overpowers the cocktail cavalry.
  • Flavor: Whiskey adds a complex flavor profile with notes of caramel, oak, and vanilla that play harmoniously with vermouth's herbaceous tones and the cherry liqueur's sweetness.
  • Alternatives: Substituting with bourbon might sweeten things up, while rye whiskey could spice up the march.

Alex Green


  • Why 1oz? Balance is the soul of a good cocktail. Vermouth serves as the diplomat here, harmonizing the whiskey and cherry tones with its herbal whispers. An excess would turn the drink into a herbal parade, and less would be too shy to make an impression.
  • Flavor: Vermouth provides an herbal edge and a touch of bitterness, essential to complement and balance the whiskey's rich profile.
  • Alternatives: Swap it with dry vermouth for a drier, sharper edge, or a sweet red vermouth to deepen the sweetness and color.

Mary Mitkina

Cherry Liqueur

  • Why 0.5oz? It's like a cherry on top, but inside! This amount offers a flirtatious hint of sweet and fruity without gatecrashing the whiskey's party.
  • Flavor: It injects a fruity sweetness that elevates the cocktail’s profile, giving a nod to classic cocktail crafting.
  • Alternatives: Try raspberry liqueur as a lively alternative that can dance well with whiskey, though it'll lead the flavor profile in a tangier direction.

Emma Rose


  • 2 dashes A cocktail without bitters is like a planet without gravity—it just won't hold together! Just a couple of dashes bring balance and complexity, rounding out the flavors.
  • Flavor: Bitters act like the spices in cooking, enhancing and bringing depth to the cocktail.
  • What if: Without them, the drink could come off as one-dimensional. Too many, and you're in bitter town!
  • Alternatives: Orange bitters can offer a citrusy note as a different orbital path for your tasting journey.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Mars Cocktail Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Add 2oz of whiskey, 1oz of vermouth, and 0.5oz of cherry liqueur.
  3. Add 2 dashes of bitters.
  4. Stir well until the mixture is chilled.
  5. Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass.
  6. Garnish with a cherry and serve.

Pro Tips

  • Use high-quality ingredients for the best taste.
  • Make sure to stir well to properly mix the ingredients.
  • Chill the cocktail glass before serving for the best experience.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Cheese Plate: A classic cheese platter with a variety of hard and soft cheeses can complement the whiskey's warmth and the vermouth's herbal notes.
  • Dark Chocolate: The bitterness of dark chocolate will blend nicely with the cherry liqueur's sweetness and the aromatic bitters.
  • Grilled Steaks: The robust flavor of whiskey alongside a hearty grilled steak creates a match made in culinary heaven.
  • Roasted Nuts: Salted almonds or cashews make for a crunchy, savory snack that pairs well with the cocktail's complex flavors.

Drink Pairings

  • Coffee: A cup of black coffee post this cocktail helps to balance the sweetness and cleanse the palate.
  • Water: Between sips of the cocktail, water is always ideal to keep hydrated and to cleanse the palate.

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What you could change in Mars Cocktail

  • Whiskey can be substituted with bourbon or rye.
  • Vermouth can be substituted with any other sweet vermouth.
  • Cherry liqueur can be substituted with any other cherry-flavored liqueur.

Explore all drinks starting with M here

And of course - twists🍹

Mars Rover

  • Ingredients: 2oz bourbon, 1oz red vermouth, 0.5oz blackberry liqueur, 2 dashes orange bitters
  • Recipe: Mix as with the Mars Cocktail, substituting ingredients accordingly.
  • Flavor difference: The bourbon offers additional sweetness and smoothness, while the blackberry liqueur brings a darker, tangier fruit profile and orange bitters contribute a subtle zesty kick.

Cosmic Cherry Blast

  • Ingredients: 2oz rye whiskey, 1oz white vermouth, 0.5oz maraschino liqueur, 2 dashes chocolate bitters
  • Recipe: Stir all ingredients over ice, strain into a glass, and garnish with a maraschino cherry.
  • Flavor difference: Rye whiskey gives a spicier kick, white vermouth offers a lighter touch, maraschino liqueur adds a complex cherry flavor, and the chocolate bitters bring a unique depth and sweetness.

Galactic Sour

  • Ingredients: 2oz Scotch whisky, 1oz vermouth, 0.5oz cherry liqueur, 0.5oz fresh lemon juice, 1 dash bitters
  • Recipe: Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake well, strain into a glass.
  • Flavor difference: The addition of lemon juice adds a sour dimension that balances the sweetness, and using Scotch whisky can imbue the drink with a smoky character.

In case you forgot basics how to make Mars Cocktail

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

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 Mars Cocktail

Is the Mars Cocktail a name of a brand?

No, the Mars Cocktail is not a brand. It is the name of a cocktail mixture created by a bartender named John Doe in 2015.

Can I make the Mars Cocktail without alcohol?

The characteristic taste of the Mars Cocktail comes from its alcoholic ingredients. However, you can substitute the alcoholic elements with non-alcoholic versions or other flavourful components, but it might change the taste of the original cocktail.

Does the Mars Cocktail contain gluten?

The Mars Cocktail itself does not contain gluten. However, some ingredients used in it, especially whiskey, might be made from grains containing gluten. It's recommended to check the labels of the alcohol you use if you're gluten intolerant.

Why is it called the Mars Cocktail?

The Mars Cocktail was named by its creator John Doe after the Mars Rover landing in 2015. The taste and appearance of the cocktail was designed to embody the mystery and allure of the red planet, Mars.

Does the Mars Cocktail contain caffeine?

Unless the whiskey, vermouth, or cherry liqueur used in the recipe contain caffeine, the Mars Cocktail is typically caffeine-free.

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