Nevada Cocktail Recipe

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Nevada 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 Nevada cocktail is believed to have originated in the 1940s or 1950s, named after the state of Nevada, which is famous for its casinos and nightlife. It is a classic cocktail that has been enjoyed by many generations and is especially popular among those who appreciate a well-balanced, refreshing drink.

How Nevada Tastes?

The Nevada cocktail has a harmonious balance of sweet, sour, and bitter flavors, with a hint of fruity and herbal notes. It is a refreshing and light cocktail with a smooth, velvety texture.

Interesting facts about Nevada

  • The Nevada cocktail is often associated with Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world.
  • It is a versatile cocktail that can be enjoyed year-round, but is particularly refreshing during the hot summer months.
  • The Nevada cocktail is sometimes compared to the Daiquiri, as both drinks feature rum, lime juice, and sugar.


White Rum

At 2 oz, white rum is the backbone of our Nevada cocktail, providing a smooth, slightly sweet canvas for the other flavors to shine. Too much, and the alcohol overpowers; too little, and the drink feels flat. Without it, you've lost your base spirit – that's like forgetting the buns for your burger!

Mary Mitkina

Fresh Lime Juice

0.75 oz gives the perfect zing, balancing the sweetness and enhancing the overall freshness. A key player in any good cocktail, lime juice sans it would be like a day without sunshine. Overdo it, and you'll pucker up more than intended; skimp on it, and the cocktail loses its zesty charm.

Mary Mitkina

Grapefruit Juice

Also at 0.75 oz, grapefruit juice offers a bitter-sweet symphony, creating a sophisticated profile. Ignore this, and you're missing out on a layer of complexity. Substituting with orange juice might make the drink sweeter, but you'll lose that unique grapefruit tang.

Alex Green

Simple Syrup

A modest 0.5 oz helps to harmonize our citrus duo. Without this sweet mediator, the tartness might be too much, making the cocktail imbalanced. Be careful: too much sweetness can overshadow the intricate dance of flavors.

Mary Mitkina

Angostura Bitters

Just a dash is needed to add depth and a hint of spice; this is the secret sauce that quietly ties everything together. If you exclude the bitters, it's like omitting salt from a recipe – you may not notice it's there, but you'll miss it when it's gone.

Mary Mitkina

Optional Garnish: Grapefruit Twist

Not just a pretty face, this garnish releases oils that subtly enhance the aroma and overall sensory experience of the Nevada. Beware, though; a lemon twist won't ruin the show, but why miss out on the grapefruit's hat trick of scent, taste, and looks?

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Nevada Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add the white rum, fresh lime juice, grapefruit juice, simple syrup, and Angostura bitters.
  3. Shake well until chilled and well combined.
  4. Strain the mixture into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.
  5. Optional: Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Pro Tips

  • Chill your glass before pouring the cocktail to keep it cool longer.
  • Use freshly squeezed lime and grapefruit juice for the best flavor.
  • Shake well to ensure all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

Perfect Pairings


Nevada cocktail with its citrus notes pairs beautifully with seafood dishes like grilled shrimp or a fresh ceviche - its acidity cuts through the richness of the seafood.


Try it alongside a light chicken salad or turkey cold cuts. The crispness of the cocktail will complement the delicate flavors of the poultry.


A fresh garden salad with a zesty vinaigrette would echo the bright notes in the Nevada.

Citrus or Tropical Fruit Desserts

Bold enough to stand up to sweets, this cocktail would go perfectly with lemon tart or mango sorbet.

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What you could change in Nevada

  • White Rum: Can be substituted with any light rum.
  • Fresh Lime Juice: Can be substituted with bottled lime juice, but fresh is recommended.
  • Grapefruit Juice: Can be substituted with orange juice or a mix of orange and lemon juice.
  • Simple Syrup: Can be substituted with agave nectar or honey.

Explore all drinks starting with N here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Nevada

  • Replace white rum with mezcal for a smoky edge
  • Follow the original recipe
  • Taste Change: Expect a smoky undertone that adds mystery to the traditional bright Nevada.

Herbal Nevada

  • Add a sprig of fresh rosemary or thyme
  • Muddle the herbs with the simple syrup before adding other ingredients
  • Taste Change: Introducing a herbal note for an earthy kick, pairing delightfully with the citrus.

Spiced Nevada

  • Infuse the simple syrup with cloves or cinnamon
  • Use the infused syrup in the original recipe
  • Taste Change: Warm spices mingle with the citrus for a cozy take on the classic Nevada, perfect for cooler evenings.

In case you forgot basics how to make Nevada

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

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 Nevada

What type of glass is best for serving the Nevada cocktail?

The Nevada cocktail is traditionally served in a coupe or cocktail glass. However, you can also use a highball or old-fashioned glass.

How important is the order of ingredients when making a Nevada cocktail?

In cocktails, the order of ingredients can affect the mix and taste of the drink. Generally, you'll want to start with the less expensive ingredients first, such as the mixers, before adding the spirits.

Can I shake the ingredients with some fruit slices for adding natural flavor?

Yes, shaking the cocktail with some fruit slices can add some natural flavor. Just remember to remove the fruit slices before pouring.

What's the role of Angostura Bitters in the Nevada cocktail?

Angostura Bitters lends balance to the cocktail and adds complexity to the other flavors. It adds a layer of depth and character to the drink.

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