Nirvana Cocktail Recipe

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Nirvana 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 Nirvana cocktail is a modern creation, inspired by the classic Italian aperitifs. It's a perfect blend of bitter and sweet, with a refreshing citrus twist. Ideal for those who enjoy complex, layered flavors in their cocktails. It's a favorite among gin lovers and those who appreciate the unique taste of Campari and Aperol.

How Nirvana Tastes?

The Nirvana cocktail is a harmonious blend of bitter, sweet, and sour. The bitterness of the Campari and Aperol is balanced by the sweetness of the gin and the tartness of the grapefruit juice. It's a strong, yet refreshing cocktail with a complex flavor profile.

Interesting facts about Nirvana

  • The Nirvana cocktail is a modern twist on the classic Italian aperitif.
  • Its name, 'Nirvana', suggests a state of perfect happiness and peace, which is what you might feel after sipping this cocktail.
  • Despite its complex flavor profile, it's surprisingly easy to make at home.


  • Campari: 0.7 oz(21ml)
  • Aperol: 0.7 oz(21ml)
  • Hendrick's gin: 0.7 oz(21ml)
  • Pink grapefruit juice: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Grapefruit peel: 1

A few good options for Nirvana are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


Why: Campari adds a bitter complexity, cutting through sweetness and providing depth. What if not used: You'd lose out on bitterness, making the drink overly sweet. Alternatives: You could use a different amaro for a varied bitter profile.

Emma Rose


Why: Aperol is sweeter and less bitter than Campari, offering balance. What if not used: The cocktail could become too bitter and intense. Alternatives: For a gentler option, try Lillet Blanc for a fruitier, less bitter note.

Mary Mitkina

Hendrick's Gin

Why: Hendrick's Gin has a distinct floral and cucumber essence, which adds a refreshing twist. What if not used: Without it, the cocktail lacks alcoholic backbone and complex botanicals. Alternatives: You could opt for a citrus-forward gin to maintain a similar profile but with a more pronounced citrus kick.

Alex Green

Pink Grapefruit Juice

Why: The juice provides sweetness, acidity, and a refreshing citrus note. What if not used: The cocktail would lose a crucial fresh element and acidity. Alternatives: Regular grapefruit juice works, though the drink may be slightly less sweet.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Nirvana Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add the Campari, Aperol, Hendrick's Gin, and pink grapefruit juice.
  3. Shake well until chilled.
  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with a twist of grapefruit peel.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh grapefruit juice for the best flavor.
  • Chill your cocktail glass before serving for an extra refreshing experience.
  • Don't skimp on the garnish - the grapefruit peel adds a nice aromatic touch.

Perfect Pairings


Especially shellfish or a light shrimp salad work wonderfully, as their delicate flavours don't overpower the drink, and the acidity in the cocktail brightens the seafood.

Light Appetizers

Charcuterie boards or italian antipasti offer a variety of tastes that complement the aperitif nature of this cocktail.

Spicy Asian Cuisine

The sweetness and citrus notes can offset some of the heat from dishes like Thai or Sichuan cuisine.

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What you could change in Nirvana

If you can't find Hendrick's Gin, any high-quality gin will do. If you're not a fan of grapefruit, you can substitute it with orange juice, but it will change the flavor profile of the cocktail.

Explore all drinks starting with N here

And of course - twists🍹

Nirvana with a Sparkling Twist

  • Substitute the grapefruit juice with sparkling pink grapefruit soda.
  • The substitution brings effervescence that adds to the refreshing nature of the cocktail.
  • This twist is perfect for those who enjoy a touch of fizz in their sips.

Nirvana goes Tropical

  • Use coconut water instead of grapefruit juice and add a splash of pineapple juice.
  • This twist takes you on a tropical vacation, providing a sweet and creamy texture that contrasts the bitter elements.
  • It's a summer escape in a glass.

Nirvana with a Herbal Touch

  • Muddle fresh basil leaves in the shaker before adding the other ingredients.
  • Using basil adds a herbal freshness that pairs beautifully with the Gin's botanicals.
  • This version is for those who enjoy garden-fresh flavors in their cocktails.

In case you forgot basics how to make Nirvana

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 Nirvana

Does this cocktail contribute to any nutritional intake?

Although the Nirvana cocktail does contain some fruit juice, it's best to remember that cocktails remain a beverage choice intended for flavor enjoyment as opposed to nutritional value.

Why is this cocktail named as 'Nirvana'?

The Nirvana cocktail is believed to have been created during the height of the grunge music scene and is named after the band Nirvana, one of the most famous grunge bands of the late 20th Century.

Is there any way to reduce the sweetness of the Nirvana Cocktail?

The sweetness can be reduced by using less grenadine or using freshly squeezed fruit juice instead of processed ones as they contain less sugars.

Could other tropical juices work in the Nirvana cocktail?

It's possible to experiment with other tropical juices like mango or passion fruit juice, do remember this may change the flavor profile of the cocktail.

What dietary preferences does this cocktail cater to?

As far as we can tell from the recipe, Nirvana Cocktail may not cater to specific dietary needs. However, it is recommended to check the contents of each ingredient to be sure.

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