Nuclear Rainbow Cocktail Recipe

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Nuclear Rainbow 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 Nuclear Rainbow is a visually stunning cocktail that is as potent as it is colorful. It's a layered drink that has gained popularity in bars known for their vibrant and elaborate cocktails.

  • Origins The exact origins of the Nuclear Rainbow are a bit hazy, but it's believed to have been created in the late 20th century as part of the trend for visually impressive, multi-layered drinks.
  • Popularity This cocktail is particularly popular among those who enjoy strong, sweet, and visually engaging drinks. It's a favorite at parties and themed events where it's sure to grab attention.
  • Crafting the Drink The art of layering the ingredients to create the rainbow effect requires a steady hand and a bit of practice, making it a showpiece for skilled bartenders.

How Nuclear Rainbow Tastes?

The Nuclear Rainbow is a symphony of flavors, each layer bringing its own unique taste. It's sweet from the melon liqueur and grenadine, yet has a complex herbal note from the Jagermeister. The cocktail is strong due to the variety of spirits, with a minty finish from the Rumple Minze.

Interesting facts about Nuclear Rainbow

  • The Nuclear Rainbow is named for its explosive array of colors resembling a radioactive glow.
  • It's often ordered as a challenge due to its high alcohol content.
  • Despite its potency, the drink's layered presentation often leads to it being sipped slowly, allowing patrons to enjoy the visual and taste experience.


  • Midori melon liqueur: 0.5
  • Vodka: 1
  • Amaretto: 0.5
  • Jagermeister: 0.5
  • Canadian whiskey: 0.5
  • Rumple minze: 0.5
  • Grenadine: 0.5

A few good options for Nuclear Rainbow are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose

Midori Melon Liqueur

Midori brings a vibrant green hue and sweet honeydew melon flavor, balancing the harder edges of the spirits. Using less would make the drink less sweet, while more could overpower the other flavors.

Emma Rose


A full ounce of vodka provides a clean, neutral alcohol base which strengthens the drink without influencing the flavor profile significantly. Too little, the drink becomes weak; too much, and it's all burn and no charm.

Mary Mitkina


Half an ounce of this almond-flavored liqueur adds a nutty sweetness. Leaving it out loses that hint of marzipan magic, which complements the fruitiness of the cocktail. Swap with frangelico for a hazelnut twist.

Alex Green


This herbaceous half-ounce adds depth with its many botanicals. Missing Jager? Your 'nuclear' cocktail would lack in complex flavors. As an alternative, try an herbal bitter like Fernet for a different kind of blast.

Emma Rose

Canadian Whiskey

Just enough to give it that oaky kick without setting the flavors off balance. Omitting it would make the drink lose its whiskey warmth. A substitute like American bourbon might add a touch more sweetness.

Mary Mitkina

Rumple Minze

Provides a refreshing peppermint zing, which could turn nuclear winter into nuclear spring. Swap with menthol vodka for a less potent minty touch.

Alex Green


It's the cherry on top (well, at the base) that offers a sweet start and a colorful foundation. Less would make the cocktail less vibrant, more would be too candy-like. A pomegranate syrup could be used for a more authentic taste.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Nuclear Rainbow Drink

  1. Chill the glass Start by chilling the glass to ensure the layers hold better.
  2. Pour the Grenadine Carefully pour 1/2 oz of grenadine into the base of the glass.
  3. Layer the Spirits Slowly layer each of the spirits using the back of a spoon or a layering tool:
    • 1/2 oz Rumple Minze
    • 1/2 oz Canadian Whiskey
    • 1/2 oz Jagermeister
    • 1/2 oz Amaretto
    • 1 oz Vodka
    • 1/2 oz Midori Melon Liqueur
  4. Serve Immediately Serve the cocktail promptly to maintain the layers.

Pro Tips

  • Layering Technique: Use a spoon to gently pour each layer over the back to achieve clear separation.
  • Chill the Spirits: Keeping the ingredients cold will help maintain distinct layers.
  • Glass Choice: A clear, straight-sided glass will showcase the layers best.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese plate: A variety of cheeses can complement the herbal and sweet notes of the cocktail.
  • Fried Finger Foods: Think tempura or fried calamari, as the crisp textures contrast the smoothness of the drink.


  • Spicy Dishes: The sweetness of the cocktail will balance out the heat from dishes like buffalo wings or spicy Asian cuisine.
  • BBQ: Smoky flavors from barbecued meats can pair nicely with the whisky and rum undertones.


  • Chocolate-based desserts: The richness will match well with the liqueurs and amaretto.
  • Fruit tarts: Their tartness will complement the sweetness of Midori and grenadine.

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What you could change in Nuclear Rainbow

  • Midori Melon Liqueur: Can be substituted with Bols Melon for a similar taste.
  • Rumple Minze: Peppermint schnapps can be used as an alternative.
  • Canadian Whiskey: A smooth bourbon could be used in place, though it will alter the flavor slightly.

Explore all drinks starting with N here

And of course - twists🍹

Green Light Special

Replace Jagermeister with absinthe for a hint of anise that'll make you see green fairies. The vibe? It's like a pool party at a garden gnome's house—unexpectedly refreshing.

Fruity Fallout

Swap out Canadian whiskey for peach schnapps. You'll feel like you've stumbled into a radioactive orchard where the fruit itself is throwing the party. Perfect for those who like their apocalypse with a side of sweetness.

Mint Condition

Ditch the Rumple Minze for some creme de cacao. It'll be like navigating through a chocolatey wasteland—where the ruins are delicious and the fallout is fabulous.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Nuclear Rainbow

How do I determine the right order to layer the ingredients in a layered cocktail?

The order of the layers in a layered cocktail like the Nuclear Rainbow is usually determined by the density of each liquid. Typically, syrups and liqueurs with higher sugar content are denser and should be poured first, with progressively lighter (less dense) spirits on top.

Can the Nuclear Rainbow cocktail be made into a non-alcoholic version?

Yes, a mocktail version of the Nuclear Rainbow can be created using non-alcoholic syrups and juices that mimic the colors and flavors of the original ingredients.

Is special equipment required to create the layered effect in cocktails?

While no special equipment is required, a bar spoon or a pourer with a slow, controlled flow can help achieve the layered effect more easily.

How should I store the ingredients to keep them fresh?

Most spirits in the Nuclear Rainbow cocktail should be stored at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. Opened liqueurs should be stored in a cool, dark place and consumed within 6 to 12 months for optimal flavor.

What's the best way to serve the Nuclear Rainbow at a party?

For a party, you can pre-chill the glasses and measure out the ingredients in advance. Layer the drinks just before serving to ensure the visual effect is at its best.

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