Pink Polar Bear Cocktail Recipe

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Pink Polar Bear 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 Pink Polar Bear is a whimsical cocktail that's said to have emerged from the playful side of bartending. It's a drink that's as fun to look at as it is to consume, with its creamy pink hue reminiscent of a blushing polar bear.

  • Origin: The exact origin is a bit hazy, but it's believed to have been concocted in a trendy bar where patrons enjoyed novelty drinks.
  • Popularity: It's a hit at parties and among those who prefer sweeter, dessert-like cocktails.
  • Target Audience: Ideal for those who enjoy creamy cocktails with a sweet edge and a kick of coffee flavor from the Tia Maria.

How Pink Polar Bear Tastes?

The Pink Polar Bear is a delightful mix of sweet and creamy with a subtle coffee undertone. The vodka provides a smooth base, while the Tia Maria adds depth with its rich coffee flavor. The grenadine imparts a fruity sweetness, and the milk ties it all together with a velvety finish.

Interesting facts about Pink Polar Bear

  • The cocktail's name and color are inspired by the arctic animal and its association with snow and ice.
  • It's often served in a highball glass to showcase its pink creaminess.
  • The Pink Polar Bear can also be made into a frozen cocktail for a slushy texture.


A few good options for Pink Polar Bear are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


Vodka (2oz): The backbone of many cocktails, vodka is used for its neutral flavor profile which allows the other ingredients like Tia Maria and grenadine to shine. If less is used, the cocktail may become overly sweet, while too much might overpower the delicate balance. No vodka? Consider substituting with a clear rum for a slightly sweeter kick.

Alex Green

Tia Maria

Tia Maria (1oz): This coffee liqueur brings depth with its rich and dark flavors. Omitting or reducing it could leave your cocktail lacking complexity. Substituting Tia Maria with another coffee liqueur, like Kahlua, won't disturb the cocktail cosmos much—just a slight variance in the coffee flavor intensity.

Emma Rose


Grenadine (1oz): Adds the 'pink' to your Pink Polar Bear and a touch of sweetness along with it. Less grenadine might leave the cocktail colorless and less vibrant, while too much could make it cloyingly sweet. No grenadine? A dash of raspberry syrup might save the day, but expect a berry twist on the flavor profile.

Mary Mitkina


Milk (Top Up): The creaminess of milk mellows out the stronger flavors of alcohol and liqueur, smoothing the entire drink into a dessert-worthy concoction. Skimping on the milk could lead to a harsher drink, while too much could drown the cocktail's character. Lactose-intolerant? Almond or coconut milk could present a lovely alternative, each adding their own unique nutty or tropical notes.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Pink Polar Bear Drink

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
  2. Pour in the vodka, Tia Maria, and grenadine.
  3. Top up with milk.
  4. Stir gently to combine.
  5. Garnish with a cherry or a sprinkle of pink edible glitter for an extra touch of whimsy.

Pro Tips

  • To enhance the coffee flavor, try adding a splash of cold brew coffee.
  • For a frothier top, shake the milk separately before topping up the drink.
  • Chill the glass beforehand to keep the cocktail colder for longer.

Perfect Pairings

Sweet Desserts

A Pink Polar Bear cocktail has a creamy and sweet profile that harmonizes excellently with desserts. Think of it as a decadent treat after a meal. Pair it with chocolate brownies, vanilla-flavored cakes, or fruit tarts to enhance its indulgent nature.

Snack Pairings

Ideal snacks to accompany this delightfully sweet cocktail are salty and mildly spiced offerings like salted nuts or pretzels. These can cut through the sweetness and create a balanced taste experience.

Cheese Pairings

This cocktail's creamy texture can be a playful companion to softer cheeses like Brie or Camembert, adding a layer of sophistication to your indulgence session.

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What you could change in Pink Polar Bear

  • Vodka: Any high-quality vodka will do, but for a smoother taste, consider using a premium brand.
  • Tia Maria: If Tia Maria is unavailable, Kahlúa or any other coffee liqueur can be a suitable substitute.
  • Grenadine: For a less sweet cocktail, pomegranate syrup can be used in place of grenadine.

Explore all drinks starting with P here

And of course - twists🍹

Iced Mocha Polar Bear

For those who love a cold brew kick, add a shot of cold espresso into the mix before topping up with milk. You've got a boozy, iced mocha bear that packs a caffeine punch with a hint of creamy goodness.

Red Berry Bear

Switch out grenadine for raspberry or strawberry liqueur. The resulting cocktail will have a berry-licious twist, enhancing the fruitiness while maintaining that desirable pink hue.

Polar Bear on a Nutty Iceberg

Go dairy-free by using almond milk instead of regular milk, and add a splash of amaretto. The almond flavors will intensify, giving you a nuttier and slightly more complex version of your frosty friend.

In case you forgot basics how to make Pink Polar Bear

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 Pink Polar Bear

Can I make the Pink Polar Bear into a non-alcoholic version?

Yes, you can substitute the vodka and Tia Maria with non-alcoholic alternatives or simply omit the coffee liqueur and use a mix of fruit juices or flavored syrups to mimic the taste.

Is the Pink Polar Bear suitable for vegans?

The cocktail typically contains milk, which is not vegan. However, you can make a vegan version by using a plant-based milk alternative such as almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk.

What is the best way to serve the Pink Polar Bear at a party?

For a party, consider making a large batch in a punch bowl and allowing guests to serve themselves. Garnish the bowl with floating edible flowers or fruit slices for an extra festive touch.

Can I use a different type of glass for this cocktail?

Certainly! While a highball glass is traditional, you can use any glass you prefer, such as a martini glass for a more elegant presentation or a mason jar for a casual look.

How can I achieve a perfectly layered look for the Pink Polar Bear?

To create distinct layers, pour ingredients slowly over the back of a spoon to prevent them from mixing. Start with the heaviest liquid and gradually add lighter ones.

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