Pompano Cocktail Recipe

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Pompano 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 Pompano cocktail is a classic tropical drink that originated in the 1930s in the Caribbean. It was named after the Pompano fish, which is native to the region and known for its delicious taste. The cocktail quickly gained popularity among tourists and locals alike, and has since become a staple in beach bars and resorts around the world.

  • The Pompano cocktail was first created by a bartender named Don Beachcomber, who was inspired by the flavors of the Caribbean.
  • The drink is often associated with beach vacations, tropical getaways, and relaxing by the pool.
  • It is a favorite among those who enjoy fruity, refreshing cocktails with a hint of sophistication.

How Pompano Tastes?

The Pompano cocktail is a delightful blend of sweet, sour, and slightly bitter flavors. The combination of fresh citrus, tangy pineapple, and smooth rum creates a refreshing and well-balanced taste. The addition of bitters adds a subtle complexity to the drink, making it a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts.

Interesting facts about Pompano

  • The Pompano cocktail is sometimes referred to as the 'Caribbean Martini' due to its elegant presentation and sophisticated flavor profile.
  • The drink is traditionally served in a chilled cocktail glass, garnished with a pineapple wedge or a twist of citrus peel.
  • The Pompano cocktail is often enjoyed as an aperitif, or as a refreshing accompaniment to a light meal.


White Rum

The base spirit of our Pompano cocktail, white rum is chosen for its light, clean flavor which pairs wonderfully with fruity and citrus ingredients. It's a versatile spirit that balances well without overpowering the delicate flavors. If you skimp on the rum or go overboard, your cocktail could end up tasting like a child's juice box or a pirate's regret. An alternative might be vodka, which would result in a less complex flavor profile.

Mary Mitkina

Pineapple Juice

Pineapple juice adds tropical sweetness and tang to the cocktail. It's like a mini-vacation in a glass. Too little and you lose that getaway feeling; too much and you're basically just drinking spiked juice. You could try mango juice for a different tropical vibe.

Emma Rose

Fresh Lime Juice

A drop of sour adds the kick that makes the Pompano punch above its weight. Lime juice provides critical balance against the sweetness, so don't leave it out or your drink will be cloyingly sweet. Substitute with lemon juice for a slightly different kind of zesty.

Alex Green

Simple Syrup

It's the sweet whisper in the ear of the other ingredients, bringing harmony to the mixture. Not enough and the drink's sassy tartness might overwhelm; too much and you're veering into syrupy soda territory. Honey can serve as an alternative but will add its own unique flavor.

Mary Mitkina

Angostura Bitters

This is the cocktail's 'je ne sais quoi,' a complex blend of spices and herbs that gives depth. Missing the bitters is like missing your favorite band at the concert. Just a few notes off and the whole experience changes. No real substitute here – it's Angostura or bust in most classic cocktails.

Emma Rose

Pineapple Wedge

More than just eye candy, this garnish adds a touch of aromatic and edible intrigue to your cocktail. Without it, the cocktail's presentation falls flat. Can be substituted with another tropical fruit if you're feeling adventurous.

Alex Green

Grapefruit Twist

The twist provides an aromatic zing that brightens up every sip and looks snazzy to boot. If you skip this, your nose might feel left out of the party. Lemon or orange twists can be used for a different but equally fancy touch.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Pompano Drink

  1. Chill a cocktail glass by filling it with ice and setting it aside.
  2. Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker: white rum, pineapple juice, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, and Angostura bitters.
  3. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds to chill and dilute the mixture.
  4. Discard the ice from the chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Strain the mixture into the chilled glass.
  6. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a grapefruit twist.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh juices whenever possible for the best flavor.
  • Shake the cocktail vigorously to ensure all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Chill your glass in advance to keep your cocktail cooler for longer.

Perfect Pairings

Recommended Pairings for the Pompano Cocktail

  • Appetizers: Light seafood appetizers such as shrimp cocktails or ceviche would complement the tropical notes of the Pompano cocktail without overpowering its delicate flavors.
  • Main Courses: Grilled white fish or chicken with citrusy marinades work well with the fruity and acidic profile of the Pompano cocktail. The drink's brightness cuts through the richness of the food.
  • Desserts: Key lime pie or lemon sorbet can be fantastic dessert partners. Their tartness will echo the lime juice in the cocktail, creating a harmonious balance on the palate.

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What you could change in Pompano

  • White rum can be substituted with dark rum for a deeper flavor.
  • Pineapple juice can be replaced with orange juice for a different tropical twist.
  • Simple syrup can be replaced with honey for a natural sweetener.

Explore all drinks starting with P here

And of course - twists🍹

Cucumber Pompano

Swap out the white rum for cucumber-infused gin to introduce a refreshing, garden-fresh twist. Add in a couple of slices of fresh cucumber and replace the simple syrup with elderflower liqueur for a more floral sweetness. The result will be crisper and slightly less sweet, but with an enchanting botanical note.

Spicy Pompano

Introduce a slice of jalapeño into the shaker for a fiery kick. Use a smokier rum, like a dark rum or añejo, to complement the heat. A rim of salt and chili could give your cocktail glass a visually appealing and tasty edge, creating a dance of heat and sweet with each sip.

Berry Pompano

Muddle a few fresh raspberries or strawberries with the simple syrup before adding the rest of the ingredients. The berries will lend a summery freshness and a deeper red hue to your drink, while adding an extra layer of fruity sweetness. It'll make your Pompano feel like a boozy smoothie at a beach party.

In case you forgot basics how to make Pompano

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 Pompano

What kind of rum should I use for a Pompano cocktail?

For an authentic Pompano cocktail, it's best to use a high-quality white rum. However, the great thing about cocktails is that you can experiment to find what you like best. You could certainly use a spiced rum or even a dark rum.

Is there any substitute for Angostura bitters in Pompano?

There really isn't a substitution for Angostura bitters that will give the same taste. However, if you can't find Angostura, orange bitters might be a helpful substitution, but it will alter the taste a bit.

Why is it called a Pompano cocktail?

The cocktail is named after the Pompano fish, a species native to the Caribbean, where the drink originated.

Is Pompano best as a pre-dinner or post-dinner drink?

The Pompano cocktail can be enjoyed both as an aperitif and as a digestive, thanks to its sweet and sour flavors. It’s refreshing and kind of awakening before a meal, yet also relaxing and soothing afterwards.

How can I add a little more kick to my Pompano cocktail?

If you like a little more of a kick, you can bump up the alcohol a bit with an extra half ounce of rum. Just remember to adjust some of the other ingredients too to balance that additional spirit. You can also add more bitters for increased complexity.

Do I need special equipment to make a Pompano?

The necessary tools to make a Pompano cocktail include a glass, shaker, and strainer. You may also need a jigger or a measure, a chopping board and a sharp knife to prepare the garnish.

Does the type of glass I use affect the taste of the Pompano?

The shape of a cocktail glass can indeed have a subtle influence on our perception of taste and aroma. A chilled, elegant classic martini glass as suggested for the Pompano would help maintain its cold temperature and present the cocktail's elegant look and aroma at their best.

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