Pompeii Cocktail Recipe

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Pompeii 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 Pompeii cocktail is inspired by the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, which was buried under volcanic ash in 79 AD. This cocktail is a tribute to the city's rich history and culture, making it a favorite among history enthusiasts and travelers alike.

  • The name 'Pompeii' comes from the ancient Roman city that was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
  • The cocktail is said to capture the essence of the city's vibrant and luxurious lifestyle.
  • The Pompeii cocktail is often enjoyed by those who appreciate ancient history and archaeology.

How Pompeii Tastes?

The Pompeii cocktail has a complex and intriguing taste, with a perfect balance of sweet, sour, and bitter notes. It is strong and bold, yet smooth and refreshing.

Interesting facts about Pompeii

  • The Pompeii cocktail is often served in a unique glass that resembles the shape of Mount Vesuvius.
  • The cocktail's vibrant red color is reminiscent of the fiery lava that once flowed through the city.
  • Some variations of the Pompeii cocktail include the use of ancient Roman ingredients, such as garum (a fermented fish sauce) or honey.



It's the spirit base of our Pompeii, providing a smooth, warm backdrop that carries the other flavors. Using less than 2oz might leave you with a cocktail lacking backbone, while more might overpower the delicate balance. If you swap it with, say, vodka, you'd miss out on that rich, sugarcane essence.

Mary Mitkina

Lime Juice

The citrusy zing of 1oz lime juice gives our cocktail its vital acidity, offering a lovely tang that keeps you coming back for more. Less lime juice might make the cocktail too sweet, more could make it puckeringly sour. Lemon juice could be a substitute, yielding a slightly different type of citrus note.

Alex Green

Simple Syrup

Sweet salvation! The 0.5oz simple syrup is just enough to kiss the bitterness goodbye without making the Pompeii too sugary. If omitted, the bitter and sour would dominate, potentially making the drink unpalatable for some. Maple syrup could be a more characterful substitute.

Emma Rose


The 0.5oz Campari brings in the bitter elegance and a subtle herbal melody. More Campari could lead to a bitterness overload, while less would make the cocktail too tame. Aperol could be used for a sweeter and less alcoholic punch.

Mary Mitkina

Angostura Bitters

Just a couple of dashes and these bitter botanicals infuse complexity and depth. Without them, the Pompeii loses a layer of its mysterious allure. There aren't many substitutes that evoke the same magic, but Peychaud’s Bitters could introduce an interesting twist.

Alex Green


This pomegranate potion, at a modest 0.25oz, adds just a hint of fruity sweetness to round out the flavors. Too much could make a syrupy mess, too little and the balance is tipped. Raspberry syrup could add a different berry note if you're out of grenadine.

Emma Rose

Orange Peel

The zesty oils expressed from 1 orange peel add a fragrant aroma and a whisper of citrus oil to the rim, enhancing the drink's nose. Without the orange peel, the Pompeii would lack its fragrant bouquet. Lemon peel could be a tangy alternative.

Mary Mitkina


The garnish is the cherry on top, literally! It's not just decoration; it adds a touch of class and a whisper of cherry flavor if you choose to pop it in your drink. No garnish is a missed opportunity to dress up your cocktail.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Pompeii Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add the rum, lime juice, simple syrup, Campari, Angostura bitters, and grenadine to the shaker.
  3. Shake well until chilled and well combined.
  4. Strain the mixture into a chilled glass.
  5. Express the orange peel over the cocktail and discard.
  6. Garnish with a cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously to ensure all ingredients are well combined.
  • Use freshly squeezed lime juice for a more authentic taste.
  • Chill the glass before pouring the cocktail to keep it cool for longer.

Perfect Pairings


  • Grilled Shrimp: The citrus notes of the Pompeii cocktail cut through the richness of the shrimp.
  • Caprese Salad: The fresh tomatoes and mozzarella balance with the herbaceous and bitter notes of the Campari.

Main Courses

  • Lemon Herb Chicken: The zesty lime in the cocktail complements the chicken's flavors.
  • Seared Tuna Steak: Its meaty texture is a good match for the robust flavors of the Pompeii.


  • Lemon Sorbet: The tartness will align nicely with the cocktail's citrus profile.
  • Dark Chocolate: Offers a bold contrast to the cocktail's sweetness and bitters.

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What you could change in Pompeii

  • Rum: Can be replaced with vodka for a lighter taste.
  • Campari: Aperol can be used as a less bitter alternative.
  • Grenadine: Can be replaced with a dash of cranberry juice.

Explore all drinks starting with P here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Pompeii

  • Replace rum with mezcal for a smoky version
  • Ingredients: 2oz mezcal, 1oz lime juice, 0.5oz simple syrup, 0.5oz Campari, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, 0.25oz grenadine, orange peel, cherry garnish
  • Recipe essentially follows the original but the mezcal introduces a deep, smoky character that contrasts wonderfully with the bright, bitter elements. It feels like an ancient ritual in a glass, where every sip summons the spirits!

Spiced Pompeii

  • Add a thin slice of jalapeño to the shaker
  • Ingredients remain the same, with the addition of jalapeño
  • Recipe: Muddle the jalapeño slice gently in the shaker before adding the other ingredients. This Pompeii has a fiery kick — a spicy eruption to tickle your taste buds, akin to the molten heart of a volcano!

Herbal Pompeii

  • Use basil-infused simple syrup
  • Ingredients: 2oz rum, 1oz lime juice, 0.5oz basil-infused simple syrup, 0.5oz Campari, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, 0.25oz grenadine, orange peel, cherry garnish
  • Recipe follows the original, with the herbal twist in the sweetener. This version is like stumbling upon a hidden garden in Pompeii, its herbal whispers bringing a touch of green to the ruins.

In case you forgot basics how to make Pompeii

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 Pompeii

What type of rum is best used in a Pompeii cocktail?

The Pompeii cocktail is versatile and can be made with any type of rum you prefer. However, a good quality golden rum is often used for its complex flavors and notes that can bring forward the other ingredients as well.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Pompeii cocktail?

Yes, you can make a mocktail version of the Pompeii. Instead of rum, you can use a rum-flavored syrup or a non-alcoholic spirit. Non-alcoholic bitter substitutes are also available for the Campari.

Is the taste of the Pompeii cocktail similar to any other cocktails?

Given its ingredients, the Pompeii cocktail is sometimes compared to the Negroni or the Old Fashioned, but it possesses its own unique flavor profile.

How can I adjust the sweetness of the Pompeii cocktail to my preference?

You can adjust the sweetness of the Pompeii cocktail by reducing or increasing the amount of simple syrup or grenadine you use. Experiment until you find the perfect balance to suit your taste.

Aside from a cherry, what other garnishes can be used for the Pompeii cocktail?

You can also garnish the Pompeii cocktail with an orange slice, a fresh mint sprig, or even a flaming orange peel for an impressive display.

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