Purple People Eater Cocktail Recipe

Jump to Recipe ⬇️

Purple People Eater 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 Purple People Eater cocktail is named after the popular 1958 novelty song by Sheb Wooley. The song tells the story of a one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater who comes to Earth to join a rock and roll band. The cocktail gained popularity in the 1980s and is a favorite among those who enjoy colorful and fun drinks. It's perfect for themed parties, Halloween events, or simply for those who want to try something different and eye-catching.

How Purple People Eater Tastes?

The Purple People Eater cocktail is a delightful mix of sweet, sour, and fruity flavors. The combination of blue curaçao, grenadine, and cranberry juice creates a vibrant purple hue, while the vodka and sweet and sour mix add a refreshing kick. The overall taste is well-balanced, with a slight tanginess and a smooth, fruity finish.

Interesting facts about Purple People Eater

  • The cocktail's name is inspired by the 1958 novelty song 'Purple People Eater' by Sheb Wooley.
  • The Purple People Eater cocktail gained popularity in the 1980s.
  • The vibrant purple color of the cocktail is achieved by mixing blue curaçao, grenadine, and cranberry juice.


A few good options for Purple People Eater are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


A neutral spirit, vodka provides the necessary kick without overpowering the other flavors. Using 1 oz keeps the drink balanced; more could make it boozy and less could make it too mild. If omitted, you'd lose the backbone of the cocktail. Alternative: White rum for a slightly sweeter taste.

Mary Mitkina

Blue Curaçao

With its vibrant blue hue and bitter orange flavor, Blue Curaçao adds both color and a unique taste to the cocktail. Deviating from the 1 oz could either overly sweeten the drink or not provide enough blue color. No Blue Curaçao, no Purple People Eater! Alternative: Triple sec with a splash of blue food coloring won't give the exact taste but will keep the color.

Mary Mitkina

Sweet and Sour Mix

This is what brings the zing! The mix of sweet and sour elevates the fruity tones and adds complexity. Too much can make the drink too tart, too little and it may taste flat. If you skip it, you'll miss out on the lively character of the drink. Alternative: Lemon-lime soda for a sweeter, less tart option.

Alex Green


The pomegranate syrup provides a deep red color and a touch of sweetness that, when mixed, creates the cocktail's namesake purple hue. An imbalance could spoil the color and taste. Without it, the drink would be less sweet and more blue. Alternative: Raspberry syrup for a different type of sweetness and berry flavor.

Mary Mitkina

Cranberry Juice

Adds tartness and helps with the color blending to achieve the perfect purple. Too much can overpower the drink with tartness, too little might not provide the desired color. Without it, you'll lose some tartness and the purple magic won't happen. Alternative: Pomegranate juice for a similar tart profile with a deeper red tone.

Mary Mitkina


It chills the drink and maintains a refreshing temperature without diluting the flavors quickly, as crushed ice might. No ice means a warm cocktail, and who wants that? Alternative: Frozen berries can chill the drink with a bonus of subtle flavor infusion.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Purple People Eater Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add the vodka, blue curaçao, sweet and sour mix, grenadine, and cranberry juice to the shaker.
  3. Shake well until chilled and combined.
  4. Strain the mixture into a chilled glass filled with fresh ice.
  5. Garnish with a cherry and a slice of orange, if desired.

Pro Tips

  • Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously to ensure all ingredients are well combined.
  • Always use fresh ice for the best taste.
  • Garnish with a cherry and a slice of orange for an extra touch of flavor and presentation.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese Platter: A selection of mild cheeses complements the fruity notes of the cocktail.
  • Shrimp Cocktail: The acidity and slight sweetness pairs nicely with seafood.

Main Courses

  • Grilled Chicken Salad: The freshness of the salad pairs well with the tangy and sweet flavors of the cocktail.
  • Fish Tacos: The citrusy elements in the cocktail enhance the flavors of a well-seasoned fish taco.


  • Vanilla Ice Cream: A simple vanilla ice cream can offer a creamy contrast to the cocktail's tartness.
  • Lemon Cheesecake: The sweet and sour profile of the cocktail cuts through the richness of the cheesecake.

🍹 Discover the Top 50 All-Time Recipes! 🍹

Enter your email, and we'll send the exclusive list straight to your inbox.

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously

What you could change in Purple People Eater

  • You can replace vodka with gin for a different flavor profile.
  • If you don't have blue curaçao, you can use blueberry syrup or blue food coloring with a bit of orange liqueur.
  • Lemonade can be used as a substitute for sweet and sour mix.

Explore all drinks starting with P here

And of course - twists🍹

Tropical Purple People Eater

  • Ingredients: Substitute blue curaçao with mango liqueur, add 1/2 oz of coconut cream.
  • Recipe: Follow the original recipe but with the new ingredients.
  • Flavor Change: This twist will have a creamy, tropical profile with the mango giving a sweet, fruity punch. The purple color might be lighter, but you'll feel like you’re sipping the sunset on a beach!

Berry People Eater

  • Ingredients: Use raspberry vodka, add a splash of blackberry liqueur, and use lemonade instead of sweet and sour mix.
  • Recipe: Mix the modified ingredients and serve over ice with a few fresh berries.
  • Flavor Change: It's a berry explosion! The raspberry vodka enhances the fruitiness, and the blackberry liqueur deepens the purple hue while adding complexity. The lemonade keeps it refreshing!

Spicy Purple Margarita

  • Ingredients: Use tequila instead of vodka, add a pinch of chili powder, and a dash of triple sec.
  • Recipe: Combine all the ingredients, shake, and serve with a chili-salted rim.
  • Flavor Change: Ready for a kick? The tequila base and chili powder give this twist a Mexican-inspired fiery edge—perfect for adventurous palates craving a spicy, purple concoction.

In case you forgot basics how to make Purple People Eater

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

Find the cocktail you'd love!

If you want to drink something else - you can use our AI-augmented search to find the best cocktail for you!
Completely free!

Frequently Asked Questions on Purple People Eater

What is the origin of cocktail making?

Cocktail making is thought to have originated in the late 18th or early 19th century in the United States, with the first recorded use of the word 'cocktail' to refer to a drink in 1806.

What types of vodka work best for the Purple People Eater cocktail?

The Purple People Eater is versatile and can work well with a variety of vodkas, whether plain or flavored. Some may prefer a berry-flavored vodka to enhance the fruity characteristics.

What occasion is best to serve the Purple People Eater?

Due to its vibrant color and fun theme, it's often served at parties, especially those with a whimsical, colorful, or 80s theme. It's also great for Halloween parties.

Are there any specific techniques one must learn to prepare this cocktail?

The key skill needed in preparing this cocktail is in mastering the shake. A well-shaken cocktail ensures all ingredients are well combined.

How do I prevent my cocktail from getting watered down?

One way to prevent the cocktail from getting watered down is to use chilled ingredients and ice cold glasses. This way, the ice in the glass melts slower.

More similar recipes to Purple People Eater!

Explore new cocktails you'd love!

Please rate this recipe