Red Death Cocktail Recipe

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Red Death 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 Red Death cocktail is believed to have originated in the 1980s during the peak of the cocktail culture. It is a popular party drink and is known for its vibrant red color and fruity flavor. The cocktail is often associated with celebrations and social gatherings, making it a favorite among those who enjoy a fun and lively atmosphere.

  • The name 'Red Death' is derived from its striking red color, which is achieved through the combination of various fruit juices and liqueurs.
  • The cocktail is often served in a highball glass or a hurricane glass, adding to its visual appeal and making it a popular choice for themed parties and events.

How Red Death Tastes?

The Red Death cocktail is a fruity and sweet concoction, with a hint of sourness from the lemon juice. It has a smooth and refreshing taste, making it easy to drink and enjoy. The combination of different fruit flavors creates a unique and delicious taste that is both satisfying and invigorating.

Interesting facts about Red Death

  • The Red Death cocktail is sometimes compared to the Long Island Iced Tea, as both drinks contain a mix of different spirits and fruit juices.
  • The cocktail is often served with a cherry or an orange slice as garnish, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to the presentation.
  • The vibrant red color of the cocktail is not only visually appealing but also adds to the overall sensory experience of the drink.


A few good options for Red Death are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose

A few good options for Red Death are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


The vodka serves as the backbone, providing a neutral base that lets the other flavors shine. It's a smooth operator that doesn't overpower, but if you skip it, you'll loose that boozy kick that balances the sweetness. Dare to swap for a flavored vodka and you may find an unexpected twist that's either a hit or a miss, depending on whether it complements or clashes.

Mary Mitkina


This sweet, almond-flavored liqueur gives the cocktail a warm, nutty edge. Amaretto adds a hint of sophistication, and without it, you might miss out on the depth it brings. If you're feeling adventurous, swap it for Frangelico and you'll get a hazelnut spin.

Alex Green

Southern Comfort

It's the smooth-talking, peach-flavored spirit that adds a southern twang. Without it, you'd lose a layer of fruity charm that makes the Red Death more than just a boozy fruit punch. Consider a bourbon if you want more heat and less sweet.

Emma Rose

Sloe Gin

This gives the cocktail its rosy hue and a tangy berry flavor that's like a secret handshake among the other ingredients. Lose it, and the drink becomes just another anonymous face in the crowd. A raspberry liqueur can serve as a substitute but expect a bolder berry bite.

Mary Mitkina

Orange Juice

Freshness alert! Orange juice brightens everything up with a burst of citrus that's like sunshine in the glass. Without it, the cocktail would be like a day without daylight – just not right. Use a fresher, better quality OJ and taste the upgrade.

Alex Green

Cranberry Juice

Cranberry juice adds tartness and color, playing a balancing act with the sweetness. Leave it out, and the drink might end up too one-dimensional. Swap it with pomegranate juice to add sophistication but dial up the tartness.

Emma Rose

Lemon Juice

A squeeze of lemon adds zing and keeps the cocktail from being overly sweet. It's like the friend who tells you the truth – sometimes hard to take, but necessary. Forgo the lemon juice, and your Red Death might become sickeningly sweet.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Red Death Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add the vodka, amaretto, Southern Comfort, sloe gin, orange juice, cranberry juice, and lemon juice to the shaker.
  3. Shake well to combine and chill the ingredients.
  4. Strain the mixture into a highball glass or a hurricane glass filled with fresh ice.
  5. Garnish with a cherry or an orange slice, if desired.

Pro Tips

  • Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously to ensure all ingredients are well mixed.
  • Use fresh fruit juices for a more vibrant and refreshing taste.
  • Chill the glass before serving to keep the cocktail cold for longer.

Perfect Pairings


  • Barbecue: The strong, sweet flavors will complement the smoky taste of barbecued meats.
  • Spicy Appetizers: The sweetness and acidity of the cocktail can cut through the spice of dishes like buffalo wings or jalapeño poppers.
  • Cheese Platter: Choose a variety of cheeses to balance the sweet and fruity notes in the Red Death.


  • Coffee: After the cocktail, a coffee can cleanse the palate and offer a contrast to the sweet and tart components.
  • Water: Between cocktails, water is always the best choice to stay hydrated and cleanse the palate.

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What you could change in Red Death

  • Vodka: Can be replaced with white rum or gin.
  • Amaretto: Can be substituted with a nut-free liqueur if allergies are a concern.
  • Sloe Gin: If unavailable, regular gin with a splash of blackcurrant cordial can be used.

Explore all drinks starting with R here

And of course - twists🍹

Black Death

Substitute the sloe gin with blackberry liqueur and the cranberry juice with blackcurrant juice. This darker, more brooding cousin of the original packs a berry punch that'll have you contemplating the nature of existence–or just reaching for another.

White Death

Go clear and swap out the colorful liqueurs for their colorless counterparts: white cranberry juice and clear orange liqueur (like Cointreau). The result is a ghostly apparition of the original; flavor-wise, it's crisper, with a pure, incisive citrus zing.

Green Death

Replace orange and cranberry juices with green apple juice and toss in a splash of melon liqueur. This eerie twist would make even the Wicked Witch of the West pucker with glee. It's tart, it's tangy, and it's sure to bring the party back from the dead!

In case you forgot basics how to make Red Death

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 Red Death

What type of vodka is preferred for the Red Death cocktail?

There isn't a specific type of vodka needed for the Red Death cocktail. Any standard quality vodka would work well.

Is the Red Death cocktail suitable for beginners?

The Red Death cocktail is smooth and fruity, making it quite suitable and enjoyable for beginners in cocktail making or drinking.

Can I prepare a non-alcoholic version of the Red Death cocktail?

Yes, you can prepare a non-alcoholic version of the Red Death cocktail. Simply remove the alcoholic components and add some grenadine for sweetness and to maintain that signature red color.

What other types of garnishes can be used for the Red Death cocktail?

Having a variety of garnishes can bring out different flavours and add aesthetic appeal. Besides cherry or orange slice, you can use a lemon wheel or cocktail cherries.

What food pairs well with the Red Death cocktail?

The Red Death's fruity and sweet profiles pair well with spicy and savory dishes like spicy chicken wings, charcuterie, or cheese platters.

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