Rose Kennedy Cocktail Recipe

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Rose Kennedy 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 Rose Kennedy cocktail is named after the mother of President John F. Kennedy, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. This refreshing and elegant drink is perfect for those who enjoy a light and fruity cocktail. It is often served at high-end events and gatherings, making it a popular choice among the elite.

  • The cocktail is said to have been created in the 1960s during the Kennedy administration
  • It has since become a classic cocktail enjoyed by many
  • The drink is often associated with sophistication and elegance due to its namesake

How Rose Kennedy Tastes?

The Rose Kennedy cocktail has a delicate balance of sweet and tart flavors. It is light, crisp, and refreshing, with a subtle hint of floral notes from the elderflower liqueur. The combination of vodka, cranberry juice, and lime juice creates a tangy and invigorating taste that is perfect for any occasion.

Interesting facts about Rose Kennedy

  • The Rose Kennedy cocktail is often served in a champagne flute, adding to its elegant presentation
  • The drink is sometimes garnished with a rose petal, paying homage to its namesake
  • The cocktail has been featured in various movies and TV shows, showcasing its popularity and timeless appeal


A few good options for Rose Kennedy are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


  • Balance: At 1.5 oz, vodka provides a smooth, clean alcohol base without overpowering the mixers.
  • Taste: It adds the necessary kick and allows other flavors to shine.
  • No Vodka, No Fun: Skipping vodka wouldn't be a 'Rose Kennedy'
    • it'd be a fancy cranberry soda!
  • Try: Switching to a flavored vodka, like citrus, could add an extra zesty note.

Mary Mitkina

Cranberry Juice

  • Color and Tartness: At 2 oz, it gives the cocktail its signature rosy hue and a tart edge.
  • The Base Flavour: Without it, you lose the fruity backbone of the drink.
  • Other Berries: Substituting with raspberry or pomegranate juice can provide a similar tartness but with a twist in flavor.

Emma Rose

Lime Juice

  • Citrus Kick: The modest 0.5 oz adds a bright touch to cut through the sweetness.
  • Freshness: Lime juice brings an energizing zesty profile; don't underestimate it!
  • Alternative: Lemon juice could be used for a slightly different citrus note.

Alex Green

Elderflower Liqueur

  • Elegance: Just half an ounce dials up the sophistication with floral notes.
  • A Hint of Sweetness: It balances out the tart flavors.
  • Without This?: You'd miss the fragrance that complements the cranberry.
  • Swap: Try a splash of pear or peach liqueur for a different fragrant twist.

Mary Mitkina

Club Soda

  • Effervescence: Topping with club soda adds bubbles for a refreshing lift.
  • Dilution & Integration: It brings all the flavors together without watering them down.
  • No Soda, More Drama: It would leave you with a too-strong and less refreshing drink.
  • Twist: You might use tonic for a subtle bitter touch, or ginger beer for a spicier kick.

Emma Rose

Lime Wheel

  • Garnish Glory: A lime wheel isn't just eye candy; it gives a fresh aroma.
  • Hint of Green: Squeezing it in adds a last-minute zest burst.
  • No Wheel, Still Real: But it’s a less Instagrammable drink without the pretty garnish!
  • Alternative: A sprig of rosemary could offer an aromatic alternative.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Rose Kennedy Drink

  1. Fill a shaker with ice
  2. Add vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice, and elderflower liqueur
  3. Shake well until chilled
  4. Strain into a champagne flute or tall glass filled with ice
  5. Top with club soda
  6. Gently stir to combine
  7. Garnish with a lime wheel

Pro Tips

  • Chill your glass before serving to keep the cocktail colder for longer
  • Use fresh lime juice for a more vibrant flavor
  • Shake the cocktail vigorously to properly mix the ingredients and chill the drink

Perfect Pairings


  • Bruschetta: The tanginess of the tomato pairs well with the tartness of the cranberry and lime.
  • Cheese Platter: Opt for milder cheeses like Brie or Gouda which won't overpower the subtle elderflower notes.

Main Courses

  • Grilled Chicken: A savory dish that complements the cocktail's freshness.
  • Salmon: The oily richness of salmon is a perfect match for the acidity in the cocktail.


  • Lemon Tart: The citrusy dessert continues the zesty theme of the cocktail.
  • Vanilla Panna Cotta: A soft and creamy dessert to smooth over the cocktail’s crispness.

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What you could change in Rose Kennedy

  • Gin can be used instead of vodka for a different flavor profile
  • Lemon juice can be substituted for lime juice
  • Elderflower syrup can be used instead of elderflower liqueur for a non-alcoholic version

Explore all drinks starting with R here

And of course - twists🍹

Gin-zing Rose

  • Ingredients: Use gin instead of vodka, add a splash of rose water.
  • Recipe: Follow the original recipe, substituting vodka with 1.5 oz of gin and adding a quarter ounce of rose water.
  • Taste Change: The juniper in gin and the rose water will add a botanical twist to the drink.
  • Why go for the twist?: If you're a fan of herbaceous flavors, this twist marries flora and fauna in your glass.

Sparkling Rose Kennedy

  • Ingredients: Replace club soda with prosecco.
  • Recipe: Follow the original recipe, but top the drink with prosecco instead of club soda.
  • Taste Change: Expected a bubblier, slightly sweeter and more festive cocktail.
  • Why the Fizz?: For celebrations that call for something with a little pop and pizzazz.

Berry Blush

  • Ingredients: Swap out cranberry juice for mixed berry puree, and lemon juice instead of lime.
  • Recipe: Use 2 oz of mixed berry puree and 0.5 oz of lemon juice, then follow the rest of the original recipe.
  • Taste Change: This version will be fruitier and slightly less tart, with a thicker texture.
  • Forest Fruits: For those who can’t get enough of the berries, this twist offers a berrylicious upgrade.

In case you forgot basics how to make Rose Kennedy

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

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 Rose Kennedy

What is the best time to enjoy a Rose Kennedy cocktail?

The Rose Kennedy cocktail can be enjoyed at any time, but it is particularly refreshing on a warm summer day or as an aperitif before a meal. It's also a popular choice for cocktail parties and special occasions.

Which type of vodka works best in a Rose Kennedy cocktail?

A quality, unflavored vodka is typically used in a Rose Kennedy cocktail to allow the other flavors to shine through. However, a light citrus-flavored vodka can also add an interesting twist.

What are some food pairings for the Rose Kennedy cocktail?

The light and refreshing flavors of a Rose Kennedy cocktail pair well with a variety of foods, particularly seafood dishes, salads, and light appetizers.

How can I adjust the sweetness of my Rose Kennedy cocktail?

The sweetness of the Rose Kennedy cocktail can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the amount of cranberry juice. Adding more lime juice can also help to balance the sweetness.

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