Sex on the Beach Cocktail Recipe

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Sex on the Beach 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


Sex on the Beach is a popular cocktail that originated in the 1980s in Florida, United States. It is believed to have been created by a bartender named Ted Pizio, who wanted to create a fun and fruity drink that would appeal to the beach-going crowd.

  • The name 'Sex on the Beach' was chosen to evoke the fun and carefree atmosphere of the beach.
  • The cocktail quickly gained popularity and became a staple on many bar menus.
  • Over the years, there have been many variations of the recipe, but the classic combination of vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice, and cranberry juice remains the most popular.

How Sex on the Beach Tastes?

The Sex on the Beach cocktail is a fruity, sweet, and refreshing drink with a hint of tartness. The combination of orange and cranberry juices creates a vibrant and tangy flavor, while the peach schnapps adds a touch of sweetness. The vodka provides a subtle kick, making this cocktail a perfect balance of flavors.

Interesting facts about Sex on the Beach

  • The Sex on the Beach cocktail is often served in a highball glass, but can also be served in a hurricane glass or a large wine glass.
  • The cocktail is typically garnished with a slice of orange, a maraschino cherry, or both.
  • The International Bartenders Association (IBA) recognizes the Sex on the Beach as an official cocktail.


A few good options for Sex on the Beach are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


The vodka acts as the base spirit for the cocktail, providing a strong alcoholic foundation without overpowering the other flavors. At 1.5 oz, it offers just the right kick – any more, and you'd risk overshadowing the fruity flavors; any less, and it might become too sweet and not as refreshing. If you skip it, you'll just have a fruity mocktail. Alternatives could be white rum for a more tropical twist.

Emma Rose

Peach Schnapps

0.75 oz is the sweet spot that ensures the peach schnapps infuses the drink with its distinct fruity sweetness without turning the cocktail into a collegiate sugar bomb. Without it, you lose that peachy punch, which is the heart of this beachy concoction. You could swap it for apricot brandy for a more nuanced fruit flavor.

Mary Mitkina

Orange Juice

At 2 oz, orange juice adds a citrusy brightness that livens up the cocktail and balances both the cranberry tartness and the sweetness of the peach schnapps. Too much, and it could make the cocktail overly acidic; too little, and the drink may become too sweet or bland. Leaving it out would lose you the tropical vibe. Go for fresh-squeezed if you can – it's a game-changer!

Alex Green

Cranberry Juice

The 2 oz of cranberry juice gives the cocktail a tart punch and contributes to its signature color. It's also important for the balance - if you have too little, the peach and orange could be sickly sweet; too much, and it could be too tart. No cranberry would also mean no 'Sex on the Beach' iconic look. Pomegranate juice could be a decent substitute for a sharper edge.

Emma Rose

Orange Slice

The orange slice is key for aroma and garnish, as it adds to the 'sunset in a glass' aesthetic. It also allows guests to squeeze in a bit more juice if they find the cocktail too sweet for their taste. Without it, the presentation would feel incomplete.

Mary Mitkina

Maraschino Cherry

The cherry on top, quite literally! This little gem adds a whimsical touch and a hint of color, which plays off against the orange and cranberry nicely. Not essential for taste, but who doesn't love a cherry on top? It's the final touch that says, 'Your vacation in a glass is ready!'.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Sex on the Beach Drink

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
  2. Pour 1.5 oz of vodka and 0.75 oz of peach schnapps over the ice.
  3. Add 2 oz of orange juice and 2 oz of cranberry juice to the glass.
  4. Stir gently to combine the ingredients.
  5. Garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Chill your glass before serving to keep the cocktail colder for longer.
  • Use freshly squeezed orange juice for a fresher, more vibrant flavor.
  • Add the cranberry juice last to create a beautiful layered effect in the glass.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Seafood: The citrus notes of the cocktail complement the light, refreshing flavors of seafood, such as shrimp or scallops.
  • Grilled Chicken: The sweetness of the 'Sex on the Beach' cocktail can balance the savory flavors of grilled chicken dishes.
  • Salty Snacks: The combination of sweet and fruity flavors in this cocktail pairs well with salty snacks like chips or pretzels.

Drink Pairings

  • Sparkling Water: To cleanse the palate between sips of the cocktail.
  • Chilled White Wine: A crisp white wine could be a sophisticated alternative for those wanting something less sweet.

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What you could change in Sex on the Beach

  • Vodka: Can be replaced with white rum or tequila for a different kick.
  • Peach Schnapps: If not available, you can use peach liqueur or peach nectar.
  • Orange Juice: Can be replaced with pineapple juice for a tropical twist.
  • Cranberry Juice: Can be replaced with pomegranate juice for a slightly more tart flavor.

Explore all drinks starting with S here

And of course - twists🍹

Tropical Twist


  • 1.5 oz Coconut Rum
  • 0.75 oz Peach Schnapps
  • 2 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 2 oz Cranberry Juice
  • Lime Slice
  • Pineapple Chunk


Swap the vodka for coconut rum, and switch the orange juice for pineapple juice. Recipe remains the same. This changes the cocktail's profile to be more tropical, with a coconut hint that'll remind you of sunbathing under palm trees.

Berry Beach


  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Chambord
  • 1 oz Peach Schnapps
  • 2 oz Cranberry Juice
  • 2 oz Raspberry Puree
  • Fresh Berries


Reduce vodka, add Chambord and peach schnapps, swap orange juice for raspberry puree. Stir and garnish with fresh berries for a berrylicious twist that's as vibrant as it is delicious.

Sunset Sour


  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  • 0.75 oz Aperol
  • 2 oz Orange Juice
  • 1 oz Cranberry Juice
  • 0.5 oz Lemon Juice
  • Orange Twist


Keep the vodka, add Aperol, reduce cranberry, add lemon juice. The Aperol brings a bittersweet complexity, and the lemon adds a tangy twist, making it a more sophisticated 'Sex on the Beach' that's perfect for sipping as the sun sets.

In case you forgot basics how to make Sex on the Beach

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 Sex on the Beach

What are the other popular cocktails similar to Sex on the Beach?

Some popular cocktails similar to Sex on the Beach include the ‘Fuzzy Navel’, ‘Woo Woo’, and ‘Tequila Sunrise’. They also feature fruit juices and a similar sweet and tangy flavor profile.

Is it safe for pregnant women to have Sex on the Beach?

No, it's not recommended for pregnant women because it contains high levels of alcohol.

Can I make a non-alcoholic or mocktail version of Sex on the Beach?

Yes, you can make a non-alcoholic version of Sex on the Beach by simply leaving out the vodka and peach schnapps and using peach nectar or peach flavored iced tea instead.

Could I prepare Sex on the Beach in batches for a party?

Yes, simply multiply the quantities of the recipe’s ingredients by the number of servings you want to make.

How can I make my own peach schnapps?

You can make homemade peach schnapps by steeping peaches in vodka with a little bit of sugar for a couple of weeks.

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