Traffic Light Cocktail Recipe

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Traffic Light Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:10%

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 Traffic Light cocktail is a fun, layered drink that visually resembles a traffic light. It's a popular choice at parties and events due to its unique appearance and sweet, fruity taste. It's a hit among those who enjoy visually appealing and sweet cocktails.

  • Origin: Unknown
  • Popularity: Parties, Events

How Traffic Light Tastes?

The Traffic Light cocktail is a sweet, fruity drink with a refreshing aftertaste. The layers of grenadine, orange juice, and Midori create a delightful blend of flavors that is both tangy and sweet.

Interesting facts about Traffic Light

  • The Traffic Light cocktail gets its name from its appearance, which resembles a traffic light.

  • The cocktail is layered, with each layer representing a different color of a traffic light.

  • Despite its complex appearance, it's relatively easy to make at home.



Grenadine, the sweet and deep-hued pomegranate syrup adds a vibrant red layer to our cocktail. It's the foundation of our traffic light, so to speak. The 1 oz is just enough to sweeten without overwhelming, and without it, you'd miss the red 'stop' signal. If you hit the brakes on the grenadine, the drink loses its gradient charm. For an alternative, try raspberry syrup to maintain the red, but it'll take a slight turn towards berry town.

Alex Green

Orange Juice

The middle layer, orange juice, brings a citrus burst that shifts our 'traffic light' into 'caution' mode with its bright yellow hue. 1 oz keeps the flavor profile balanced and the layers distinct. No OJ? You'll skip the yellow light and the cocktail will lack its fruity freshness. As a twist, mango juice could slide in here, but expect a sweeter, tropical detour.

Emma Rose


On top, we have Midori, a melon liqueur that pours a 'go' green light into our glass. It’s 1 oz for the perfect melon note, not to overrun the citrus foreground. If Midori's MIA, you're left with a two-toned traffic jam. Substituting with apple liqueur would shift things from melon crosswalks to apple avenues, bringing a tartness to the sip.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Traffic Light Drink

  1. Pour the grenadine into a shot glass.

  2. Carefully layer the orange juice on top of the grenadine.

  3. Finally, layer the Midori on top of the orange juice.

  4. Serve and enjoy!

Pro Tips

To create the layers, pour each ingredient slowly over the back of a spoon.

  • Make sure the ingredients are well chilled before layering.
  • Serve immediately to maintain the layers.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese Platters: The creamy flavors of cheese can complement the sweet and fruity layers of the Traffic Light cocktail.
  • Sushi Rolls: The light and fresh taste of sushi, especially with avocado or cucumber, pairs nicely with the refreshing citrus notes.


  • Fruit Tarts: The sweetness of a fruit tart will harmonize with the fruity layers of the cocktail.
  • Sorbet: A citrus or melon sorbet would be a delightful match, echoing the cocktail's sweetness and acidity.

Non-Alcoholic Drinks

  • Sparkling Water: To cleanse the palate between sips of the cocktail and bites of a snack.
  • Iced Tea: A lightly sweetened iced tea can balance the sweet and tart notes of the cocktail.

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What you could change in Traffic Light

Grenadine can be replaced with any red syrup.

  • Orange Juice can be replaced with any orange-flavored liqueur.
  • Midori can be replaced with any green melon liqueur.

Explore all drinks starting with T here

And of course - twists🍹

Cucumber Breeze

  • Substitute Midori with cucumber vodka
  • Follow original layering method This twist brings a gust of garden freshness, dialing back the sweetness for a more vegetal sip.

Tropical Sunset

  • Mix the grenadine with coconut rum
  • Add a splash of pineapple juice before the Midori A luau in a glass! The rum whispers of island escapades, while pineapple adds a sunset glow to your traffic light.

Berry Stoplight

  • Replace grenadine with raspberry liqueur
  • Float blackberry brandy on top instead of Midori A berrylicious spin that'll make you want to put the brakes on. The flavors deepen from pomegranate to forest fruits, adding layers of berry complexity.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Traffic Light

Can I mix the layers of the Traffic Light cocktail?

While the layers can be mixed, this is traditionally served with the layers distinct to resemble a traffic light.

What kind of glass is best for this cocktail?

A tall, clear shot glass is recommended to display the layered effect.

Is this cocktail strong?

With an alcohol percentage of 10%, it's considered a lighter cocktail.

Can I use a different type of juice?

Yes, but keep in mind the color and flavor that the juice will bring to the cocktail. The original recipe uses orange juice for its bright color and citrus flavor.

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