Undertow Cocktail Recipe

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Undertow 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 Undertow cocktail is a modern creation, inspired by the classic tiki cocktails and the adventurous spirit of the sea. It was created by a group of bartenders who wanted to bring the exotic flavors of the tropics to their patrons. This cocktail is perfect for those who love the taste of the ocean and the thrill of the unknown.

  • The Undertow was first introduced in the early 2000s
  • It has become a favorite among tiki enthusiasts and beach lovers alike
  • The name 'Undertow' refers to the strong undercurrents found in the ocean, symbolizing the powerful flavors and sensations this cocktail delivers

How Undertow Tastes?

The Undertow cocktail is a delightful mix of sweet, sour, and slightly bitter flavors. It has a strong, yet refreshing taste, with hints of tropical fruit, citrus, and spice. The combination of rum and fruit juices creates a smooth, well-balanced drink that is both invigorating and satisfying.

Interesting facts about Undertow

  • The Undertow is often served in a unique glass, shaped like a conch shell or a tiki mug, to enhance the tropical experience
  • The cocktail is sometimes garnished with a flaming lime shell, adding a dramatic flair to the presentation
  • The Undertow can be customized with different types of rum and fruit juices, allowing for endless variations and personalization


A few good options for Undertow are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose

Dark Rum

With a 2 oz pour, the dark rum establishes a strong, rich foundation. It's all about that deep, molasses-like flavor which infuses every sip with tropical mystery. Too little and the cocktail loses its backbone; too much and your taste buds may walk the plank. If you swapped in light rum, the drink would be lighter and less complex.

Emma Rose

Orange Juice

1 oz orange juice brings a tangy citrus kick. It's a little sunshine to brighten the dark rum's robust heart. Ditch it, and you miss out on a classic tropical cheer. Substitute with tangerine juice, and you'll add a touch of sweetness.

Alex Green

Pineapple Juice

With 1 oz, pineapple juice does a limbo dance with the orange juice, adding a sweet, tart twist. Without it, the cocktail is like a beach without sand. Try swapping it with mango juice if you're feeling more island vibes.

Mary Mitkina

Lime Juice

Half an ounce gives you just enough zing without tipping the flavor boat. Lime juice cuts through the sweetness with its acidity, bringing balance. No lime means a one-way ticket to sweet city, which isn't where this cocktail is sailing. Lemon could sub in for a brighter, more upfront citrus punch.

Emma Rose


0.5 oz adds a sunset blush and a whisper of sweetness. Forget the grenadine and you lose that lovely color and subtle fruity undertone. Pomegranate syrup could replace it for a similar effect and a touch more tartness.

Alex Green

Angostura Bitters

Just 2 dashes are like the spice of life, a little kick to awaken your senses. Skip these, and you may find the cocktail a tad flat. There are various bitters you could experiment with, but each will steer the flavor in a different direction.

Mary Mitkina

Orange Wheel

The garnish isn't just window dressing; it's an enticing visual cue. It whispers of the citrus notes waiting within. No wheel, no big deal, but the presentation would be less inviting. Try a pineapple slice for an alternative tropical look.

Emma Rose

Ginger Beer

Finally, 1 oz ginger beer gives a bubbly, spicy finish. It's a lively addition that contrasts with the sweetness of the fruit juices. Without it, the cocktail would have less of a 'pop'. Mix it up with a splash of soda water if ginger isn't your thing—just know it won't have the same kick.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Undertow Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. Add dark rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, lime juice, grenadine, and Angostura bitters
  3. Shake well until chilled and combined
  4. Strain into a conch shell or tiki mug filled with crushed ice
  5. Top with ginger beer
  6. Garnish with an orange wheel

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh fruit juices for the best flavor
  • Chill your glass before pouring the cocktail to keep it cool longer
  • Experiment with different types of rum to find your preferred taste

Perfect Pairings


  • Grilled Shrimp: The smokiness from the grill combined with the sweetness of the shrimp complements the tangy and sweet profile of the Undertow cocktail.
  • Jerk Chicken Skewers: The spicy kick from the jerk seasoning pairs well with the cocktail's bold rum base and the sweet, fruity notes.
  • Coconut Crusted Chicken Tenders: The coconut and chicken accentuate the tropical vibes of the drink.

Main Courses

  • Grilled Mahi Mahi: A lightly seasoned mahi mahi can be a delicate choice that won't overpower the flavors of the cocktail.
  • Hawaiian BBQ Pizza: The combination of sweet pineapple on pizza with the similar flavors in the cocktail creates a harmonious match.


  • Mango Sorbet: The light, fruity dessert continues the tropical theme and cleanses the palate after each sip.
  • Pineapple Upside-Down Cake: Reflects the pineapple juice in the cocktail for a cohesive tropical experience.

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What you could change in Undertow

  • Dark rum can be replaced with light rum or spiced rum
  • Orange juice can be substituted with grapefruit juice
  • Ginger beer can be replaced with soda water for a less spicy flavor

Explore all drinks starting with U here

And of course - twists🍹

Undertow Cooler

  • Substitute dark rum with coconut rum
  • Add a splash of coconut cream
  • Top with soda water instead of ginger beer

This variation is like a gentle breeze through the palm trees. The coconut rum and cream create a more mellow and creamy flavor profile. Expect a softer, less spicy finish without the ginger beer, and a creamier, more tropical touch that would make you think you're relaxing under the sun.

Spicy Undertow

  • Add a slice of jalapeño to the shaker
  • Use a smoky rum like an aged mezcal in place of dark rum
  • Replace grenadine with a dash of simple syrup

It's as if the cocktail took a detour through the flames. The jalapeño and mezcal bring fire and smoke to the party, and the simple syrup keeps it less sweet while maintaining balance. Brace yourself for a bold, smoky kick with a hot undercurrent.

Berry Undertow

  • Muddle fresh berries in the shaker
  • Replace orange juice with cranberry juice
  • Top with a berry-flavored sparkling water instead of ginger beer

This twist is a berry bonanza! The fresh muddle gives a blast of berry flavor that the cranberry juice amplifies. The berry-flavored sparkling water adds fizz without the spice, making this a fruit-forward and refreshing alternative for a less spicy and more berry-licious sip.

In case you forgot basics how to make Undertow

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 Undertow

Why is the cocktail named 'Undertow'?

The name 'Undertow' is inspired by the adventurous spirit of the sea. An undertow is a strong sub-surface current in the ocean that pulls objects underwater, reflecting the powerful flavours and sensations this cocktail delivers.

What kind of rum is typically used in this cocktail?

While the specific rum can vary based on personal preference, a dark rum is most commonly used in the Undertow cocktail for its rich, deep flavor.

Is the Undertow cocktail suitable for vegans?

Yes, the Undertow cocktail is suitable for vegans as it doesn't contain any animal products.

Does the Undertow cocktail contain any allergens?

The Undertow cocktail does not typically contain any common allergens. However, it's always a good idea to check with your bartender if you have any particular allergies or dietary restrictions.

Can non-alcoholic version of the Undertow cocktail be prepared?

Yes, the Undertow cocktail can be made non-alcoholic by substituting the alcohol with similar flavored non-alcoholic ingredients.

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