Uptown Cocktail Recipe

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Uptown Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:20

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 Uptown cocktail is a modern classic that was created in the early 2000s by a bartender in New York City. It's a refreshing and sophisticated drink that is perfect for those who enjoy a balance of sweet and sour flavors. The Uptown is a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts who appreciate its complex flavor profile and elegant presentation.

  • The Uptown was created by a bartender named Julie Reiner.
  • It was first served at the Flatiron Lounge in New York City.
  • The cocktail quickly gained popularity and is now enjoyed in bars around the world.

How Uptown Tastes?

The Uptown cocktail is a delightful blend of sweet, sour, and fruity flavors. The sweetness of the pineapple juice is perfectly balanced by the tartness of the lime juice, while the vodka adds a smooth and clean finish. The addition of mint leaves gives the cocktail a refreshing and aromatic twist.

Interesting facts about Uptown

  • The Uptown cocktail was named after the upscale neighborhood in New York City where it was first created.
  • The original recipe calls for fresh pineapple juice, which gives the cocktail its distinctive sweet and tropical flavor.
  • The Uptown is often garnished with a sprig of mint and a slice of pineapple for an extra touch of elegance and flavor.


A few good options for Uptown are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


The vodka is the backbone of this cocktail, providing a clean, neutral spirit base that allows the other flavors to shine. Using 2 oz gives the 'Uptown' a nice kick without overwhelming the delicate flavors of the pineapple and mint. If you cut back on the vodka, you'd have a milder drink; too much, and you risk overpowering the mix.

Alex Green

Pineapple Juice

Pineapple juice brings tropical sweetness and a tart edge, perfect for cutting through the vodka's strength while marrying well with the bright lime. If we skip it or reduce it, we’d lose that island vibe, and the cocktail would be less balanced and refreshing.

Mary Mitkina

Lime Juice

At 0.5 oz, the lime juice offers a zesty punch and balances the sweetness of the pineapple and syrup. Without it, the drink would tilt towards too sweet, missing that crucial zesty note which adds freshness.

Emma Rose

Sugar Syrup

Used for balance, the sugar syrup (0.5 oz) smooths out the tang of lime and the kick of vodka. If omitted, the cocktail might be a tad too tart for some palates. If fact, it's a sweet spot in this concoction!

Alex Green

Mint Leaves

The mint leaves muddled in the shaker infuse the 'Uptown' with a cooling, aromatic quality. Too few and you'll miss the herbaceous note; too many could turn your cocktail into a garden party in your mouth! Handle with care for that minty whisper.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Uptown Drink

  1. Muddle the mint leaves in a shaker.
  2. Add the vodka, pineapple juice, lime juice, and sugar syrup to the shaker.
  3. Fill the shaker with ice and shake well.
  4. Strain the cocktail into a chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with a sprig of mint and a slice of pineapple.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh pineapple juice for the best flavor.
  • Muddle the mint leaves gently to release their flavor without tearing them.
  • Chill your glass before serving to keep the cocktail cold longer.

Perfect Pairings


The crisp and refreshing flavors of the 'Uptown' cocktail with its tropical notes make it an excellent companion to seafood dishes. Try pairing it with light seafood like grilled shrimp or a fresh ceviche to complement the drink's citrus and pineapple flavors.

Spicy Dishes

The sweetness and acidity from the cocktail can balance the heat from spicy dishes. Enjoy it with Thai or Caribbean cuisine to cool down the spicy sensations while enhancing the meal's flavors.

Light Appetizers

Serve 'Uptown' with light appetizers such as coconut-crusted chicken tenders or spring rolls. The light, minty and fruity profile offers a delightful contrast to these savory bites.

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What you could change in Uptown

  • If you don't have fresh pineapple juice, you can use canned pineapple juice.
  • You can substitute the vodka with rum for a tropical twist.
  • If you don't have sugar syrup, you can use honey or agave syrup instead.

Explore all drinks starting with U here

And of course - twists🍹

Uptown Spice

  • Add a small slice of jalapeño pepper during the muddling stage to introduce a spicy element.
  • Ingredients: Same as the 'Uptown' with addition of a jalapeño slice.
  • Taste Change: The delightful sting of spice plays against the sweet and citrus backdrop, making it perfect for those who like a bit of a kick in their sips.

Downtown Cooler

  • Swap out vodka for cucumber-infused gin to give it an ultra-refreshing twist.
  • Ingredients: Replace vodka with cucumber-infused gin.
  • Taste Change: It adds an extra layer of cool, herbaceous complexity that nods to a garden-party chic.

Tropical Sunset

  • Mix in some coconut cream and grenadine for a creamier and more visually appealing cocktail.
  • Ingredients: Include coconut cream and a drizzle of grenadine.
  • Taste Change: The coconut adds a velvety tropical touch while the grenadine provides a beautiful layered sunset look and a hint of pomegranate sweetness.

In case you forgot basics how to make Uptown

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

The key to proper muddling is to crush the ingredients just enough to release their flavors and not overdo it. Over-muddling can result in a bitter taste, especially with herbs.

Learn everything on how to muddle

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 Uptown

What type of vodka is best for the Uptown cocktail?

While any type of vodka would work for the Uptown cocktail, it is best to go for a good quality, smooth and neutral-tasting vodka in order not to overpower the subtleness of the pineapple and lime juices.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Uptown cocktail?

Yes, for a non-alcoholic version of the Uptown cocktail, you can replace vodka with soda water or a non-alcoholic spirit of your choice.

How can I make my own sugar syrup?

To make your own sugar syrup, combine equal parts of sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar completely dissolves. Allow it to cool before using.

Is there a specific type of glass recommended for serving the Uptown cocktail?

The Uptown cocktail is typically served in a chilled cocktail or martini glass. However, any wide brim glass would work well.

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