Windjammer Cocktail Recipe

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Windjammer 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 Windjammer cocktail is a classic tropical drink that originated in the Caribbean. It was first created by sailors who wanted a refreshing and invigorating beverage to enjoy while on their long voyages. The Windjammer quickly gained popularity among travelers and locals alike, and it remains a favorite among those who appreciate a well-crafted cocktail.

  • The name 'Windjammer' comes from the large sailing ships that were used for trade and transportation in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • The cocktail is known for its refreshing and tropical flavors, making it a popular choice for beachside bars and resorts.
  • The Windjammer is often enjoyed as a pre-dinner drink, as its light and fruity flavors help to stimulate the appetite.

How Windjammer Tastes?

The Windjammer cocktail is a delightful combination of sweet, sour, and fruity flavors. It has a light and refreshing taste, with a hint of tartness from the citrus juices. The rum adds a subtle warmth and depth to the drink, while the grenadine provides a touch of sweetness.

Interesting facts about Windjammer

  • The Windjammer is sometimes referred to as a 'sailor's delight' due to its origins among seafaring travelers.
  • The cocktail is often served in a tall glass, allowing for the layers of flavors to be visually displayed.
  • The Windjammer is a versatile drink that can be easily customized with different types of rum, fruit juices, and garnishes.


White Rum

White rum is the backbone of this concoction, providing a slightly sweet and clean canvas for the bright, fruity flavors to shine. If you go under 2 oz, you might as well be drinking juice; too much, and you're sailing stormy seas of inebriation—stick to the course! No white rum? Try using coconut rum for a tropical twist, but be warned, it'll be somewhat sweeter.

Mary Mitkina

Orange Juice

Ah, the zesty sun in a glass! The tangy sweetness of orange juice brings balance and body to your Windjammer. Skimping on it could leave your cocktail lost at sea without that vitamin C punch, while too much could mean scurvy-free overkill. Other citrus juices like tangerine could work but expect a tarter edge.

Mary Mitkina

Pineapple Juice

This juice is like an island holiday for your taste buds. It's sweet, it's tangy, it's tropical—it's essential for the Windjammer's vibe. Less will dampen the tropical mood, more will mean a pineapple takeover. Mango juice could be a fine substitute, with a richer, deeper sweetness.

Alex Green

Grapefruit Juice

Provides a bitter twist to counter the sweetness—it's the maverick of citrus in this drink. Dial it back, and the drink becomes cloying; too much, and you'll pucker up more than after your first kiss. Pink grapefruit is a sweeter alternative if you're not a fan of the classic bitter flavor.

Mary Mitkina


The sweet, red syrup that creates a sunset in your glass—just enough for a hint of pomegranate sweetness and that romantic gradient. Too little, nobody will notice; too much, and it's Valentine's Day gone wrong. A splash of raspberry or blackcurrant syrup could substitute if you're out to impress with a different hue.

Mary Mitkina

Maraschino Cherry

The proverbial cherry on top! This is more than a garnish—it's a sweet little treat that rewards you at the end of your drink. Without it, does the Windjammer really end? Or does it just drift... If you're out of cherries, a small slice of pineapple could also mark the spot where X marks the taste treasure.

Alex Green

Grapefruit Slice

The citrusy garnish announces the grapefruit in the mix and adds a touch of elegance. It's the flag atop your flavor ship, but if you're all out, a curly twist of orange peel could do the trick just as well, signaling a different but equally delicious treasure ahead.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Windjammer Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add the white rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, and grapefruit juice to the shaker.
  3. Shake well until chilled and combined.
  4. Strain the mixture into a tall glass filled with fresh ice.
  5. Slowly pour the grenadine over the back of a spoon, allowing it to sink to the bottom of the glass and create a layered effect.
  6. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and a slice of grapefruit.

Pro Tips

  • Chill your glass before pouring the cocktail to keep it cool longer.
  • Use freshly squeezed juices for a more vibrant flavor.
  • Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously to properly mix the ingredients and chill the cocktail.

Perfect Pairings


Windjammer's tropical flavor profile makes it a fantastic companion for light seafood dishes. Think shrimp cocktails or a fresh seared tuna salad. The citrus notes in the cocktail will complement the natural sweetness of the seafood.

Spicy Appetizers

Spicy dishes like buffalo wings or jalapeño poppers are balanced out by the sweet, fruity flavors of the Windjammer. The refreshing citrus cuts through the heat and cleanses the palate.


Pair this cocktail with a light tropical fruit salad or a piece of key lime pie. The fruity and slightly tart flavors of the drink will resonate with similar notes in the dessert.

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What you could change in Windjammer

  • White rum: Can be substituted with dark rum for a deeper flavor.
  • Orange juice: Can be replaced with mango juice for a tropical twist.
  • Grenadine: Can be replaced with a dash of simple syrup if unavailable.

Explore all drinks starting with W here

And of course - twists🍹

Berry Windjammer

  • Substituting the grapefruit juice for 1 oz of cranberry juice
  • Adding 0.5 oz of Chambord or any raspberry liqueur

This variation adds a berry blast that will make the original seem like just a gentle breeze. Expect a fruitier, slightly more tart profile with an undercurrent of berry flavors pulling you in a delicious new direction.

Spiced Windjammer

  • Add a 1/4 tsp of grated ginger
  • Replace white rum with spiced rum
  • A dash of bitters (optional)

Feel the warm trade winds as they usher in the unexpected with this one—spiced rum and the bite of ginger create a zesty, warming twist on the classic. It's perfect for those who enjoy a drink with a kick and a richer tapestry of flavors.

Cooler Windjammer

  • Substituting white rum with vodka
  • A splash of soda water
  • Muddled mint leaves for added freshness

For those seeking a crisper, more refreshing sip, the Cooler Windjammer is your port of call. Mint and soda give it a fizzy, cool lift, perfect for hot afternoons when you feel like you're sailing the sunlit seas.

In case you forgot basics how to make Windjammer

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 Windjammer

What type of rum is best used in a Windjammer cocktail?

White rum is traditionally used in a Windjammer cocktail to maintain its light and refreshing taste. However, you can also experiment with different types of rum, like spiced rum, to add more depth to the flavor.

What is the significance of the garnishes in a Windjammer cocktail?

The garnishes in a Windjammer cocktail not only add visual appeal, but they also enhance the overall flavor of the drink. The maraschino cherry adds a sweet touch, while the grapefruit slice adds a refreshing tang.

Can I make a Windjammer cocktail without alcohol?

Yes, you can make a mocktail version of the Windjammer by simply omitting the rum and adding more fruit juices.

In what type of occasions is a Windjammer cocktail often served?

Due to its tropical and refreshing taste, the Windjammer cocktail is perfect for summer parties, beach occasions or any event where a fun, festive drink is in order.

How does the Windjammer cocktail compare to other tropical cocktails like the Pina Colada or the Mai Tai?

The Windjammer distinguishes itself by its blend of multiple citrus juices and inclusion of grapefruit, making it a more tangy and less overwhelmingly sweet compared to other tropical cocktails.

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