Xanadu Cocktail Recipe

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Xanadu 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 Xanadu cocktail is inspired by the mythical land of Xanadu, described in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem 'Kubla Khan'. This exotic and mysterious cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy exploring new flavors and experiences. It is said to have been created by a world-renowned mixologist during a journey to the Far East, and has since become a favorite among adventurous drinkers.

How Xanadu Tastes?

The Xanadu cocktail is a harmonious blend of sweet, sour, and fruity flavors, with a hint of spice. The combination of tropical fruits and exotic spices creates a unique and refreshing taste that is both bold and delicate.

Interesting facts about Xanadu

  • The name 'Xanadu' is derived from the ancient city of Shangdu, which was the summer capital of the Yuan dynasty in China.
  • The Xanadu cocktail is often served in a unique, handcrafted glass that is designed to enhance the visual appeal and aromatic experience of the drink.
  • The popularity of the Xanadu cocktail has led to numerous variations and adaptations, each with its own unique twist on the original recipe.



The backbone of any good tropical cocktail, 2oz of Rum add the smooth, sweet, and slightly spicy notes to this beachy concoction. Not enough, and you'll miss the warmth; too much, and you risk overpowering the delicate dance of flavors.

Alex Green

Pineapple Juice

At 1oz, pineapple juice brings a tart sweetness and a burst of tropical essence. Less juice, and you might underwhelm the rum; too much, and it’s like drinking a fruit salad.

Emma Rose

Passion Fruit Syrup

With 0.5oz of passion fruit syrup, you're injecting a vibrant tartness and exotic flair. Ditch this, and you'll lose some tropical pizzazz. No passion? You can use peach or mango syrup, but your cocktail will lose some tartness and gain sweetness.

Mary Mitkina

Lime Juice

The 0.5oz of Lime Juice cut through the sweetness with their zesty kick. Omit lime, and your cocktail may end up on the cloying side. A touch of lemon could sub in, but lime is the zest best.

Alex Green

Orgeat Syrup

Just 0.25oz gives a nutty undertone and complements the other flavors without being obtrusive. Forget it, and the balance falters—a slight almond essence smoothes things over.

Emma Rose

Angostura Bitters

The 2 dashes work like a spice rack, adding depth and complexity. Bitters are the bartenders' salt and pepper; without them, you may find the cocktail too one-dimensional.

Mary Mitkina

Orange Wheel

Garnish is not just fluff – that 1 Orange Wheel adds aroma and allure to your glass. It's the window dressing that catches the eye and the nose.

Alex Green


0.25oz: This is the sunset in your 'Xanadu'. The touch of grenadine provides a hint of vanilla-like sweetness and a blush of color. Skip it, and the visual magic is lost.

Emma Rose

Maraschino Cherry

The 1 Maraschino Cherry is the sweet little exclamation point on this tropical statement. No cherry on top? The drink would still taste great, but it wouldn't look quite finished.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Xanadu Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add the rum, pineapple juice, passion fruit syrup, lime juice, orgeat syrup, and Angostura bitters.
  3. Shake well until chilled and combined.
  4. Strain the mixture into a glass filled with crushed ice.
  5. Slowly pour the grenadine over the top of the drink, allowing it to sink to the bottom and create a layered effect.
  6. Garnish with an orange wheel and a maraschino cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously to ensure all ingredients are well mixed.
  • Use fresh pineapple juice for a more vibrant flavor.
  • Pour the grenadine slowly to achieve the perfect layered effect.

Perfect Pairings


  • Tropical salads: The fresh, tangy flavor of the Xanadu pairs well with tropical fruit salads that include mango, papaya, and kiwi.
  • Seafood: Light seafood dishes like grilled shrimp or fish tacos complement the fruity and refreshing aspects of the cocktail.
  • Spicy food: The sweetness of the cocktail balances the heat in dishes like jerk chicken or spicy Thai food.


  • Coconut water: For a non-alcoholic pairing, coconut water can match the tropical vibe of the Xanadu.
  • Sparkling water: A spritz of sparkling water as a chaser can cleanse the palate between sips of the cocktail.

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What you could change in Xanadu

  • Rum: Can be replaced with vodka for a lighter taste.
  • Pineapple juice: Mango juice can be used as an alternative.
  • Passion fruit syrup: If unavailable, use a mix of simple syrup and fresh passion fruit.

Explore all drinks starting with X here

And of course - twists🍹

Xanadu Noir

  • Swap the rum with dark rum for a richer taste.
  • Use blood orange juice instead of the orange wheel for a deeper, tart flavor.

How it differs: This twist brings a more mature flavor profile with a hint of molasses from the dark rum and a more complex citrus note from the blood orange.

Xanadu Cooler

  • Substitute rum with coconut rum.
  • Add a splash of soda water for a little fizz.

How it changes: It turns the drink into a lighter, more effervescent cocktail, perfect for those long summer days when you want the tropical flavor with a bubbly twist.

Berry Xanadu

  • Muddle fresh raspberries before shaking with the ingredients.
  • Top with a splash of cranberry juice instead of grenadine.

How it tastes: The raspberries add a fresh, tangy dimension, and the cranberry juice lends a tart contrast to the sweetness of the drink, providing a berrylicious spin on the original.

In case you forgot basics how to make Xanadu

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 Xanadu

Can I substitute the rum in the Xanadu cocktail with different types of alcohol?

While the recipe suggests substituting vodka for rum for a lighter taste, other spirit options can also work. Gin might provide a more herby accent, tequila might add a little edge, and bourbon could bring a sweeter, rich flavor. However, the unique taste profile of the Xanadu cocktail is best expressed with rum.

What is the origin of 'Orgeat Syrup' used in the cocktail?

Orgeat syrup is originally from France, and it has a sweet flavor with a subtle almond taste. It's traditionally made from almonds, sugar, and rose water or orange flower water.

Is it important to use a 'unique, handcrafted glass' to serve the Xanadu cocktail?

While the unique, handcrafted glass enhances the presentation of the Xanadu cocktail, it's not a requirement. You can use any glass suitable for cocktails. However, it's advisable to use one that has enough space for the layered effect of the cocktail.

What is the significance of the layering effect in cocktails like the Xanadu?

The layering effect in a cocktail is not just for visual appeal. It can also affect the taste and aroma of the drink, as different ingredients hit your palate at different times. This technique adds complexity to the cocktail experience.

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