Zelda Cocktail Recipe

Jump to Recipe ⬇️

Zelda 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 16, 2024


The Zelda cocktail is a tribute to the classic and beloved video game series. It's a drink that captures the essence of adventure with its bold and zesty flavors, much like the game's vibrant world. Ideal for gamers and those who appreciate a cocktail with a kick, it's a hit at game nights and themed parties.

  • Inspiration: The cocktail is inspired by the spirit of the 'Legend of Zelda' series.
  • Popularity: It has gained a following among video game enthusiasts and those who enjoy a spicy twist to their drinks.
  • Occasions: Perfect for themed events or as a signature drink at a gaming bar.

How Zelda Tastes?

The Zelda cocktail is a harmonious blend of sweet and sour with a spicy undercurrent, thanks to the jalapeno. The tequila provides a robust base, while the grapefruit and lime juices add a refreshing citrus tang. The Cointreau rounds out the drink with a subtle orange sweetness.

Interesting facts about Zelda

  • Game Reference: The cocktail's name and spirit are a nod to the adventurous and fantastical elements of the 'Legend of Zelda' game series.
  • Spicy Twist: The addition of jalapeno slices gives it a unique spicy kick that sets it apart from other citrus-based cocktails.
  • Versatility: It can be easily customized with different types of tequila or by adjusting the amount of jalapeno to suit one's spice tolerance.


  • Tequila blanco: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Grapefruit juice: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Cointreau: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Lime juice: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Jalapeno: Slices
  • Lime wedge: 1

Tequila Blanco

The backbone of this cocktail, Tequila Blanco is chosen for its clear, crisp agave flavor which brings a kick to the Zelda. Deviating from the 2 oz measurement can either overpower the drink with booziness or fail to provide sufficient kick.

Emma Rose

Grapefruit Juice

Adding a tart but slightly sweet edge, grapefruit juice pairs perfectly with the tequila and contributes to the cocktail's refreshing nature. Less than 1 oz could be too subtle, while more may overpower the other flavors.

Mary Mitkina


Right at home in many cocktails, Cointreau brings a delicious orange sweetness and helps to balance the tartness of the juices. It's a potent liqueur, so the 0.5 oz measurement must be just right; more could overwhelm, less would make it less balanced.

Alex Green

Lime Juice

Lime Juice adds a necessary citrus zing, brightening the whole mix and cutting the sweetness. 0.5 oz is a well-measured amount to harmonize without overshadowing other ingredients.

Emma Rose


Thin slices of jalapeno introduce a spicy note and an element of surprise. The amount adjustments depend on how brave the drinkers are feeling—more slices for those seeking a fiery challenge, fewer to keep it tame.

Mary Mitkina

Lime Wedge

A simple garnish that invites you to squeeze in extra freshness, if desired. It also adds a visual appeal that's as refreshing as the drink itself.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Zelda Drink

  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Pour in 2 oz of tequila blanco, 1 oz of grapefruit juice, 0.5 oz of Cointreau, and 0.5 oz of lime juice.
  • Shake well until the mixture is chilled.
  • Strain into a cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with a lime wedge and a few slices of jalapeno.

Pro Tips

  • Chill the Glass: Place your cocktail glass in the freezer for a few minutes before serving.
  • Muddle the Jalapeno: For a spicier drink, muddle a slice of jalapeno in the shaker before adding the other ingredients.
  • Adjust the Spice: Start with one slice of jalapeno and add more to taste.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Seafood: The smoky flavor of grilled shrimp or fish complements the citrus and heat from the jalapeno.
  • Chicken Tacos: A classic pairing with tequila; the fresh lime and grapefruit in the cocktail cut through the spiciness of the taco fillings.
  • Ceviche: The acidity of the cocktail matches well with the citrusy and fresh flavors of ceviche, enhancing the overall experience.

Drink Pairings

  • Mexican Lager: A light beer can be a refreshing follow-up to the Zelda cocktail’s assertive flavors.
  • Sparkling Water: For a non-alcoholic option, sparkling water with a squeeze of lime complements the cocktail's freshness and cleanses the palate.

🍹 Discover the Top 50 All-Time Recipes! 🍹

Enter your email, and we'll send the exclusive list straight to your inbox.

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously

What you could change in Zelda

  • Tequila Blanco: Can be replaced with tequila reposado for a smoother taste.
  • Cointreau: Triple sec or another orange liqueur can be used as an alternative.
  • Grapefruit Juice: Freshly squeezed is best, but store-bought will do in a pinch.

Explore all drinks starting with Z here

And of course - twists🍹

Spicy Mango Zelda

  • Add 1 oz of mango puree.
  • Substitute grapefruit juice with pineapple juice.
  • Recipe remains the same, with the fruit juice switch and inclusion of mango puree.
  • This version offers a tropical sweetness with a spicy kick, mingling mango's richness with a hint of pineapple.

Smoky Zelda

  • Use Mezcal instead of Tequila Blanco.
  • Add a smoked salt rim to the glass.
  • Keep all other aspects of the recipe the same.
  • The cocktail gets an earthy depth from the Mezcal, and the smoked salt accentuates this characteristic beautifully.

Herbal Zelda

  • Muddle some fresh basil leaves in the shaker before adding the other ingredients.
  • Use a basil leaf for garnish instead of a lime wedge.
  • The drink will have an additional layer of fresh, herbaceous notes that complement the jalapeno's spice.

In case you forgot basics how to make Zelda

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

Find the cocktail you'd love!

If you want to drink something else - you can use our AI-augmented search to find the best cocktail for you!
Completely free!

Frequently Asked Questions on Zelda

How do I prevent my cocktail from getting diluted while shaking with ice?

Use larger ice cubes for shaking as they melt slower, or shake the cocktail for a shorter amount of time to minimize dilution.

What can I do if I don't have a cocktail shaker?

You can use a mason jar with a tight lid or two cups inverted onto each other as a makeshift shaker.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Zelda cocktail?

Yes, you can create a mocktail version by omitting the tequila and Cointreau and replacing them with non-alcoholic alternatives like seedlip or a mixture of simple syrup and non-alcoholic orange essence.

Can the Zelda cocktail be made in large batches for parties?

Absolutely, you can scale up the ingredient measurements proportionally and mix in a large pitcher or bowl, adding the jalapenos slices closer to serving time to control the spiciness.

How long can I store the mixed Zelda cocktail before serving?

It's best served fresh, but if needed, you can store it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Leave out the ice and garnish until ready to serve to maintain the best flavor and presentation.

What is the origin of the name 'Cointreau'?

Cointreau is named after the distillers Adolphe and Edouard-Jean Cointreau who established the Cointreau distillery in France in 1849.

What is the best way to garnish a cocktail to enhance its flavor?

Choose garnishes that complement or contrast the drink's flavors, such as citrus peels, fresh herbs, or spices, and make sure they're fresh and properly prepared.

More similar recipes to Zelda!

Explore new cocktails you'd love!

Please rate this recipe