Zipperhead Cocktail Recipe

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Zipperhead Nutrition Facts





Alcohol content: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 16, 2024


The Zipperhead is a cocktail that gained popularity in the 1980s, often associated with the punk rock scene. Its striking appearance and simple recipe made it a favorite among those looking for something quick and potent.

  • Origins
    • The exact origins are unclear, but it's believed to have been created in a dive bar frequented by punk rockers.
  • Popularity
    • It became a symbol of the rebellious spirit of the era.
  • Target Audience
    • Ideal for those who enjoy a strong, visually impactful drink.

How Zipperhead Tastes?

The Zipperhead is a potent concoction with a sharp, crisp taste. The Chambord provides a sweet and fruity raspberry flavor, which is balanced by the bitterness of the vodka. The soda adds a refreshing fizz that lightens the drink.

Interesting facts about Zipperhead

  • Colorful Presentation: The deep purple hue of Chambord makes the Zipperhead visually striking.
  • Name Origins: The name 'Zipperhead' is thought to reflect the drink's boldness and its association with the punk scene.
  • Versatility: It's a versatile drink that can be served as a shot or on the rocks.


A few good options for Zipperhead are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


  • Why: Vodka is the backbone of this cocktail; its clean, neutral flavor provides a strong base that allows the Chambord to shine. Picking a good quality vodka will make the drink smoother.
  • What if: Without vodka, you're missing the kick and body of the cocktail. It would be more of a fruity spritzer than a Zipperhead.
  • Alternatives: You could substitute with a clear, unflavored rum for a slightly sweeter undertone, though it'd no longer be a true Zipperhead.

Alex Green


  • Why: Chambord, a raspberry liqueur, gives the Zipperhead its signature fruity undertone and sweet complexity. The amount used is just enough to flavor without overpowering the drink.
  • What if: Skipping Chambord means losing the essence of this cocktail. You'd end up with a bland vodka soda.
  • Alternatives: A raspberry syrup could serve as a non-alcoholic substitute, but it would make the drink sweeter and less potent.

Emma Rose

Soda Water

  • Why: Soda water adds the fizz and dilutes the mixture, mellowing the alcohol and balancing the sweetness to make the drink refreshing.
  • What if: Without soda water, you'd have a much stronger, less refreshing cocktail. The experience would be more like sipping on a raspberry-flavored vodka shot.
  • Alternatives: Tonic water can be used for a slightly bitter twist, complementing the sweet notes of Chambord.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Zipperhead Drink

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
  2. Pour 1.5 oz of vodka over the ice.
  3. Add 0.5 oz of Chambord.
  4. Top up with soda water.
  5. Stir gently.
  6. Garnish with a lemon twist or raspberries.

Pro Tips

  • Chill the Glass: Serve the cocktail in a chilled glass to enhance the crispness.
  • Quality Ingredients: Use high-quality vodka and Chambord to ensure the best flavor.
  • Gentle Stir: Stir gently to mix without losing the carbonation of the soda.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese Platter: A platter featuring mild cheeses like brie or camembert complements the fruity undertones of the Chambord.
  • Fruit Skewers: Fresh fruit skewers with berries echo the raspberry notes in the cocktail.

Main Courses

  • Grilled Chicken: The simplicity of grilled chicken balances the sweetness of the cocktail without overpowering it.
  • Seared Salmon: With its rich texture, salmon complements the crisp and refreshing traits of a Zipperhead.


  • Chocolate Fondue: A semi-sweet chocolate fondue brings out the berry flavors and doubles down on indulgence.
  • Lemon Sorbet: A tart lemon sorbet offers a delightful contrast to the slight sweetness and fizziness of the drink.

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What you could change in Zipperhead

  • Vodka: Any premium vodka can be used in place of the standard one.
  • Chambord: Raspberry liqueur can be substituted, though Chambord is preferred for authenticity.
  • Soda Water: Tonic water or lemon-lime soda can be used for a different twist.

Explore all drinks starting with Z here

And of course - twists🍹

Berry Blast Zipperhead

  • Ingredients: Replace soda water with berry-flavored sparkling water, and add a splash of lime juice.
  • Recipe: After adding vodka and Chambord, pour in the berry sparkling water and top it off with the lime juice. Stir and garnish with mixed berries.
  • Description: This twist adds a pop of additional berry flavor and a hint of citrus, making it even more fruity and refreshing. Perfect for berry enthusiasts!

Holiday Zipperhead

  • Ingredients: Add a cinnamon stick and a dash of cranberry juice in addition to the original ingredients.
  • Recipe: Pour vodka, Chambord, and cranberry juice over ice. Top with soda water and stir with the cinnamon stick as the garnish.
  • Description: The cranberry brings a tartness that balances the sweet, while the cinnamon adds a warmth, perfect for a holiday version of the classic Zipperhead.

Herbal Zipperhead

  • Ingredients: Add a few fresh basil or mint leaves.
  • Recipe: Muddle the herbs gently at the bottom of the glass before adding the ice, vodka, and Chambord. Top with soda water and stir.
  • Description: The herbs introduce a fresh, aromatic quality to the cocktail, providing an earthy note that contrasts the sweetness of Chambord and can make for a remarkably refreshing drink.

In case you forgot basics how to make Zipperhead

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

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 Zipperhead

What is the best way to store Chambord after opening?

Once opened, Chambord should be stored in a cool, dark place and tightly sealed. It can last for several months or even years. Refrigeration is not necessary but can help maintain its flavor profile.

Can I make the Zipperhead cocktail in advance for a party?

The Zipperhead cocktail is best made fresh due to the carbonation from the soda water. You can pre-mix the vodka and Chambord in a pitcher and add the soda water when serving to preserve the fizz.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Zipperhead?

Yes, for a mocktail version, use a non-alcoholic raspberry syrup and replace the vodka with additional soda water or a clear non-alcoholic spirit. The color and fizz will be similar, but without the alcohol content.

What type of ice is best for the Zipperhead cocktail?

Using large, clear ice cubes is ideal for the Zipperhead as they melt more slowly and minimize dilution, keeping the drink strong and chilled for longer.

How do I choose the best vodka for making a Zipperhead?

Opt for a high-quality, smooth vodka with a neutral flavor profile. Premium brands are generally distilled multiple times for purity and smoothness, which is essential for a cocktail where vodka is a prominent ingredient.

Can the Zipperhead cocktail be served blended or frozen?

Serving Zipperhead blended or frozen is unconventional but possible. Blend the ingredients with ice for a slushie-like texture. However, this will change the cocktail's character and presentation.

What garnishes can I use to enhance the presentation of the Zipperhead?

Aside from the mentioned lemon twist or raspberries, you could garnish with a sprig of fresh mint, an orange twist, or a few fresh blueberries to add an extra visual appeal.

Is the Zipperhead suitable for batch preparation?

The Zipperhead can be made in batches without the soda water. Mix the vodka and Chambord in a larger quantity and store it in a pitcher or dispenser. Add soda water to individual servings at the time of the event.

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