Zorbatini Cocktail Recipe

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Zorbatini Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:26%

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 Zorbatini cocktail is inspired by the lively and passionate Greek dance, the Zorba. This refreshing and invigorating drink is perfect for those who enjoy a spirited and energetic atmosphere. The Zorbatini was created to capture the essence of Greek culture and is often enjoyed by those who appreciate a lively and festive environment.

  • The Zorba dance is a symbol of Greek culture and tradition
  • The Zorbatini cocktail was created to embody the spirit of the dance
  • This drink is perfect for lively gatherings and celebrations

How Zorbatini Tastes?

The Zorbatini is a well-balanced cocktail with a delightful combination of sweet, sour, and slightly bitter flavors. The drink is refreshing and invigorating, with a smooth and crisp finish.

Interesting facts about Zorbatini

  • The Zorbatini is named after the famous Greek dance, the Zorba
  • The cocktail is a perfect representation of the lively and passionate spirit of Greek culture
  • The Zorbatini is often enjoyed at festive gatherings and celebrations


A few good options for Zorbatini are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


The base of many a great cocktail, vodka is the canvas here. At 2 oz, it's just enough to provide a punch without knocking you off your feet. Too much, and it’s a Siberian winter in your glass; too little, and the ouzo takes center stage. No vodka? Try gin for a herbal twist.

Emma Rose


Opa! Ouzo brings a licorice kick, thanks to its anise. Here, 1 oz is the perfect supporting actor, offering a Greek twist without overpowering the drink. Skip it, and you lose Zorbatini's spirit. Swap with Sambuca if you want an Italian flair.

Mary Mitkina

Fresh Lemon Juice

Fresh lemon juice zests up life at 0.5 oz, brightening the drink with a tangy smack. It balances the sweetness and adds freshness. Without it, the drink would be like a Greek statue with no head - incomplete. A lime could step in, but it would be a different play.

Alex Green

Simple Syrup

Sweetness comes into play with simple syrup. Half an ounce keeps it just on the right side of the sweetness spectrum. More and you're dipping into candied territory, less and the bitterness might overshadow the fun. Honey syrup can be your alternative, adding a floral note.

Emma Rose

Orange Bitters

The botanicals in orange bitters (2 dashes) are the secret whispers of flavor that bring depth. Missing these dashes would be like a Greek without a tale to tell. A different kind of bitters, such as Angostura, would change the story entirely.

Mary Mitkina

Orange Twist

Finally, the orange twist. It's the garnish that serves up a nose of citrus oils before you even take a sip. No twist, and you miss the prelude to a great drink. A lemon twist is a respectable understudy, but the orange twist is the true star.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Zorbatini Drink

  1. Chill a martini glass by filling it with ice and water, then set aside
  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine the vodka, ouzo, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and orange bitters
  3. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds
  4. Empty the martini glass and strain the cocktail into the glass
  5. Garnish with an orange twist, expressing the oils over the drink and placing it on the rim of the glass

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh lemon juice for a more vibrant flavor
  • Shake vigorously to properly mix all the ingredients
  • Express the orange twist over the drink to enhance the aroma

Perfect Pairings

Mezedes (Greek Appetizers)

Pair the Zorbatini with traditional Greek mezedes such as Tzatziki (yogurt-cucumber dip), Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), and Spanakopita (spinach pie). The anise flavor from Ouzo complements the herby and fresh flavors of these dishes.


Given its Mediterranean twist, the Zorbatini pairs nicely with seafood. Try it with Grilled Octopus or Shrimp Saganaki. The citrus notes in the cocktail will enhance the seafood's natural flavors.


Pair with bold cheeses like Feta or Kasseri. The cocktail's sharpness cuts through the richness of the cheese, creating a balance on your palate.


End your meal with a pairing of Zorbatini and Baklava. The sweetness of this classic dessert complements the cocktail's citrusy and slightly sweet profile.

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What you could change in Zorbatini

  • Vodka: Can be replaced with Gin
  • Ouzo: Can be replaced with Sambuca
  • Orange bitters: Can be replaced with Angostura bitters

Explore all drinks starting with Z here

And of course - twists🍹

Athenian Zorbatini

Infuse the vodka with rosemary for a botanical take. Change the simple syrup to honey syrup and add a sprig of rosemary as garnish. This twist will transport you to a sunny afternoon in the hills of Athens, with the earthy notes bringing a rustic variation to the Zorbatini.

Mykonos Mule

Swap the vodka for Greek Mastiha liqueur and serve over ice in a copper mug topped with ginger beer. The sweet, piney taste of Mastiha will give a beautiful island twist, while the ginger beer adds a fizzy kick reminiscent of a balmy night in Mykonos.

Sunset Ouzorini

Replace half of the vodka with Aperol for a bittersweet experience. The Aperol brings a sunset hue and an Italian touch to the Greek-inspired cocktail, blending cultures in one sophisticated sip. It's the Zorbatini vacationing on the Amalfi Coast.

In case you forgot basics how to make Zorbatini

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

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 Zorbatini

What kind of Vodka is best for making a Zorbatini?

While any vodka can be used, a premium quality vodka is recommended for a smoother taste.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of Zorbatini?

Yes, you can substitute the vodka and ouzo with non-alcoholic alternatives and adjust the rest of the ingredients to suit your taste.

Can I use a citrus other than orange for the garnish?

Yes, you can. A lemon twist could be a good alternative. However, orange is preferred for its unique aroma and sweetness which complements the overall flavor of the Zorbatini.

Can I make a batch of Zorbatini in advance if I'm having a party?

Yes, you can mix all the ingredients except the garnish in a large pitcher. Just make sure to give it a good stir before serving.

What food pairs well with Zorbatini?

Zorbatini pairs beautifully with Mediterranean cuisine, particularly seafood dishes and tangy cheeses.

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