Refined Sex On The Beach Cocktail Recipe

This elevated Sex on the Beach recipe is a classy version of the 1980s cocktail. With such a name, this drink is guaranteed to turn heads — and not always in a good way. The two-toned, often-fluorescent concoction was first developed by Florida bartender Ted Pizio, who just wanted his bar to win a $1,000 prize (via Vinepair). The money was being offered by the company behind peach schnapps, not a high-selling liqueur at the time.

Our friend Ted, who by all accounts was not a bad bartender, made a very drinkable cocktail by mixing vodka, peach schnapps, and both cranberry and orange juice. He gave it the tacky name because he assumed that most of his Florida clientele was interested in only two things: "sex" and "the beach". And if you're here, googling this recipe over 40 years later, it looks like Pizio was right. 

Here at Tasting Table, we want to go beyond the basic mix spring break college students drink from red Solo cups. In our elevated version of the Sex on the Beach cocktail, food blogger Ksenia Prints of international recipe blog At the Immigrant's Table turns to freshly squeezed orange juice and a hefty whiskey tumbler to give this delicious cocktail more flavor and a glam appearance, all topped with a homemade orange twist and two-toned maraschino cherries.

With this elevated Sex on the Beach recipe, the taboo cocktail could be a part of an elegant soiree and no one would dare bat an eye.

Gather the ingredients for this elevated Sex on the Beach recipe

For this cocktail, you will need vodka, peach schnapps, an orange, cranberry juice, ice cubes, and two-toned maraschino cherries.

Squeeze out the orange juice

We wanted to go beyond store-bought orange juice and show you what a difference freshly squeezed orange juice can have on your drinks. Take one large orange and cut it in half widthwise. Cut off a slice (with the peel on), about 1-inch in thickness, and set it aside. Squeeze out the juice from the remaining orange. Measure out 2 ounces and set it aside.

Mix ingredients in your shaker

In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine the vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice, and cranberry juice. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds.

Pour the cocktail over fresh ice

Strain the shaken cocktail through a cocktail strainer into a whiskey tumbler glass filled with fresh ice.

Make an orange twist

To make a fancy orange twist for the garnish, take the orange slice you set aside. Using a paring knife, remove the flesh and cut the peel into a strip. Then, working carefully to avoid cutting yourself, scrape the pith off the inside of the peel — aim to keep a thin, mostly orange ribbon of peel. Twist the peel around a straw and hold it together for 2 minutes so that it keeps its shape.

Serve this Elevated Sex on the Beach Cocktail

Garnish the cocktail with the orange twist and a couple of two-toned maraschino cherries. Serve this delicious drink to get the evening started. We bet your guests will be surprised to discover its true identity.

Refined Sex On The Beach Cocktail Recipe
4.8 from 12 ratings
A Sex on the Beach cocktail comes with a certain connotation, yet it shouldn't get in the way of enjoying the tasty drink. This elevated version is the answer.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
0
minutes
Servings
1
serving
sex on the beach on tray
Total time: 5 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ ounces vodka
  • ⅔ ounce peach schnapps
  • 1 whole orange
  • 2 ounces cranberry juice
  • ice cubes
  • red and green maraschino cherries, to garnish
Directions
  1. Cut a large orange in half widthwise, then cut off one 1-inch thick slice (peel on) and set it aside.
  2. Squeeze the juice from the remaining orange, measuring out 2 ounces. Set the juice aside.
  3. Add the vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice, and cranberry juice to a shaker with ice.
  4. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
  5. Strain the contents through a cocktail strainer into a whiskey tumbler glass filled with fresh ice.
  6. To make an orange twist, take the orange slice you set aside. Cutting carefully with a paring knife, remove the flesh, then cut the peel into a strip. Working carefully to avoid cutting yourself, scrape the pith off the inside of the peel, keeping a thin, mostly orange ribbon.
  7. Twist the peel around a straw and hold it for about 2 minutes to keep its shape.
  8. Garnish the cocktail with the orange twist and two-toned maraschino cherries, then serve.
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