Purple Haze Cocktails Are A Versatile Way To Enjoy A Colorful Drink

If you're bored of your go-to gin and tonic or your nightly martini isn't hitting the spot anymore, it might be time to up your mixed drink game. There are plenty of unique cocktails that don't require a trained bartender with mixology skills for you to enjoy. So, if you're looking for an elevated, boozy beverage that's still easy to make or the perfect dinner party drink, we recommend trying out one of the many purple haze cocktail recipes out there.

This family of cocktails has flown under the radar for quite some time. A purple haze (sometimes called a "purple rain") isn't one specific cocktail you can order at your local speakeasy. Rather, the term encompasses a variety of purple-hued drinks that are made from multiple kinds of fruit juice and liquors, which you can easily customize to your liking. Whether you're a fan of sweet lemonade and vodka or you prefer a more bitter splash of cranberry juice, there's definitely a purple haze drink for you.

The origins of the purple haze cocktail

Although there's a lot of freedom when you make one of these cocktails today, the first purple haze cocktail ever made was concocted with specific liquors in mind. And, yes, it also served as an homage to Jimi Hendrix. If you're a fan of '60s music, or classic rock in general, you likely started humming the tune of Hendrix's top hit 'Purple Haze' after discovering this cocktail exists. And, that's no accident. The first purple haze ever created was made by Peter Janson when he was competing in the World Cocktail Championships in the '90s. While the name, of course, comes from the vibrant color of the drink, it was also a reference to Hendrix. 

While there are different claims about what the original recipe actually included, most can agree that the main liquor used was vodka. The most common modern-day varieties often include vodka, as well. Some attest that that purple haze included vodka, blue Curaçao, and cranberry juice to form the iconic purple color. Others say that a combination of grenadine and lemonade produced the violet hue. However, a lemon slice and purple sugar around the rim almost always make an appearance in copycat recipes.

But, don't worry if this drink doesn't speak to you. Today, there are plenty of different purple haze drinks you can customize at your own bar carts, and they're all worth trying.

How to make a purple haze cocktail

There are lots of occasions that you'll want to try concocting your very own purple haze drink. Some of the best iterations are twists on the classics. For example, you can make a purple haze martini by pairing your vodka or gin with blue curaçao and grenadine. After being shaken, it can be strained into a chilled martini glass for a sophisticated yet fun drink. If vodka doesn't suit you, feel free to use rum instead and create your very own purple rum shot recipe. Pairing rum with grape schnapps, or another sweet purple-colored liquor, will serve as a surprisingly easy-to-drink shooter.

Many people also enjoy a refreshing cranberry purple haze. By simply mixing cranberry juice (or cranberry liquor for an extra strong drink) with vodka, blue curaçao, and topping it with a bubbly mixer or lemonade, you can have a refreshing summer drink in your hands in seconds.

Whatever combination you choose, make sure to get creative with you drinks with both liquors and garnishes. Add the fruits of your choice and a citrus twist to serve as an extra fun addition to any of these drinks. The options are virtually endless, and you're sure to keep coming back to your favorite variations again and again.