Sex On The Beach Recipe: History, Variations, and Perfect Occasions to Enjoy

Sex On The Beach emerged in the mid-1980s, attributed to several bartenders in Florida. The most popular account credits a bartender named Ted Pizio during a spring break promotion in 1987. Pizio mixed peach schnapps, cranberry juice, and vodka, naming the drink after two things tourists sought in Florida: “sex” and “the beach.” This unexpected combination quickly became a hit among the spring break crowd, propelling the cocktail into the spotlight.

Popularity Growth in the 1980s

The cocktail’s popularity surged throughout the 1980s, thanks to its sweet, fruity taste and catchy name. Many bars and clubs across the United States began featuring Sex On The Beach on their menus to attract young, adventurous patrons. The drink’s vibrant presentation, often garnished with orange slices or cherries, added to its appeal. By the late 1980s, Sex On The Beach had cemented its place as a staple in beach bars and party scenes, becoming synonymous with fun and relaxation.

Key Ingredients of Sex On The Beach

Vodka and Peach Schnapps

Vodka forms the foundation of a Sex On The Beach cocktail, providing a neutral base that allows the other flavors to shine. It’s crucial to use a quality vodka, as this impacts the overall taste. Popular brands include Absolut and Smirnoff.

Peach schnapps delivers the distinctive fruity essence in this cocktail. Its sweetness balances the tartness from the juices, creating a harmonious flavor profile. Selecting a premium peach schnapps, like DeKuyper, can elevate your drink.

Orange and Cranberry Juices

Orange juice adds a burst of citrusy freshness to the cocktail. Its tangy notes complement the sweetness of the peach schnapps. Opt for freshly squeezed orange juice if possible, or use a high-quality store-bought version such as Tropicana.

Cranberry juice brings a tart, slightly sweet element to the mix. It also gives the cocktail its characteristic red hue. Ocean Spray is a common choice for cranberry juice, ensuring consistency in flavor and color.

How to Make Sex On The Beach

Step-by-Step Recipe

  1. Gather Ingredients: Use 1.5 oz vodka (e.g., Absolut or Smirnoff), 0.75 oz peach schnapps (e.g., DeKuyper), 2 oz orange juice (freshly squeezed), and 2 oz cranberry juice (e.g., Ocean Spray).
  2. Mix Liquids: Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice, and cranberry juice.
  3. Shake Well: Shake the mixture vigorously for about 10-15 seconds until chilled.
  4. Strain into Glass: Strain the mixture into a highball glass filled with ice.
  5. Garnish: Garnish the drink with an orange slice or a maraschino cherry for added flair.
  6. Serve: Serve immediately while cold.
  1. Frozen Sex On The Beach: Blend the ingredients with ice instead of shaking them. This results in a slushy, refreshing version of the cocktail.
  2. Pineapple Twist: Substitute pineapple juice for orange juice. This alters the flavor with a tropical touch.
  3. Light Version: Reduce the peach schnapps to 0.5 oz and increase the cranberry juice to 3 oz. This lowers the drink’s sweetness and alcohol content.
  4. Virgin Sex On The Beach: Omit the vodka and peach schnapps. Increase the orange juice and cranberry juice to 3 oz each for a non-alcoholic version.

Occasions for Enjoying Sex On The Beach

Summer Parties

Enjoying a Sex On The Beach cocktail adds a refreshing twist to any summer party. Its fruity and vibrant taste pairs well with typical summer fare like grilled seafood, barbecued meats, and fresh salads. Serve it at pool parties, beach gatherings, or backyard barbecues for a taste that complements the heat. With its colorful presentation, the cocktail not only tastes great but also enhances the visual appeal of summer-themed events. For a more festive ambiance, garnish with tropical fruits like pineapple slices and maraschino cherries.

Night Out Experiences

A Sex On The Beach cocktail creates an enjoyable experience for night outs. Whether you’re hitting a bar with friends or dancing at a club, the cocktail’s sweet and tangy flavor offers a delightful drinking option. Its vibrant appearance also makes it a favorite choice in settings where visual aesthetics matter. Many bars use this cocktail to attract patrons because it’s both visually appealing and tasty. Pair it with light appetizers like shrimp cocktails or cheese platters to enhance the night out vibe.

These occasions highlight the versatility of the Sex On The Beach cocktail, making it suitable for a range of social events.


Whether you’re hosting a summer party or enjoying a night out, the “Sex On The Beach” cocktail is a versatile and vibrant choice. Its fruity flavors and eye-catching appearance make it a favorite for various occasions. Experiment with the different variations to find your perfect mix, and don’t forget to garnish with tropical fruits for that extra visual appeal. Cheers to creating memorable moments with this classic cocktail!

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