These green cocktails make ideal signature drinks! From neon to pale green, they use liqueurs or natural ingredients for color.
Need a green signature drink? Whatever the occasion, these delicious green cocktails deliver! They range from classic cocktails to modern spins on standards, each using a different trick to achieve its beautiful color. Whether it’s a neon green liqueur or herbs like mint or basil, each one is deliciously mixed to perfection. Here are a few of the most popular methods for mixing up green cocktails you’ll see in the drinks below:
The most eye-catching of all green cocktails? The Midori Sour. This 1980’s classic is like the drink equivalent of a melon Jolly Rancher. But it’s not overly sweet: it’s perfectly sweet tart! The eye-catching glowing green color comes from Midori, a Japanese melon-flavored liqueur. This drink was big in the 80’s and 90's made with sour mix. This spin is a refreshed version of this classic with real lemon and lime, and let me tell you: one sip of this and you’ll be a believer.
Ingredients: Midori, lime juice, lemon juice, soda water
It’s glowing green, it’s rich and creamy, and it’s delightfully mint chocolate. Yes, it’s everyone’s favorite: the Grasshopper! Turns out, this classic cocktail has more history than you’d expect: it dates back to 1918. This classy, creamy after-dinner drink stars creme de menthe, a green mint-flavored liqueur. One creamy, mint chocolate sip and you’ll be sold.
Ingredients: Creme de menthe, creme de cacao, heavy cream
Another neon green drink that’s eye-catching…and absolutely delicious: Tokyo Tea! This spin on the Long Island Iced Tea stars Midori, a honeydew melon-flavored Japanese liqueur. Reserve your judgement until you taste this one. This is by no means a low-brow drink! It’s refreshing, zingy, and full of intriguing flavor with the contrasts of lemon, orange liqueur, and bright melon.
Ingredients: Vodka, tequila, white rum, gin, Cointreau, lemon juice, simple syrup, Midori, soda water
Another way to make green cocktails? Absinthe! If you’re a cocktail connoisseur, you likely have a bottle of absinthe around. The iridescent green Death in the Afternoon cocktail stars the combination of absinthe and sparkling wine, and the flavor is delightfully intriguing! It’s bubbly with a black licorice finish. Invented by writer Ernest Hemingway, it’s a unique drink to pull out to impress guests. Important note: most good quality absinthe is very light green in color: don't expect this one to be vibrant green.
Another pale green cocktail? The Last Word! This pale green gin sour is a classic cocktail that was all but lost to history. But with the revival of cocktail culture, this one’s come back strong! The secret to the color? Green chartreuse. It’s equal parts sharp, sweet, and sour: full of intrigue and nuance. Here’s all about this forgotten classic.
Ingredients: Gin, Maraschino liqueur, Chartreuse liqueur, lime juice
Here’s an impressive green cocktail that’s as sophisticated as it is stunning: the Japanese Slipper! This drink makes your eye brows raise on first sip. It’s perfectly balanced between sweet and sour, with notes of melon and citrus. Don’t let the electric green color fool you: it’s not overly sweet or artificial tasting. It’s just darn delicious...and classy.
Another way to make green cocktails? Muddle in bright green herbs like basil! Basil’s peppery flavor could not be more perfect in cocktail recipes. Here it pairs nicely with the botanical essence of gin in a basil gimlet, a drink made of lime juice, gin and muddled basil.
Here's another spin on a naturally green cocktail: the gin and basil cocktail! The peppery green herb adds a beautifully fresh flavor to this drink. This one's a lemon lime gin drink: crisp and cool, with a sweet tart flavor. There’s nothing better than basil in the summer, and we think this is just the way to use it.
Another naturally green cocktail? The Cucumber Martini! This one is a cool, crisp take on the classic martini starring cucumber, vodka, and the floral notes of St Germain. Take one sip and your palate will be amazed: it’s fresh, dry, and floral, with just the right scent of cucumber. It’s great for summer, but it works anytime.
Ingredients: Cucumber, vodka, dry white vermouth, St Germain
Last up in our green cocktails: the Southside! Fresh mint makes for a pale, yellow-green color. It tastes minty, fresh, and botanical, made with lemon, lime, and gin. It’s sweetened just enough: crisp, cool and refreshing. Perfect for sipping on a cocktail night with friends: everyone is always impressed by the sweet tart flavor!
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.