These sweet alcoholic drinks are fruity, creamy, boozy, and everything in between! From classic to modern, these cocktails fit any occasion.
Some occasions just call for sweet alcoholic drinks: like summer cocktails on the patio, or a creamy after dinner drink. Or maybe you just love sugary beverages anytime? Whatever the case, ditch your Martinis and Manhattans in favor of these deliciously sweet cocktails!
These are the best classic sweet cocktails that have stood the test of time, with a few more modern cocktails thrown in for good measure. They range in flavor from fruity and tropical, sweet and sour, and creamy, chocolaty dessert drinks. Whatever the occasion…there’s a drink for that.
And now…the best sweet alcoholic drinks and cocktails!
When it comes to sweet alcoholic drinks, the piña colada is right up there! Did you know it’s a classic cocktail invented in the 1950’s? It’s gotten so popular that most restaurant versions stray far from the essence of the real thing. Here’s how to make a piña colada…the real way! It’s so full of sophisticated, intriguing flavor that it will become your go-to.
One of the top sweet cocktails of them all: the Mudslide! The classic version of this drink couldn't be more sophisticated…and delicious! Shake it up with coffee liqueur and Irish cream and serve it in a cocktail glass. It’s more than a glorified milkshake: it’s classy and full of intrigue! Of course, you can make it frozen too: blend it up with vanilla ice cream.
It’s got a brilliant pink color and tangy, refreshing flavor: yes, it’s a Cosmo! A Cosmopolitan cocktail, to be exact. This sweet alcoholic drink is ready to spice up your next gathering, be it a dinner party or drinks on the patio with friends. It's a classic cocktail that’s worth drinking: the beautiful color is reason in itself.
Did someone say sweet cocktail? This one's glowing green, rich and creamy, and delightfully mint chocolaty. 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. Shake this classy, creamy after-dinner drink in a cocktail shaker and strain it into a martini glass. One creamy, mint chocolate sip and you’ll be sold.
This icy strawberry daiquiri is a fantastic sweet alcoholic drink that makes any occasion better. While the Classic Daiquiri has our hearts, this sweet fruity version is legit, too. Making it homemade with frozen berries is loads better than a daiquiri mix from the store.
This sweet drink will blow your mind with its creamy, chocolaty flavor: the Bushwacker! It's equal parts refreshing and rich: a mashup of a chocolate milkshake and piña colada. It’s lusciously smooth with notes of chocolate, coffee and vanilla. It’s perfect for sipping poolside or as a dessert drink any time you’re dreaming of sun.
Bubbly, citrusy, herbal, bittersweet…the Aperol Spritz is one of the most classic sweet cocktails of them all! This drink is renowned the world over, reaching max popularity in the 2000’s. But did you know it’s a classic cocktail from the 1950’s? This Italian drink has been capturing hearts and minds for years. Taste one made the right way: it’s absolutely worth the hype.
It’s fruity, it’s extra boozy, and it’s 100% fun: meet the Hurricane! This New Orleans special is a bit of a splurge: and that’s exactly what it’s intended for. Loaded with two types of rum, it’s got a tropical nuance from passion fruit. A hint of grenadine gives it extra sweetness and a rosy-golden color. It’s a unique rum cocktail that’s festive and fun.
The Mai Tai might sound like a fruity resort drink from the 1990’s, but it’s anything but! No, this drink is a classic cocktail from the 1940’s that’s been (cough) ruined by saccharine sweet versions intended for tourists. This rum cocktail is breathtakingly complex, featuring rum, orange liqueur, and fancy almond syrup. It’s just sweet enough, with nutty and vanilla notes against the citrus.
Here's a sweet alcoholic drink that's a creamy, boozy delight: the Brandy Alexander. This simple cocktail is equal parts creamy, intriguing, and delicious: a mix of Cognac with cocoa liqueur. It’s almost like a grown up version of the White Russian…and we’re here for it!
Looking for a sweet cocktail to please a chocoholic? Try this Chocolate Martini! This drink is rich and creamy, basically a dessert in a glass. It’s got Irish cream and creme de cacao for maximum flavor, like the liquid version of your favorite chocolate bar. Mix this up for special occasions…or just anytime you need a sweet treat in cocktail form.
Want a Mojito topped off with champagne? (Yes, please.) Enter the Old Cuban: one part Mojito, one part French 75. This sweet alcoholic drink is a modern classic created by a famous bartender in the early 2000’s. And it’s truly an incredible drink. It’s minty fresh, with complexity from the bitters and vanilla and coconut notes from the aged rum.
So you love piña coladas? Then you absolutely must try a Painkiller! This 1970’s tropical drink is a spin on the classic piña colada, but even better. It stars aged rum, cream of coconut, and orange juice, which add intrigue and nuance to this sophisticated drink. Top it off with a little grated nutmeg, and wow! It’s sweet, fruity, tropical, and just darn tasty.
Some drinks are a cut above the rest: and this one is worth a taste. Ever tried a Golden Cadillac? This pale yellow after dinner drink blew us away with its creamy, complex flavor! The name sounds a bit 1950’s (and it is), but we think this retro cocktail deserves a place among the greats. One sip and it’s herbal, creamy, and lightly chocolate, with hints of anise and nutmeg.
Here’s a drink that takes just 2 minutes to make and hits the spot in any season: the White Russian! This cocktail mixes vodka with coffee liqueur and cream in a decadently creamy, super sweet alcoholic drink. Perhaps you know it from the 1990’s movie The Big Lebowski, but this drink has been around since the 1950’s. It’s a total treat, and couldn’t be easier to make.
Love booze in your coffee? Let’s make sweet and delicious Irish coffee! There’s nothing more soul warming than that classic combination of bitter coffee, buttery whisky and frothy whipped cream. There are infinite variations on the spiked coffee theme, too. Here we’ll show you the best way to make that classic Irish coffee, then share a few of our very favorite variations on the theme.
Have you tried the revelation that is Spanish coffee? It’s actually an American spin on a Spanish concept of spiked coffee (carajillo). But this drink is extra-special. It’s got a caramelized sugar rim and is spiked with Kahlua, rum, and orange liqueur…and topped with hand-whipped fluffy whipped cream! The burnt caramel, citrus, bitter coffee and sweet cream all combine into a literal symphony of flavor.
Ahh, the Tom Collins: this nostalgic cocktail is about as classic as it gets! This tall highball drink is a essentially gin sour, a sweet and sour drink made with gin. A cousin of the gin fizz, it’s refreshing and bubbly, impressively loaded with ice in a highball glass. Top with a cherry and it’s one of the most sought-after alcoholic drinks out there. Every time we serve one, it gets rave reviews.
Is there any sweet cocktail more refreshing than a mojito? Here’s the classic recipe for it that’s spot on perfection: not too sweet, bubbly, and minty fresh. Like the margarita, the true version has less sugar and more nuance than what it’s become in bars and pre-made mixes. Here’s exactly how to make a simple mojito!
Here’s a sophisticated classic cocktail that steals the show: the Clover Club! This bright pink drink stems back before Prohibition, but it’s just as en vogue today. Sweet raspberry or grenadine syrup combine with zingy lemon and gin to make a perfectly balanced sweet alcoholic drink. Top it off a classic egg white foam gives a creamy body and frothy texture to each sip.
Have you tried a classic Long Island Iced Tea? Mixed up as intended, this 1970's sweet cocktail will blow you away. Ditch the sour mix and Triple Sec in favor of fresh citrus and top shelf liquor. One sip and it’s zingy, sweet tart, nuanced and sophisticated. This is one classy Long Island Iced Tea.
Wow, does this cocktail have the visual component nailed. If you want to impress, try this Tequila Sunrise! It’s beautiful and vibrant, with layered colors of a summer sunset. Here’s the best part: it’s so easy to make! All you need is 3 ingredients: and no special techniques or equipment. The flavor is refreshingly sweet, with just a hint of tequila.
Last up in our sweet cocktails: the classy Amaretto Sour! Are you burned from those syrupy amaretto sours made with sweet and sour mix? Made correctly, this drink can be one of the best cocktails out there. It’s sweet yet balanced, with a hint of almond from the amaretto. If you’re not drinking your amaretto sour this way: well, it’s time to start!
Here’s how to make a classic piña colada: the sophisticated, grown up version of this frozen sweet cocktail!
1 1/2 cups frozen pineapple
1 1/2 cups ice
5 ounces (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) aged rum
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cream of coconut (not coconut cream; see notes*)
4 ounces (1/2 cup) pineapple juice
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) lime juice
For the garnish: cocktail cherry
Blend pineapple and ice until chunky. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve garnished with a cocktail cherry and drink umbrellas.
Cream of coconut is a special coconut product made for sweetening drinks. Coconut cream is sold in cans and is not sweetened. Don’t buy coconut cream or the drink will not taste sweetened! If you make this misstep and want to save your drink, you can add simple syrup to taste. Or, you can also make our simplified version of a pina colada with coconut milk. Go to Frozen Pina Colada.
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.