Sex On The Beach cocktail with garnish

Sex On The Beach

By Timo Torner / Last updated on March 29, 2022 
The Sex On The Beach is a tart, citrusy, and fruity cocktail from the 1980s. The fruitiness masks the alcohol pretty well, making it dangerously easy to drink.

The Sex On The Beach is mainly known for its provoking name. And whatever pun comes to your mind, trust me, it's all been said and heard before. It's certainly a drink that doesn't take itself too seriously. It's a fruity, light, and easygoing drink you can enjoy on the beach. Similar to a Piña Colada or a Painkiller, you're more likely to find this kind of cocktail at a beach hut than in a craft cocktail bar.

But don't be fooled by the light taste. The Sex On The Beach carries quite some booze. It's not packed with it like a Long Island Ice Tea. But depending on your recipe, you'll drink 1.5 - 2 ounces of Vodka plus various liqueurs and Peach Schnapps. All this is perfectly hidden behind a blend of fresh fruit juices.

So let's find out more about this drink from the 1980s and how you can make it at home.

History of the Sex on the Beach

The Sex On The Beach was a must on most cocktail menus in the 1980s and 1990s. Its provocative name combined with the fruity taste masking the high alcohol content made it a popular choice amongst partying folks. However, the love for this drink faded when the craft cocktail scene started its latest renaissance.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to find out who invented this intriguing drink. Of course, there are numerous myths and stories about how the Sex on the Beach cocktail got created. But all of them lack substance and don't match historical documentation. One popular anecdote is that a Florida bartender named Ted Pizio invented the drink in 1987 to promote Peach Schnapps. But as reasonable and valid as this may sound, the cocktail already got a mention in 1982. That year the "Americans Bartenders School" listed the Sex on the Beach in their "Guide to Drinks."

Another tale says it all started by combining a Fuzzy Naval and a Cape Codder. And true enough, bring both these drinks together, and you have all the main components to make a Sex On the Beach cocktail. But unfortunately, there's no proof that this story is true either.

Why is it called Sex On The Beach?

The naming of the cocktail is another mystery. The legend that Ted Pizio is the original inventor of the cocktail gives one possible interpretation. According to this, Ted Pizio said that "Sex" and the "Beach" were the two biggest reasons for sping breakers coming to Florida. And those spring breakers were principal customers for bars in the sunshine state.

Another interpretation refers to the usually layered presentation of the drink. The red part represents the "Sex" - A mix consisting of Vodka, cranberry juice, and sometimes additional red and fruity liqueurs. The yellow, or better, the beach part of the cocktail, is represented by peach schnapps combined with orange juice and occasionally pineapple juice.

Ingredients of a Sex On The Beach

The Sex On The Beach is a cocktail that seems to have countless different recipes. One could think that every bartender has a very own recipe. And as confusing as that is, the beauty of it is that you can also experiment at home with crafting the perfect recipe.

The standardized recipe only includes Vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice, and cranberry juice. Tweaks on this recipe often add or substitute fruit juices. The most common might be pineapple and grapefruit juice.

But, also, the list of alcoholic ingredients is often expanded. Crème de Cassis or raspberry liqueur are your best options here.

My favorite recipe includes the following ingredients:

  • Peach Schnapps  
  • Orange juice
  • Pineapple juice
  • lemon juice 
  • Vodka
  • Raspberry liqueur
  • Cranberry juice

The lemon juice is a great addition that brings a subtle tartness to the drink. Just one teaspoon is enough to lift this sweet and boozy cocktail and give it a kick of acidity.

How to make it

For me, the way to present this drink is in layered form. Just keep in mind to hand your guests a stirrer and advise them to mix the layers before drinking.

For this, shake orange juice, pineapple juice, and peach schnapps on ice and strain the mix into an ice-filled glass. Then mix the remaining ingredients on ice and float them on the "Beach" layer.

Garnish the drink with an orange peel or a slice of orange, and it's ready to be served.

Sex On The Beach cocktail with garnish

Sex On The Beach

A popular sweet and fruity cocktail from the 1980s. It is an easy-to-sip drink that's boozier than one might expect.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vodka
Servings: 1
Calories: 239kcal
Cost: $2.90


  • 0.75 oz Peach schnapps
  • 1 oz Fresh orange juice
  • 1 oz Fresh pineapple juice
  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Cranberry juice
  • 0.5 oz Raspberry liqueur
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice


  • Pour peach schnapps, orange juice, and pineapple juice into your cocktail shaker and shake with ice.
  • Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass.
  • Add remaining ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
  • Strain and float on top of the other ingredients.
  • Garnish with a slice of orange or an orange peel.


Serving: 6.25oz | Calories: 239kcal | Carbohydrates: 67.42g | Protein: 1.96g | Fat: 0.332g | Sodium: 6.66mg | Potassium: 383.98mg | Sugar: 63.4g | Vitamin C: 74.54mg | Calcium: 66.96mg | Iron: 1.02mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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