Sex on the Beach – the Most Brilliantly Named Cocktail of All Time

“Sex on the Beach -build over ice in a highball glass….If you’re on a crowded beach put some of the ice down your Speedos.”

-Peter Grogan, Grogan’s Companion to Drink


Last month I was in Brazil and we went to have a bite to eat and a drink on the Copacabana beach. They don’t drink a lot of wine, and I didn’t feel a beer would quite hit the spot.

No. There we were on one of the most famous and beautiful stretches of beach in the world, life good, it was evening and time to relax after a busy day of meetings. It was time for a cocktail.

For me there is no choice – the local Brazilian cocktail, the Caipirinha, is one of the best. Especially at 90°F (‘hot’ in centigrade).

The waiter was taking his time and in the meantime the bar was filling up with a rich miscellany. A couple of musicians – one playing drums the other the accordion – were joined by a woman who looked as if she would have done well as the figurehead for Long John Silver with a voice to match began a deep, smokey, suggestive song.

Onto the dance floor went a massive fat man and a skinny, tiny lady both of whom danced skillfully, perfectly in time with each other. Next up was a tall father and his six year old daughter. Then two middle-aged matrons. A respectable looking businessman.

And then a couple: young, bronzed, and sleek, the girl wearing a tight-cut dress which barely covered her mile-long legs. A delight to watch until they moved discretely onto the sand and into the shadows.

The waiter arrived, and I asked for my Caipirinha. “We don’t have”, he stated bluntly. He handed me the cocktail menu, and it took just a second to tell him, “I’ll have a Sex on the Beach, thanks”

Whoever gave this name to the fruity drink which arrived was a marketing genius. Anyone seeing it would surely have to give it a go. It also looks pretty startling. Here’s how to make it.


Recipe for Sex on the Beach


For one happy person – some people dilute with more fruit juice.


  • 1 tbsp peach schnapps
  • 3 tbsp vodka
  • 2 tbsp orange juice – and a couple of slices of orange for garnish. 
  • 4 tbsp cranberry juice

Some people use half orange and half pineapple juice.


  1. Put everything into a cocktail shaker with some ice, shake for a minute or two – as long as you have patience for.
  2. Strain the lot into a couple of highball glasses filled with a bit more ice.
  3. Garnish with the orange slice.


What else to listen to but Barry Manilow’s Copacabana.


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