4 Ways to Create Green Cocktails

Transform Your Cocktails Into Emerald Delights

Apple Margarita
The Apple Margarita uses green apple schnapps. Ross Durant Photography Photographer's Choice RF / Getty Images

There are many occasions when you would simply like a great green cocktail. It could be a St. Patrick's Day or Earth Day party, or maybe you're hosting an event with a green theme. Whatever the reason, there are many wonderful green drinks to enjoy, you just have to know where to look.

First of all, a good place to begin is with this collection of St. Patrick's Day cocktails. It is filled with green cocktails and the perfect one for you may be right there.

If that's not quite what you're looking for, let's explore the ingredients that will help you create the perfect emerald-colored drink.

Option #1: Use Green Liquor

There are a few green-colored liquors that make mixing up green drinks incredibly easy. Some, like Midori or a sour apple schnapps, have a stronger green tint than ones like green creme de menthe. You choice will affect how green your drinks will be, as will the recipe's other ingredients.

As long as you mix one of these liquors with ingredients that do not have a strong color of their own (e.g. blue curacao, Chambord), your drinks should be perfectly green. There are plenty of proven drink recipes available for each, so feel free to explore your options.

  • Absinthe - It is known as "the green fairy," after all, though the anise flavor is not as universally appealing as other options.
  • Green Chartreuse - This herbal liqueur is used in many fancy cocktails and is a fantastic option for tried and true classics.
  • Sour Apple Schnapps - Hiram Walker, Dekuyper, and other schnapps producers make almost unnaturally green apple schnapps and they are typically very sour. You will find schnapps in drinks like the Apple Martini and Green Dublin Apple Cocktail.
  • TY KU Liqueur - A tropical fruit and sake-based liqueur, this one has an almost neon-green color.
  • UV Green Vodka - An apple-flavored vodka with a bright green color. It can easily be used in many vodka cocktails to get the color, but remember that it will also affect the drink's flavor.
  • Other Spirits - Every now and then liquor producers create green spirits and they're very noticeable on the liquor store shelves. Quite often, these do not last long on the market, so if you find something you really like, it's advised to stock up.

Option #2: Yellow + Blue = Green

This goes back to one of the first lessons in art class: if you mix yellow and blue you get green. It carries through to drinks and, for the most part, it works pretty well.

For example, if you mix up a vodka cocktail with pineapple juice and add just a drop of blue curacao, the drink will be a brilliant green.

Serve this mix on the rocks and top it off with a splash of clear soda for a very quick drink.

Admittedly, there are more green-colored cocktail mixers than blue, so your choices are limited. You will most likely need to use blue curacao and Hpnotiq with a yellow mixer.

Option #3: Use Green Herbs, Fruits, and Veggies

Fresh ingredients are often your best option for creating green drinks. Quite often, these natural colorings will not give you that same deep green that the green spirits do. They do work and they're fresh, which is a good way to improve the quality of your drinks.

Fresh ingredients that are commonly used in cocktails include mint, lime, kiwi, cucumber, green apples, peppers, grapes, melon, and even avocado. 

  • Mint Cocktails - This herb is a favorite for many cocktails, including favorites like the Mint Julep and Mojito.
  • Lime Cocktails - While limes are most commonly used as a garnish or accent juice, they also give drinks a lime green color when muddled or blended. These drinks include the popular Caipirinha and gimmicky Frog in a Blender.
  • Kiwi Cocktails - These brilliant little green fruits are a fun addition to drinks as we see in the Kiwi Martini and alcohol-free Green Lemonade.
  • Cucumber Cocktails - Fresh from the garden, cucumber cocktails are making a splash on the cocktail scene and it's a really nice pairing with melons.
  • Grape Cocktails - Opt for green grapes and muddle the sweet juice into your drinks. You can also toss them into a blender for a quick green smoothie.
  • Melon Cocktails - Going with a melon like honeydew that has a green-colored flesh is a great way to get the color into tasty summertime drinks. You can even use it in place of watermelon in many cocktails.
  • Apple Cocktails - Drinks that focus on green apples are rare though you could at least use a green apple garnish for a splash of color.
  • Avocado Cocktails - There are a few avocado recipes floating around and one is the Guacarita. Simply place half an avocado in the blender instead of strawberries in this Strawberry Margarita.

Option #4: Use Artificial Coloring

Food coloring is used to make green beer every St. Patrick's Day, though it is not common in cocktails. However, if you are desperate to transform that neutral-colored drink into a stunning green delight without altering the taste, a couple of drops of green food coloring will do the trick.