If a sharp, bitter cocktail is like a sweaty, ragged run, then a sweet cocktail is like yoga, gently improving you for the better without the need to overtly remind you that “it’s working.” Whether you’re a lover of all things sweet who expects nothing less from their cocktails or a cocktail connoisseur who’s finally ready to give into the temptation of good, good sugar, here are 10 sweet cocktails that are undeniably delicious.
Best Sweet Cocktails to Order at the Bar
Sweet on sweet on sweet—literally. The B52 shot is layered with Kahlua, Baileys and Grand Marnier. It doesn’t get much sweeter than that. Layered shots are long overdue for a comeback, so start the revival and satisfy your sweet tooth with a B52.
The Melon Ball is the epitome of light, sweet and easy. A product of the 1980s sweet cocktail movement, it’s a tastebuds-tingling combination of sweet Midori, orange juice and vodka—basically a liquid Jolly Rancher. It’s not too strong, so go ahead and slurp away.
Fresh squeezed orange juice
Every time you drink a Singapore Sling, you are supporting gender equality and feminism—oh, and you’re drinking an awesome cocktail. This fruit punch-colored gin drink was created as a means for women in Singapore to secretly drink in public (which was taboo back in 1915), thereby quietly fighting the power through easy drinking cocktails.
Rum is one of the liquor world’s sweeter spirits, so when in doubt, order something with rum. While our Hurricane recipe only calls for one rum, it’s just as strong as other recipes that demand two or three different rums. It is the definition of dangerous: sweet and light, but packing a secret punch. Pace yourself, because while you may be able to suck down three of these rapid fire, you could find yourself at the wrong end of the Hurricane’s power.
Passion fruit syrup
Fresh Lemon juice
Not all whiskeys are sweet—that’s bourbon’s jam—and as a result, there aren’t as many sweet whiskey cocktails as there are rum cocktails. But when you pour a couple of ounces of whiskey into a glass with some freshly brewed coffee, simple syrup and whipped cream, a sweet cocktail is exactly what you get. Irish coffee is a great gateway cocktail for wannabe whiskey drinkers, but beware of bars just dumping in clumpy heavy cream and handing it to you. Request fresh whipped cream to insure a silky smooth drinking experience.
Unlike most visually appealing cocktails, the Tequila Sunrise is actually as good as it looks. Orange juice and hibiscus grenadine tame the sharp, vegetal flavor of the tequila and blend together to form a very balanced, very sweet tequila cocktail, or Jello Shot if you’re feeling really adventurous.
Many of the cocktails on this list are proof that you don’t need to throw a bunch of dessert-y treats in a drink to make it sweet—but it definitely doesn’t hurt. The Mudslide is your classic dessert cocktail, filled with ice cream, chocolate syrup and sweet liqueurs—and vodka. It’s sweet, delicious booziness at its best.
vanilla ice cream
As with so many sweet drinks, there is one sure-fire way to screw up a Strawberry Daiquiri—by using artificial syrup. But by making it with a cup of fresh strawberries (no additional sugar is needed), you end up with a cool, boozy smoothie that will make you feel like you’re on vacation no matter where you are.
It's not an easy drink to make—your forearms will be feeling it by the time you're done shaking—but it is worth it. The classic mix of gin, citrus, cream and egg white is a glorious blend of flavors and textures. The highlight is undoubtedly the foamy topper of egg white, which makes the silky, sweet cocktail work as well for dessert as it does during a cocktail hour or brunch.
London Dry Gin
Zombie enthusiasts, be careful. Some versions of the ultra boozy tiki cocktail come with a warning label and two-drink limit. Even if it can bring on more than a little buzz, the Zombie and its mix of several rums, absinthe and falernum, is the sweet tiki drink to end all sweet tiki drinks.