8 Popular Layered Cocktails that Always Make a Splash

August 24, 2022 by

There is a time and place to play it safe, and then there are those occasions when you feel like going all out and making a splash – this is when we like to whip out one of our popular layered cocktails 

Striking, colorful, and always impressive-looking, these unconventional cocktails make a great conversation starter, as well as awesome additions to themed parties that call for a little something special.  

1. Tequila Sunrise

No Tequila Sunrise Mocktail

If you are brand-new to layered cocktails, the Tequila Sunrise is a good place to start, since there is nothing too complicated about pouring this vibrant, citrusy Tequila-based drink. To get the iconic sunrise effect, you simply pour 1.5 oz Espolòn Tequila Blanco, followed by 3 oz orange juice poured over a small handful of ice, and finally add 0.5 oz of grenadine.  

The red syrup is denser that the other ingredients, and will sink to the bottom of the glass, creating the signature red layer that evokes the idea of a sunrise.  

2. B-52

B-52 Cocktail

Just like the well-known B-52 party shot, the B-52 cocktail features equal quantities of the three liqueurs, namely coffee, Irish cream, and orange liqueur. This results in a coffee-cream drink with a sweet orange kick. We love using Grand Marnier in these pretty layered alcoholic drinks – it’s all the bitter orange tang you need to deliver a perfect balance! This also happens to be one of our all-time best after-dinner cocktails to impress a crowd.  

3. Bikini Martini

Bikini Martini Cocktail

This layered cocktail recipe calls for 4 oz coconut rum, 4 oz pineapple juice, 2 oz SKYY Vodka, and 1 oz grenadine. The first three ingredients are combined in a cocktail shaker with ice, and then strained into Martini glasses. The grenadine is then slowly poured into each glass to create a layered effect. Add some maraschino cherries and a pineapple wedge to round it all off. 

4. Rainbow Layered Cocktail

Rainbow Layered Cocktail

Colorful layered cocktails seldom get more festive than this! The fruity drink combines 1 oz grenadine, 0.5 oz peach schnapps, 1.5 oz pineapple juice, 1 oz SKYY Vodka, and 0.5 oz blue curaçao.  

The grenadine is poured into the glass first. Then the peach schnapps and pineapple juice are combined in a shaker and poured over the grenadine, almost to the top. Finally, the vodka and blue curaçao are also shaken up separately, and then gently layered on top of the yellow layer, before being garnished with an orange slice and a cherry. 

5. Malibu Sunset

Malibu Sunset Cocktail

This layered drink recipe makes for a wonderful aperitif cocktail in the summertime. It combines 2 oz coconut rum, 4 oz pineapple juice, and 1 oz grenadine for a drink that’s as easy to enjoy as it is to pour. In this case, it is recommended to build the rum and pineapple juice in the glass first, and then add the grenadine by pouring it gently down the side of the glass so it settles at the bottom without mixing with the rest of the fluids. 

6. Carajillo

Carajillo Cocktail

When you’re learning how to layer cocktails it helps to start with a very simple drink, such as the Carajillo cocktail, which only features two ingredients. Made with half a cup of brewed espresso and 2 oz of a Spanish vanilla liqueur, it layers naturally and is served over ice.  

7. Red White & Blue Layered Cocktail

Red White & Blue Cocktail

If there ever was a drink that was tailormade for Independence Day, the Red White & Blue Layered Cocktail would be it! If you are amping up your skills in terms of how to make layered alcoholic drinks at home, this is also a nice option to usher you to that next level.  

The ingredients include 1 oz SKYY Vodka, 1 oz blue curaçao, 3 oz lemonade, and 1 oz grenadine. The grenadine is added to the glass first, after which the lemonade and vodka are shaken up and gently poured into the glass over the back of a spoon to sit on top of the red layer. Lastly, the blue liqueur is added to create the final layer. 

8. Bob Marley

Bob Marley Cocktail

This layered, rum-based cocktail has lovely bright tropical flavors that are cheery enough to have you bobbing your head to that Bob Marley vibe in no time at all. It combines 1 oz grenadine, 0.5 oz coconut rum, 4 oz pineapple juice, 1 oz pineapple rum, and 1 oz blue curaçao.  

The grenadine is poured in first. Next, the pineapple juice and coconut rum are shaken up separately and poured gently into the glass. Then, the pineapple rum and blue curaçao is combined separately before being strained into the glass to create the final layer. 

There you have it – 8 popular layered cocktails that are as fun to pour as they are to serve. Now go forth and make some cocktail magic! 


The secret is all in the pour. Pouring layered cocktail ingredients slowly over the back of a spoon breaks the flow of the liquids, slowing it down so it doesn’t disturb the layer below.

Layering ingredients in cocktails make for a nice visually impressive serve.

Choose ingredients of different densities so the layers will stay separate and float on top of one another. It is also important to layer from heaviest to lightest when making layered cocktails from scratch.

The secret is all in the pour. Pouring layered cocktail ingredients slowly over the back of a spoon breaks the flow of the liquids, slowing it down so it doesn’t disturb the layer below.

Stay in the mix

Sign up to our drinkspiration newsletter.