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Red White and Blue Layered Cocktail

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Learn how to make a stunning red white and blue layered cocktail to sip this summer.

It’s week 4 of the summer cocktail series.  If this is your first week, be sure to check out the previous weeks below, there are some tasty drink recipes to try. 

This week I made a patriotic red white and blue layered cocktail that is perfect for the Fourth of July.  Watch and learn how to make this pretty drink that will wow your guests.  It tastes pretty good too! 

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Make this patriotic red white and blue layered cocktail

A summer cocktail should be easy to sip and nice and cold to enjoy on a hot day. This layered cocktail tics both of those boxes, plus the layers really make it stand out.

There is definitely an art to layered a drink. Before tackling all three layers in this drink, you may want to start with two. Try one of these lovely layered drinks first.

Gin and Sin Layered Cocktail from Simple Sips
Tequila Sunrise shot or cocktail

How to create a layered cocktail

Layering a drink starts with understanding the density of the liquids you are using. Essentially the liquid with the highest sugar content will sink to the bottom. The lighter the sugar content, the more the layer will float.

So for this red white and blue layered cocktail the grenadine, the red layer, is the densest with the highest sugar content.

Next up is the white-ish layer which, when poured correctly, will sit nicely on top of the red layer. This is a mixture of vodka and lemonade shaken with ice and strained into the glass.

Finally, the blue layer will float on top as the final layer in this festive drink.

Knowing the density of each layer is important, next you need to know how to pour the layers.

Watch the video and learn how to make a red white and blue layered cocktail

To make this drink, have all the ingredients and tools on hand. You’ll want to make and serve this drink quickly. After a few minutes, the layers will start to blend together.

Start with grenadine at the bottom, just pour it in, then fill the glass with ice. This has the highest sugar content and will sink to the bottom of any drink. By adding it first you are able to get a distinct layer between the red and white.

When making a tequila sunrise, which has a blurred line between the layers, you pour the grenadine down the side of the drink. For this cocktail, we want a crisp division of colors.

how to make a layered cocktail

Next, shake lemonade and vodka in a shaker like this one to make the white layer.  The key to getting the white layer to sit on top of the red layer is to gently pour the mixture over the back of a spoon. This layer is a little yellow from the lemonade but it looks more white when you add the blue on top.

Dumping the white layer into the glass will mix it with the red creating a pink drink. Delicious but not the look we’re going for.

This technique of pouring liquid over the back of a spoon takes practice, go easy on yourself and take your time. It probably won’t look great the first time.

how to make a red white and blue layered cocktail

Use the same spoon pouring technique to add blue curacao for the final layer.  It’s helpful to use a measuring cup with a spout instead of a shot glass to pour the liquid.  Some of the blue will mix with this white, but you will get a nice defined layer that will last a few minutes

The layers last just long enough to show off your mixology skills, then they blend together to create a delicious drink.

how to make a layered cocktail with a spoon

This red white and blue layered cocktail is a nice mix of sweet and tart and will look amazing at your summer party.  

View a quick overview here and learn how to make a layered cocktail

Red White and Blue Layered Drink

Red White and Blue Layered Cocktail

Yield: 1
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Patriotic layered drink


  • 1 oz grenadine
  • 3 oz lemonade
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1 oz blue curacao
  • ice


  1. Add grenadine to a glass then fill with ice.
  2. In a shaker filled with ice, shake lemonade and vodka then gently pour the mixture over the back of a spoon into the glass creating the white layer of the drink.  This will sit on top of the grenadine.
  3. Cascade blue curacao over the back of a spoon to make the final blue layer.


This technique takes practice, you may have some that blend together at first. They still taste great! Keep working on gently pouring over the back of a spoon and soon your drinks will turn out perfectly layered.

The layers last for just a few minutes before they blend together. Make and serve quickly.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 178Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 13mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 0gSugar: 22gProtein: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

Share your cocktail and tag @creativeramblings

If you want to try a few other summer cocktails take a look at these creations

7 Summer Cocktails

Red, White and Blue Layered Cocktail from Creative Ramblings • Pina Colada Shots from Weekend Craft • Blueberry Lemonade with Vodka from A Turtle’s Life for Me • Boozy Orange Creamsicle Floats from Happy Go Lucky • Coconut White Russian from Daily DIY Life • Frozen Mojito from Create & Babble • Mango Bellini from Family Around the Table Frozen Citrus Berry Rum Cocktail

Thanks for visiting!

red white and blue layered jello shot square
Red White and Blue Layered Jello Shot
Red white and blue patriotic frozen cocktail
Red White and Blue Frozen Drink

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Monday 5th of July 2021

I also was having problems with the blue layer but then I added more ice after the white layer and I made it perfectly every time after that!


Thursday 2nd of July 2020

Agreed. Tried it and the blue immediately sinks. It is much thicker/higher sugar than the lemonade/vodka layer, so cannot stay on top. :(

Crystal Quintana

Friday 25th of June 2021

Try using Sweet & Sour instead of lemonade... not sure if it will actually work but I will be trying it this way @Lisa,

Kate White

Tuesday 30th of June 2020

How can I make in bulk in a big pitcher?


Wednesday 1st of July 2020

I would double or triple the recipe then layer it in a tall pitcher. Good luck, enjoy!


Sunday 24th of May 2020

How did your blue stay on top for the picture then if the density of the blue layer is higher as you said in the comment? It’s frustrating to see a picture of a drink that is scientifically impossible to make as written.


Wednesday 5th of August 2020

I, too, had trouble getting the blue layer to float on the white layer. I developed 2 tricks that make it easier to float the blue layer on the white layer: 1-use a very sweet lemonade (or, when you shake the lemonade and vodka in the cocktail shaker, just add one or two spoonfuls of sugar to the shaker) 2-dilute the blue curacao with some water in a separate glass before pouring it over the spoon onto the white layer (diluting the blue curacao makes it less dense and easier to float on the white layer; it still has the lovely blue color).

This has become a favorite drink to make in the summer for my party guests! It’s very festive, pretty, and impressive!


Wednesday 17th of June 2020

Hi Betsy, I just went back and looked at that comment, my mistake! It definitely stays on top. I have made this drink dozens of times and plan to do so again this fourth of July. It takes some practice to get the blue to sit on top and as the ice melts the drink will blend together, but for a while it keeps it's beautiful layers. If you watch the video you can see how I pour the blue so it stays on top.


Wednesday 6th of May 2020

Why does the blue layer sink below the white layer?


Friday 15th of May 2020

The blue layer sits on top of the white. It can be tricky to get it to float there, using the back of a spoon will help. And the more practice you have the easier it will get!

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