Making LA water cocktail is a very easy job that can be done right at home. It’s super tasty and the extra flavors you get from the garnishes and slices on the rim are one to die for.

For starters, what’s a cocktail? It seems so obvious, but many people don’t really know what it is. A cocktail is an alcoholic mixed drink. It is a combination of a variety of spirits with a spice of other ingredients like fruit juice, lemonade, cream or even flavored syrup. So basically, a cocktail must contain an alcoholic beverage or a mixture of more than one alcoholic beverage.

Drinks identical to cocktail but without alcohol are referred to as mocktails or virgin cocktails. Cocktails are versatile and allow you to experiment the world of tastes. Thousands of different cocktails exist and they can found round with world with each restaurant or bar giving a unique name to their drink.

The first mention of the word, “cocktail” is still in dispute as no one knows how the name came about but one thing we know for sure is that the term ‘cocktail’ was coined in America.

Mixed drinks constitute a major part of party “food” and bar choice. There are mixed drinks such as cooler, crusta, cup, and of course cocktails and many more that can really spice up a party. A delightful drink that is composed of tantalizing liqueurs, la water drink is one mixed drink that can be prepared without the help of the bartender, in the twinkling of an eye. Now, about this drink.

L.A. Water Drink: What’s in a name?

This L.A. water drink is based on the famous L.A. water which has a dark greenish color. The reason for this odd color is because the water in the river is gotten from two major sources, the rain and from wastewater treatment plants.

Now you know where it got its name from, one thing to note is despite its odd color, L.A. water cocktail tastes very good. Yes, it sure does. Another thing to note is that this drink tastes very similar to Long Island tea  but with a slight difference.

The difference being that instead of melon, raspberry and blue curacao which is added in L.A. mixed drink, a slash of coke is what goes into a long island tea. This drink has a lot of white spirits hence increased alcohol content alongside tasty liqueurs too.

Just to be clear, there are a lot of variations to this drink. So don’t be surprised when you visit different bars and get different drink variation on your request for L.A. water drink. There are a lot of recipes for this and an accompanied slight difference in colors too.

Have you had a busy week?

Would you love to unwind? L.A. water shot will do the trick (but be ready to wake up with a splitting headache if you over indulge yourself). Bust the night with this super potent L.A. cocktail drink if you really want to bring the heat out at your next party. For a night party at home with friends, this drink is a great cocktail to treat them all to.

Filled with a range of drinks from rum, gin, tequila, vodka, melon liqueur, Triple sec to raspberry liqueur, Blue Curacao right down to sweet and sour mix, it is also garnished with an orange wedge and a cherry for extra potent fruity mixed drink vibes.

When it comes to popularity, it is not as famous as Long Island iced tea, Tokyo tea or Adios MFT though they are all similar in preparation.

When it comes to preparation, mixologists, cocktail chefs, bar smiths or even bartenders, the men and women behind the bars are usually the ones involved. A mixologist makes a dope cocktail and is skilled with being able to tell the difference between a truly great drink and a drink that’s just plain average.

Now don’t be scared, you can still make this drink at home and it will come out just as perfect as those of the bartender’s.If you’re a learner when it comes to drinking mixed drinks, be fairly warned when I tell you that a host of cocktail drinks containing anything more than three liqueurs is to be approached with caution.

AMF, Long island tea, our very own L.A. water and a host of others are just plain bad news. Yeah, I’m being sincere. If you have low alcohol tolerance level, just one cocktail could do a whole lot of harm or good. You’ll have a lot of fun that’s for sure but take care to have a designated driver ready to take you back home.

L.A. water drink is L.A.’s secret cocktail that just can’t be found anywhere. The last time a friend of mine visited a bar in Los Angeles, he came back saying he’ll never try that drink again. I was surprised as I had never heard of a drink going by that name.”Does he mean tap water?” I wondered.

Until I decided to do my research on the drink before I got the answer I was looking for. It is a super potent drink even stronger than the popular Long Island tea.

You do not have to be a rock star or movie star to appreciate the awesomeness of L.A. water cocktail and the taste shows the similarity between long island iced tea and an electric lemonade with bitters. Don’t be too surprised if you find out there’s a little bit of 3-Mile Long island within it too. Now unto the recipe.

LA Water Drink Recipe

The preparation of this drink is very simple and takes very little time. For a beautiful result, you’ll need some certain number of tools. These are what professional bartenders make use of.

First of all, you will need a pint or highball glass. You don’t want to make use of a small glass that will not contain all your ingredients or have a situation where your drink will overflow.

Another important tool is the jigger. This gives approximate and precise measurements. It is a bartending tool used for measuring liquor before being transferred to a glass or cocktail shaker.

A mixing spoon is another tool needed for getting your cocktail ready. It is optional however as you can easily make use of a straw to stir the mixture but a far better option is to have your mixing spoon ready.

The next important aspect is the ingredients involved and the steps to follow. L.A. water ingredients which are a mix of liquors and liqueurs include the following:

  • ½ oz. vodka
  • ½ oz. light rum
  • ½ oz. gin
  • ½ oz. Tequila
  • ½ oz. Triple sec
  • ½ oz. melon liqueur
  • ½ oz. Raspberry liqueur
  • ½ oz. Blue Curacao
  • ½ oz. sweet and sour


  • The first thing to do is to add ice to a highball glass or pint. Add the ice all the way to the top.
  • Add the vodka, light rum, gin, tequila, triple sec, melon liqueur, raspberry liqueur, Blue Curacao, sweet and sour mix into the glass with the ice. This is pretty much equal parts of each liquor and liqueur. This drink has approximately 4 oz of alcohol.
  • Stir drink gently as this blends the drink. This is done with the aid of a mixing spoon (otherwise known as bar spoon). If you don’t have one, you can simply make use of your straw.
  • Garnish drink with a maraschino cherry and an orange slice.

Because this drink is a super potent one, you might wonder if it’s possible to remove one or two ingredients. Won’t it affect the taste? You may also ask.

Well, for a cocktail with less alcohol content, you can remove the tequila and/or Triple sec. It doesn’t really affect the taste of the drink, it’s the melon liqueur, Raspberry liqueur and the Blue Curacao that gives it its distinguishing taste.

Cocktail Garnishes

Every good cocktail deserves a great garnish as well. Aside making for a beautiful presentation, garnishes are also used to add subtle aromas and flavors to a drink that just can’t be gotten from adding an ingredient to the mix.  When it comes to garnishing your cocktail, there are lots of options to choose from and your garnish choice will indeed affect the flavor of your drink.

Citrus fruits that are often used for garnishes in cocktails include orange, lemon or even lime. Lemon slice is basically a slice cut from lemon fruit, an acidic citrus fruit with a zingy flavor. Lemon wedges are usually placed on the rim of a glass, and can be optionally squeezed and dropped into the drink once it is served.

It happens to be one of the most popular garnishes in the world of cocktails and garnishes drinks including your very own favorite L.A. water drink.

That is not all; maraschino cherries are not left out as they are one of the various adornments we have for cocktails. The sight of that little red ball adds a cute finishing touch with a splash of class to right about any drink no matter the flavor. For L.A. cocktails, these make for a great finishing.

There are different ways to incorporate cherries into your cocktail. You can either drop them into the glass or set them on top of the ice. That’s not all though; there are other fun ways to go about it too. Thinking out of the box is allowed.

Another thing to note is that except a recipe calls for it specifically, do ensure to serve the cherry with the stem intact. This is to make it easy for a drinker to easily pop the cherry into their mouth if they so choose.

Ideas For Your Bar at Home

If you’re preparing this L.A. cocktail alongside others at home for your party guests, you may need to get the following tools ready. Bartending isn’t that hard a job to do especially with the few tips I’ll be dropping here.

The first I’ll be talking about is the liquor and liqueurs. This is almost the most important aspect of your party. Essential mixed drinks to get are whiskey, Scotch, vodka, tequila, rum and vermouth. Liqueurs which are technically liquors but flavored with various ingredients include melon, Raspberry, Irish cream, etc.

Another thing to never forget is mixers.

They are an essential part of most cocktails so if the recipe calls for a specific mixer, be sure to use it. Our cocktail on focus requires sweet and sour mix so it is essential you incorporate it in your mix. Garnishes are not to be left out. Maraschino cherries, olives, lemon peels even lime and lemon wedges are popular drink garnishes as well.

Ice. This can’t be easily forgotten. Make sure you have about a pound of ice cubes per person. Ice keeps your cocktails cool and refreshing.

Bar glasses are also important. All purpose glasses will work for nearly every alcoholic drink but if you have a pint or long ball glass that will serve your purpose better.

And the last but not the least are your bar tools. Tools make the job easier so having a few essential tools will make your party go hitch free. You should have a bottle opener, corkscrew and cocktail napkins handy.

A small towel, sponge, wastebasket (you don’t want to litter the place), even a cocktail shaker for ease in mixing your drink. Having a blender nearby is also a great idea as this will come in handy in making blended drinks like margaritas or daiquiris.

Cocktail Chemistry

What an intriguing title, right? I know! In bartending, there is a certain rule (yeah as far as rules go) but there are always exceptions anyway.

The rules say tell you when to shake a drink or when to stir. There’s always a good reason for specific instructions like stirring or shaking your cocktail recipe. Specific instructions? Yes, I know it sounds odd but please follow me.

Shaking or stirring a cocktail can change its flavor and constituency and there are recipes that say you should not stir but shake and vice versa. So the main purpose of shaking and stirring cocktails is to cool and dilute them. Aside that, both methods of mixing have their own subtle shade of difference.

The rule says that cocktails where the recipe calls for fruit juices, cream liqueurs, egg, simple syrup, sour mix or any other thick or flavorful mixer should be shaken. This is to ensure that every ingredient is fully integrated into the finished drink’s flavor.

For example, when you shake a cocktail, you’re aerating the drink and changing its texture in the process. For a cocktail recipe that calls for juice or citrus, the best thing to do is to shake with ice for about 15 seconds. A few examples of shaken cocktails to try include mai tai, chocolate martini and ward eight.

Stirring a cocktail however is for a different reason entirely. You should stir cocktails that include distilled spirits or very light mixers only. This is a gentler technique for mixing cocktails done for at least 30 seconds. It is especially used to combine drink with perfect amount of dilution from the ice.

Stirring is employed when you don’t want to over-dilute, over-cool, or change the texture of the drink at all. So stirring is good for spirit-forward cocktails like a martini or a manhattan where the flavor is what makes the drink shine.

But unlike shaking, the kind of ice you use to stir the cocktail matters a lot. Small ice cubes will cool and dilute the drink faster while large ones will cool and dilute the drink slower.

Don’t think of skipping any of the steps with the mind that the shortcut will produce an equally good drink. Squeeze out an extra 30 seconds of your time to properly mix your cocktails and you will be glad you did when your guests compliment your bartending prowess.

L.A. water drink also happens to be one of the several cocktails that require stirring so ensure you stir it well to get optimum result. That is what your mixing spoon is for (also called bar spoon). It is designed specifically for use in the bar and should be considered an essential piece of your bar gear.

A lot has been said about L.A. water mixed drink; a cocktail that is super potent so much that if you forget how potent it is and decide to indulge yourself, you might find yourself in a different state the next morning.

What are you waiting for? Bring out your drinks and bar tools and let the mixing begin. One thing you can be sure of is that LA water drink tastes so much better than it looks.


Peter's path through the culinary world has taken a number of unexpected turns. After starting out as a waiter at the age of 16, he was inspired to go to culinary school and learn the tricks of the trade. As he delved deeper, however, his career took a sudden turn when a family friend needed someone to help manage his business. Peter now scratches his culinary itch on the internet by blogging, sharing recipes, and socializing with food enthusiasts worldwide.

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