We do not know where the Swamp Water cocktail originated, but we do know two things: It’s colorful and it’s delicious. (For the record, we think it originated in New Orleans; after all it’s where the gators hang out in the bayou!)

It’s refreshing and fruity, tastes great on a hot day or even when you’re trying to escape the wintertime blahs, and will make your guests smile if you serve them one at a party. So, don’t let this opportunity to make a great cocktail pass you by.

Come learn about the swamp water drink today and get ready to make some of these great drinks yourself. There are plenty of variations on this drink, so you are sure to find one that fits your taste well.

What is a Swamp Water Drink?

Swamp water drink ingredients are tequila, sour apple pucker, melon liqueur, sweet and sour mix, lemon lime soda, and Blue Curacao. This is just one recipe and it is the basic one. Keep in mind there are loads of different ones that we will touch on. This one is designed to get you started making the drink.


  • 2 oz. or (60ml) Tequila of choice
  • 3 oz. or (90ml) Sour Apple Pucker – so fruity!
  • 3 oz. or (90ml) Melon Liqueur (we used Watermelon flavor)
  • 2 oz. or (60ml) Sweet & Sour Mix (you can find it anywhere)
  • 3 oz. or (90ml) Lemon Lime soda like Sprite
  • Splash of Blue Curaçao (the drink will not turn blue)
  • Garnish with a Lime or Cherry Skewer


Start by filling up your glass or your pitcher with some ice. Then pour in the tequila, the pucker, the melon liqueur, and the sweet and sour mix. Then add in the soda and stir it well.

After that, add your blue curacao and garnish it if you wish. Drink it nice and slow, because this one is a tasty candy drink and will get the party crazy in no time.

This is basically one of those drinks everybody warns you about… you can drink about five of them before you stand up and realize you’ve had too much!

What Makes This Drink So Special?

It’s just so darn good! This is nothing more than a glass filled with all kinds of sweet and fruity ingredients. Sour apple pucker? Blue Curacao? Who can go wrong with tasty and sweet mixers like those? The sugary parts mask the alcohol, so this is one that you must handle with extreme care and caution.

The taste is perfect.

You taste just the right amount of fruit with just a small hint of liquor, the slight burn of the tequila and a nice zing from the apple pucker. It’s a bit complicated to make, so if your bartender disappears for a few moments to mix it up right, be nice and thank them for taking care to mix up this legendary and fun drink right.

It might take a few minutes, but the taste will be worth it. It might have a funny name, but the flavors have to balance or else you might not like it.

Swamp Water Drink Recipe

Swamp water mixed drink is not hard at all to make. You need only a pitcher or glass, some ice, and the liquors to get it all mixed up. A long spoon is not a bad idea so you can reach the bottom of a really tall glass. And perhaps some fun drink umbrellas might be a good touch if it’s an outdoor party.

Can I Make This as A Shot?

You absolutely can make a swamp water shot.


  • 1/2 oz Blue Curacao
  • 1/2 oz Malibu rum or any rum you like
  • 1/2 oz Midori melon liqueur (nice and sweet)
  • 1/2 oz Pineapple juice (Dole is best)
  • 1/2 oz Sweet and sour mix
  • 1/2 oz Vodka (we like Stoli)


Pour this into your mixer over ice, shake it and strain it into a glass. This is a shot that might even be nice to sip so you get all the nice flavors mixed in. The equipment that is recommended to serve this is the highball glass, so make sure you’ve got one on hand for the best shot you’ve ever poured.

What are Variations of this Swamp Water Drink?

There are a huge number of variants that exist for this drink. You might find a swamp water with vodka or some other crazy ingredients. After all, college students and awesome bartenders alike tend to get crazy and creative with the stuff they have on hand.

Some of these ingredients are so different from the original that you basically end up with an entirely new drink; a cool cousin of the original if you will. You will love some of the variants we found while researching this drink.

One method of doing it differently is to make a swamp water with fireball or other cinnamon whisky and call it the “Fire Swamp.” Yeah, it probably could have been named a bit more creatively, but who are we to judge?

After all it tasted great.

Another variation of the drink that no doubt originated in New Orleans is called the Bayou Swamp Water. This one has Cajun rum amber in it, but also features lemonade, Absolut vodka and of course, our favorite, Blue Curacao. We can’t wait to get to this recipe and share it, because this one was delightful!

And for those of you with small ones or friends who don’t drink but still love to have fun, we did find a fun swamp drink you can serve that’s alcohol-free. It’s good for those teetotaler friends or to keep the kids feeling happy at the family barbecue. All this and more coming up!

Do I Have to Use Melon Liqueur?

The most popular melon liqueur is probably Midori, which we love very much and would have used, had we had it on hand.

We had some watermelon liqueur however, and we used that instead. It tasted great. Later on, we did pick up some Midori and remade the drink. It tasted better with the Midori no doubt, but you can certainly use that watermelon liqueur and still end up with a very tasty drink.

We even thought about using some Watermelon Pucker in place of the Sour Apple Pucker, but this seemed like it might be too complicated overpower the drink. So, we left it out and stuck with the original formula. The best advice for you is to experiment with the original recipe to make your own version of Swamp Water.

Can I use Fresh Fruits?

The answer is absolutely yes. The drink itself is fruity, so go nuts and add whatever you like! The main recipe has us all using lime or maraschino cherries to garnish, but you can seriously add whatever you like.

We think pineapple, lime, cherry, kiwi, or an orange slice are the best choices for this, as they fit the tropical feel of the tasty drink. Using stuff like blueberries or strawberries doesn’t seem to fit, but that’s totally up to you. Enjoy whatever fruits you want! Besides, we aren’t here to eat our fruit and feel healthy anyways – a drink like this is one you use to cut loose and feel good with.

What About This Non-Alcoholic Version?

Having a drink without the liquor is like having a burger with no meat! But sometimes you have friends who do not drink, so this is necessary. Oh, and shout out to all the designated drivers out there who still want to enjoy a drink but get their friends home safe. This non-alcoholic swamp water punch and drink will make you smile and enjoy yourself.

Non-alcoholic swamp water punch


  • 75 liters lemonade (you can use any brand)
  • 3 cans of lemon lime soda drink like Sprite or 7Up
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 3 drops of green food coloring
  • 3 drops of yellow food coloring
  • 1 container sherbet … use lime sherbet for the best results.


Get yourself a large punch bowl and mix all ingredients together. Then, enjoy and watch it disappear at the party.

If you’re not the type to ask the host to make you a giant bowl of this stuff, then here is a non-alcoholic version of the drink to enjoy:

Non-Alcoholic Swamp Water Drink


  • 2 cups of green juice like limeade
  • 5 cups of pineapple juice
  • 1 cups of white grape juice
  • 4 drops of green food coloring
  • 2 drops of yellow food coloring
  • Ice (if you want it)


Combine the ingredients in a big glass until they are combined thoroughly. If you are making a big batch, double the ingredients and chill until it’s time to serve the guests. If not, add some ice and you are ready to drink that lovely green water.

How Popular Is This Drink, Anyway?

The drink itself is pretty popular in college towns and of course in the Big Easy. We’ve never personally seen it on television or in movies, but it’s popular enough that any bar in a city should know the drink and be able to whip one up for you.

We bet that it is popular in Florida too, as there is much swampland down there and plenty of gators to go with that swampland. Maybe you can find some gummy gators to add to the punch?

I’m Going to New Orleans! Where Can I Get a Swamp Water?

We think Pat O’Brien’s at 718 St. Peter St. is a nice place to get one of these delicious drinks. While you are there, you can also try some of the other amazing New Orleans drinks that are famous in the area like “Hand Grenade“ or any frozen daiquiri varieties that are available.

Rumor has it they even have drive-thru daiquiri shops, although we can’t say we went to one! The bar is kind of tucked away on Peter St., so keep your eyes peeled as you walk over to it. You can also order the “hurricane” which this bar is famous for creating and popularizing over the years. It is even served in a hurricane glass and tastes phenomenal.

Variants of the Swamp Water Drink

So, while we’re stuck on New Orleans, let me teach you about the Bayou Swamp Water. This one features New Orleans Cajun Rum Amber, Blue Curacao, orange juice, and lemonade plus Absolut vodka. You can also dip the glass in brown sugar for the rim and add in gummy worms once it is all mixed up for an even grosser but fun twist. Here are the exact measurements:

Bayou Swamp Water


  • 2 oz Old New Orleans Cajun Rum Amber
  • 1/4 oz of Blue Curacao
  • 1 oz orange juice of choice
  • 1/2 oz lemonade of choice
  • 1 cup Vodka (the recipe said Absolut, we used Stoli)


Mix together in a cocktail shaker over ice and pour into a tall glass. And don’t forget the gummy worms. This one is just as sweet but has a bit more bite to it thanks to the use of the Cajun Rum Amber.

Apricot Swamp Water – This variant uses 1.5 oz of apricot brandy, 2 cups of prepared lemonade, 1.5 oz of lime vodka, and a cup of ice.

You know what to do: mix all these lovely ingredients up into a mason jar, add some ice, garnish with a lime and fancy umbrella, and watch the clouds go by outside. There’s nothing so refreshing, even though the concoction might look a little unappealing in the jar!

Do not let the weird color fool you into thinking otherwise.

Swamp Water cocktail 2.0 – This one is like a classy aunt or even a grandmother who likes to have fun even though everybody thinks she is just casually knitting and watching soap operas. It’s without the fanfare of the Blue Curacao and the apple pucker but brings in the fun with the pineapple juice and lime juice.

You mix 1.5 ounces of green Chartreuse, 4 ounces of fresh pineapple juice, and .5 oz of lime juice. All the ingredients go into your cocktail shaker and get shaken until they are chilled out. Pour it into your rocks glass, garnish with a lime wedge, and away you go. So yummy! Plus, it has only three ingredients, so you can make this one up even if you’re running a little short on cash.

Fireball Fire Swamp cocktail will keep you guessing. You get 1.5 ounces of fireball or cinnamon whisky of your choice (we like Stillhouse), and ½ fluid ounces of the Liquor 43.

Next you add in some cream soda to taste, and then 2 Atomic Fireball candies to throw into the glass if you want. Add in some ice, and bam — one spicy cocktail coming your way. It isn’t green, but it tastes so good.

Another Swamp Water Punch variant is the one that DeKuyper puts together. Just mix up 2 parts of your favorite rum. They recommend Cruzan 9 Spiced Rum, ½ part of Blue Curacao, 1.5 parts of orange juice, ½ part lemon juice, and some lemon and oranges on top.

All you have to do is mix all those lovely ingredients into a large bowl, and you have yourself a party. The fresh fruit on top adds a nice garnish and looks classy sitting on any table.

We found another pitcher-worthy version of this amazing drink and all it takes is a few simple ingredients you can find anywhere. Just take three parts of a powdered lime drink mix, like Kool-aid, 2 parts of apricot brandy, and 1 part of lime vodka.

Then, mix them up and splash it with some lime juice and you have yourself a drink that’s not too strong but not overly sweet, either.


The real question that’s on everybody’s mind is, which of these great drinks will you try? I can honestly say we had a good time testing out all of them; even the non-alcoholic ones were pretty fun to try and make. The best one is the original in our opinion, as it is tried and true, tastes wonderful, and looks like a million bucks sitting there in the glass, just waiting to be sipped.

Meanwhile the punch version goes well with just about any party you could ever have, especially if it is one that is tropical-themed. It looks awesome and tastes absolutely amazing.

So, if you are feeling thirsty, get your hands on a swamp water drink today — you won’t regret it!


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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