Bahama Mama Vs Sex On The Beach: The Difference Between The Tropical Cocktails

Sex on the Beach cocktail
Sex on the Beach cocktail - Grafvision/Getty Images

The classic cocktails known as the Bahama Mama and the Sex on the Beach are two of the ultimate beach-side indulgences. These popular summer beverages are often served with a little paper umbrella to match and are perhaps most beloved for their sweet, tropical flavors. At first glance, these drinks may look the same, with each featuring distinctly bright hues and fruity flavors. Still, the traditional recipes for these drinks are far from interchangeable, due to a few key discrepancies.

Aside from their vivid colors, both drinks also feature fruit juice as one of their main ingredients. A classic Sex On The Beach uses orange and cranberry juice, while pineapple and lemon are common in the Bahama Mama. Still, for the most part, the similarities between these cocktails stop there. The alcohol used in these drinks is very different, with a Sex On The Beach calling for vodka and peach schnapps, and a Bahama Mama using two types of rum (usually one dark and one coconut-flavored rum).

But what is the biggest difference of all between these cocktails? Well, it all comes down to one especially unique ingredient used in the traditional Bahama Mama: coffee liqueur. Surprisingly, pineapple and coffee do make for a good pairing. Still, as times evolve, so do the makeup of these drinks, and many modern recipes have these two cocktails looking more and more alike.

Read more: The Ultimate Vodka Brands, Ranked

The Changing Faces Of These Summer Drinks

Bahama Mama cocktail
Bahama Mama cocktail - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

While traditional recipes for these drinks have them looking far from the same, they've become more similar over time. Many modern recipes have completely forgotten the coffee element of a Bahama Mama, making this cocktail resemble most other alcoholic fruit punches. But the changes don't stop there.

It's common now for both of the cocktails to now feature deep red hues, with a Sex On The Beach drink using cranberry juice for this colorful element, and many modern Bahama Mama recipes relying on grenadine syrup. Other Sex On The Beach recipes have also evolved to include Chambord as a key ingredient, since this liqueur adds a velvety mouthfeel and notes of raspberry, bringing more depth and well-roundedness to the cocktail's flavor overall. Other mixologists have even swapped out a Sex On The Beach drink's vodka ingredient with rum, making it even further resemble a Bahama Mama. Every mixologist has a different take on these classic cocktails, so it might be best to experiment with recipes at home to discover which combination you like best.

Modern-Day Recipes For The Refreshing Treats

Two Sex On The Beach cocktails
Two Sex On The Beach cocktails - Piotr Krzeslak/Getty Images

For some uniquely balanced cocktails, why not try blending the recipes of these two drinks? For example, our take on a Sex On The Beach includes traditional ingredients like orange juice, peach schnapps, and cranberry juice, but we swapped out the vodka for passion fruit rum for added tartness and complexity. To make this cocktail, fill two glasses with ice and pour in your orange juice, rum, and schnapps. Stir these ingredients together, then top with a splash of cranberry juice for some color. Now garnish with orange slices and prepare to dazzle your tastebuds.

For those looking for more of a challenge, give this sunny Bahama Mama recipe a go instead. To start, gather your usual ingredients of pineapple juice, dark and coconut rum, and pineapple juice, then grab some other untraditional additions like orange juice, agave syrup, lemon-lime club soda, and some frozen cranberry cubes for added flair. To make this take on a Bahama Mama, drop your cranberry ice cubes in a glass and top with all the other ingredients, minus the club soda. Stir those ingredients together, then top with the club soda for some bubbles and fizz. Finally, garnish with orange slices, then serve.

Another great trait that these drinks share -- beyond their looks and taste -- is versatility. Don't be afraid to get creative with these beachside beverages -- it's all part of the fun of the cocktail experience.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.