7 Indulgent Cruise Cocktails to Make at Home

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Indulgent Aperol cocktails made at home

Cruise cocktails to the rescue

*Note, this article was written at the beginning of the pandemic. I thought about updating it, but opted not too, as it was kinda sentimenal. Enjoy!

Working from home has not been what I expected. Can you relate?  I had a vision of cooking well thought out dinners each night, enjoying my casual clothes I normally can’t wear to work, and enjoying some extra time to paint my toenails, in place of my 35 minute commute.

Working from home in pajama

The reality is, each week, I run out of “work pants”, (aka pajama bottoms) before I can find time to do laundry and I’m spending ridiculous amounts of cash on groceries. Those grocery bills include a significant investment in some new bar supplies to mix up cruise cocktails (I know, these are non-essential groceries) like bitters, Elderflower Liqueur, Cointreau, and a cute little bottle of Chambord I bought just because the bottle looked like a display piece.  

Who knew I was going to become obsessed with creating cruise cocktails (cruise inspired cocktails)? I certainly didn’t, but we’re all finding silver linings in our work from home situations. Am I right? 

In my quest to recreate the best cruise cocktails at home, and to mix them up LIVE on our YouTube Channel CruiseTipsTV, I’ve scoured the cruise line websites to recreate some classics. There are some great resources out there, that vary from simple to super-complex.

We tend to stick with the less-tricky ones that are just a step above my usual two-ingredient home cocktails. Today, we’re going to share the recipe for the best Royal Caribbean cruise cocktail, along with some cult Carnival Cruise drink favorites, and 4 great hidden Princess Cruises cocktail recipes. 

Carnival Cruise Line Cocktail Recipes

These two Carnival Cruise Cocktails from Alchemy Bar are a great place to start. They’re so flavorful, and easy to make.  In fact, we mixed them up on air recently.

Forty is the New Twenty  – Alchemy Bar

  • 1 oz Pomegranate Liqueur
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Cranberry Juice 
  • ½ ounce Fresh squeezed lime juice 

Directions: Shake all ingredients. Strain into glass with ice.

Restorative Basil Drop – Alchemy Bar

  • 2 oz gin or vodka
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 0.5 oz of simple syrup or agave
  • Fresh basil leaves

Directions: Shake all ingredients. Do not muddle the basil first. Strain into glass with ice. Garnish with basil.

Princess Cruises Cocktail Recipes

In all of my 10 Princess Cruises, I had never tried any of the Princess Cruise Cocktails and Mocktails I found online. I have to say, the Mayan Heat (recipe below) was my favorite. I can best describe it as a spicy, margarita-like citrus cocktail. It’s very easy to adjust the sweetness with less or more of the agave syrup.  I used lots of jalapeno in mine, and subbed out the Triple Sec for Cointreau.

Cruise drinks CruiseTipsTV Virtual Bartending

Here are the 4 RECIPES From Princess Cruises we recreated LIVE. If you’re looking for a tart, summery twist on an Aperol Spritz, you’ll want to try the Italian Sunset. The gin, Aperol and lemon give it a bite, while the bitters add a little bit of Caribbean spicMayan Heate! 

Strawberries on fire is a wonderful mocktail for all ages, just go easy on the jalapeño for kids, or spice-averse folks. Mint Divine is very mojito-esque, with cucumber for freshness and a wonderful, refreshing flavor.

Mayan Heat

  •  2 oz. Patrón Silver Tequila
  • .5 oz. lime juice
  • .5 oz. agave syrup
  • .25 oz. Triple Sec
  • 1 slice of fresh Jalapeño plus one more for garnish

Directions: Gently press 1 slice of jalapeño in cocktail shaker. Add ice and remaining ingredients except for garnish. Shake and strain all ingredients over fresh ice. Garnish with a fresh slice of jalapeño.

Italian Sunset

  • 1 oz. Aperol
  • 1 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • .75 oz. lemon juice
  • .5 oz. simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Orange twist for garnish

Directions: Add all ingredients except for garnish in cocktail shaker. Shake and strain all ingredients into chilled glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Strawberries on Fire (non-alcoholic)

  • 1 slice fresh jalapeño
  • 1 strawberry
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • .75 oz. agave syrup
  • 4 oz. Sprite
  • Jalapeño and half a strawberry for garnish

Directions: Muddle jalapeño, strawberry and simple syrup. Add ice then top with Sprite. Garnish with a slice of jalapeño and half a strawberry on the rim.

Mint Divine

  • 5 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 fresh cucumber slices
  • 2 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • .75 oz. lime juice .75 oz. simple syrup
  • Ginger beer
  • Lime wedge and fresh mint leaves for garnish

Directions: Muddle cucumber and gently press and muddle mint leaves in cocktail shaker. Add remaining ingredients except for garnish and shake with ice. Pour into glass with fresh ice and garnish with a lime wedge and fresh mint.

The BEST Royal Caribbean Cocktail Recipe

Are you still with me? Good, because we may have saved the best cruise cocktail for last! If you followed along on our Royal Caribbean vlogs from Harmony of the Seas, you may recall I got the drink package (oh dear). As a result, I went a little wild trying cocktails from just about every venue on the ship. You can see why when you check out this bar tour from Harmony of the seas.

Jalapeno cucumber Margarita
Jalapeno Cucumber Margarita from Sabor (Click to see a Tour of Bars on Harmony of the Seas)

It was a fun week (the parts I remember – joking…I was fine), and the ONE cocktail so many people told me I had to try was the Jalapeno Cucumber Margarita from Sabor. Now, keep in mind, I love spicy cocktails. I didn’t find this one to be overly spicey on the ship, but making it at home certainly gives you the freedom to adjust your level of kick. Watch those jalapeno seeds- they pack a punch!

So, yeah. This Royal Caribbean Cocktail is all that. Turns out, I couldn’t find this Royal Caribbean Margarita Recipe out there on the interwebs, so I had to improvise. I think you’ll be impressed. You have the choice to strain this one, and make it martini style, or leave it kind of chunky (my preference). Just watch out, because you may end up with cilantro in your teeth if you try the latter, as evidenced in our Sail Away Social Hour video where I ended up nibbling on cilantro on camera. Not flattering.

Sabor Jalapeño Cucumber Margarita

  • 1 ½ oz Tequila
  • 1 oz Cointreau (or TripleSec if you have it)
  • A few slices of Cucumber
  • A few small slices of Jalapeño
  • Small bunch of Cilantro
  • ½ ounce Lime Juice
  • Ice
  • Lime for garnish

Directions: Muddle jalapeno, cucumber and cilantro in a martini shaker. Add liquid ingredients and shake. Strain, and pour over ice, or drink “as is”. 

Watcha’ drinkin?

I don’t think my cruise cocktail obsession is over yet, friends. In fact, just this week I told my sweet, patient husband  that I want to clutter our home with a bar cart to display all my treasures. I mean, where else can I can put a bottle of Chambord where it will truly be appreciated? It doesn’t belong in the cupboards, closed away with the vitamin C and cupcake tin liners, right?

What cocktails and recipes are you dreaming up while you work, school, and live safely at home? Pop over to our Instagram or Facebook pages and send us a message with your favorite Cruise Cocktail Recipes! While you on Instagram, check out our “Cooking with Junior” highlight, and join us in the kitchen! 

See You on the High Seas Friends!

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Sheri and her family are California based cruise content creators focused on providing practical tips and advice to new and seasoned cruisers. CruiseTipsTV’s audience enjoys following Sheri and her family as they travel the world by ship creating travel films. Sheri has visited destinations like Japan, Mexico, Alaska, Europe and the Caribbean, and has experienced 33 cruises on 6 cruise lines. She was named one of Porthole Cruise Magazine’s 10 Travel Influencers Changing How We Vacation in 2018 and 2019. Sheri has been quoted in the New York Times, CNBC, Forbes, Prevention, and Business Innovator Radio. Her YouTube Channel, CruiseTipsTV has over 87,000 subscribers and 17 million views.