This pretty, layered martini, made with vodka, triple sec, pineapple juice, and grenadine, tastes just like a dessert in a glass. The pineapple upside-down cake martini is a lightly sweet cocktail that is refreshing and delicious. This cocktail is made with simple ingredients and will wow your guests. Perfect for sipping on the patio or at your next cocktail party.
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What is a Pineapple Upsidedown Cake Martini?
A pineapple upside-down cake martini is a lightly sweet cocktail made with pineapple juice, vodka, triple sec, and grenadine. It is just like the popular pineapple upside-down cake dessert in a pretty cocktail.
It is light, refreshing, and perfect for enjoying on the patio on a hot summer day or serving at your next cocktail party.
This cocktail with the distinctive grenadine and pineapple juice layers is made with simple ingredients and is surprisingly easy to make. You only need a cocktail shaker and a couple of martini glasses.
It can be made with regular vodka, but for it to truly emulate the sweet dessert, I recommend using a flavoured vodka such as vanilla, cake or whipped cream. If you don’t like your cocktails overly sweet, you can use a combination of flavoured and unflavoured vodka if you prefer.
Grenadine is used to replace the cherries normally found in pineapple upside-down cake, but if you can find cherry syrup, you can use that instead if you like.
For a full list of ingredients and measurements, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Pineapple juice – You will want to ensure you are using pure pineapple juice. You can use store-bought, in a can or carton, or juice your own pineapple if you wish.
- Vodka – To make this martini truly taste like a pineapple upside-down cake, I recommend using vanilla, cake, or whipped cream flavoured vodka. If you don’t want your martini quite as sweet you can use half flavoured and half unflavoured vodka instead.
- Triple Sec – The subtle citrus flavour in the Triple sec helps balance the flavour of the pineapple. You can use any orange liqueur that you prefer.
- Lime juice – Lime juice helps tone down the sweetness of the pineapple juice and balances the flavour. Try to use fresh lime juice if possible.
- Grenadine syrup – The grenadine syrup gives the martini the distinctive red layer and is used in place of the cherries normally found in pineapple upside-down cake. If you can find cherry syrup, you can use that instead if you prefer.
- Ice – You will need a good handful or two of ice to shake and chill the martini.
Step by Step Instructions
This martini comes together easily with just a few simple steps.
One – Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice.
Two – Add the vodka, triple sec, lime juice and pineapple juice to the cocktail shaker. Replace the lid, then shake until the outside of the shaker is frosty and cold.
Three – Strain the shaken martini into two martini glasses.
Four – Next, add the grenadine layer. Pour the grenadine into the cocktail slowly against the edge of the inside of the glass. This will allow the grenadine to settle to the bottom without mixing with the pinapple juice.
Five – Garnish as desired with fresh pineapple wedges and maraschino cherries.
Substitutions & Variations
There are a few ways you can customize this drink to suit your preferences or adjust to what you have on hand.
- Vodka – Cake, vanilla or whipped cream vodka is recommended, but you can use regular, unflavoured vodka if you prefer. If you still want the cake flavour, but don’t like your cocktails quite as sweet, you can use a combination of flavoured and unflavoured vodka.
- Juice– You want to use 100% pineapple juice. You should be able to find this in a can or carton in any grocery store. Fresh pineapple juice is even better and can be made if you have a juicer, or you can blend fresh pineapple and strain the pulp through a strainer.
- Triple Sec – If you don’t have Triple Sec, any orange liqueur will work.
- Grenadine – This can be replaced with cherry syrup if you like and want to keep the traditional cherry flavour found in pineapple upside-down cake.
While you don’t need anything other than something to shake the cocktail and a couple of glasses, some things will make your cocktail experience more enjoyable.
Cocktail shaker – A cocktail shaker will help you mix your drinks quickly while chilling them. There are many styles to choose from, and you don’t need anything fancy. One of my favourites is a mason jar style shaker, and if you don’t have a proper cocktail shaker, a mason jar with a lid will work too.
Martini glasses – You don’t need anything fancy, but proper martini glasses will make this drink extra pretty. You can use stemmed martini glasses or stemless martini glasses. If you don’t have a martini glass, then any short cocktail glass will work fine.
Jigger – A jigger will allow you to measure your ingredients precisely. It is small and designed to measure and pour the smaller quantities generally used in cocktails. You can use a small measuring cup or glass if you don’t have a jigger.
Cocktail picks – Cocktail picks are not essential but will allow you to add fun garnishes without falling to the glass’s bottom.
Top Tips & FAQS
- For best flavour be sure you are using 100% pineapple juice, not a juice blend for this recipe.
- If you want to ensure the martini is extra cold, start with chilled juice and vodka.
If you are serving this drink to a crowd and want to make it ahead, mix the vodka, triple sec, pineapple juice and lime juice in a pitcher and keep it in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, add ice to a cocktail shaker and add the desired amount of mixed drink. Shake and serve. Then pour into glasses and add the grenadine.
More Martini Recipes
Pineapple Upside-down Cake Martini
- 3 oz vanilla or cake vodka
- 1 oz triple sec
- ¼ oz lime juice freshly squeezed
- 4 oz 100% pineapple juice
- ½ oz grenadine syrup
- pineapple wedges
- maraschino cherries
- Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice.
- Add the vodka, triple sec, lime juice, and pineapple juice to the cocktail shaker.
- Place the lid on the shaker and shake until the shaker feels frosty and cold. Then strain the martini into two martini glasses.
- Next, pour half of the grenadine into each glass. Pour the grenadine slowly against the inside of the rim of the glass; this will create the distinct layers.
- Garnish as desired with pineapple wedges and maraschino cherries, and serve.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.