The Grateful Dead cocktail combines several types of clear spirits with fruity liqueur, similar to how the Bay Area jam band pieced together eclectic musical styles to create its own sound. The finished cocktail, vibrant pink in color, is like a fruity version of a Long Island iced tea cocktail. Top shelf spirits make the best quality drink, but Grateful Dead cocktails can also be made with inexpensive rail liquor.
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Fill a glass or pitcher with ice. Single Grateful Dead cocktails are typically made in a highball glass, but a slightly smaller Collins glass also works well. Substitute a pitcher for the glass if you need to make several cocktails at once.
Pour 1 part each of vodka, gin, rum and triple sec over the ice. For a highball glass, use roughly 1/2 ounce of each type to ensure enough room for the remaining ingredients.
Pour 2 parts of sweet and sour cocktail mix over the ice. When the sweet and sour mix is added, the drink should nearly reach the rim of the glass or pitcher.
Pour a splash of raspberry liqueur to fill the glass or pitcher up to the rim. There is no need to mix the ingredients because they mix on their own as the ice melts and shifts, and when you take a sip or pour from the pitcher. The swirling patterns from the raspberry liqueur are part of the appeal with this cocktail and bring to mind a Sixties light show or tie-dyed shirt.