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Long after the party ends or after a trip to The Big Easy, you might find yourself craving a hand grenade cocktail. This signature drink pairs melon flavors and spirits for an explosive cocktail served in a grenade-shaped cup. Hand grenades are only licensed to be sold at select New Orleans bars, including the Tropical Isle, but you can mix a cocktail at home that's inspired by this Bourbon Street favorite.

This recipe makes enough for one cocktail served in a collins or highball glass. Adjust the amount for different-sized glasses. When making multiple cocktails, use equal parts of each ingredient. To make several cocktails at once, use a bar pitcher instead of a cocktail shaker.

Pour vodka, gin, rum, grain alcohol and melon liqueur into a cocktail shaker.

Add a few ice cubes to the shaker to chill the liquids. Place the cap on the shaker and shake vigorously to mix all ingredients. Sample the cocktail.

Sweeten the drink with simple syrup, if you like. You can make your own simple sugar by simmering equal parts water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Let the syrup cool completely before using it in cocktails.

Dilute the drink with water if it tastes too strong. Add fresh juice from cantaloupe or honeydew to boost the melon flavor. Shake well to mix these optional ingredients.

Fill a glass with ice. Pour the finished drink over the ice and serve immediately.


Before diluting a strong hand grenade cocktail with water, consider that the ice in the serving glass will dilute the drink as it melts.

Authentic New Orleans hand grenade cocktails are bright green in color. If your cocktail lacks this signature hue, mix in a drop of green food coloring. Melon liqueur is typically colored with green food coloring, but you might need to add your own if you use fresh melon juice.

About the Author

Amelia Allonsy

A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.