Blend with ice, serve in a hurricane glass with a straw, garnish with an umbrella through an orange wheel and two brandied cherries. Throw on some Michael McDonald and enjoy.

What a fool believes, he sees.

A tribute to the much maligned heyday of the frozen drink, the 70s, and its signature cocktails the Piña Colada, the Painkiller, and the Harvey Wallbanger. The coconut, orange juice, orange blossom water, Galliano, and vanilla extract create an orange creamsicle flavor, rounded out by the citrate and deepened by the Campari. Finalist in's frozen cocktail contest.

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Cruising Sea

Nautical Themed Cocktails – 10 Top Drinks!

Nautical Themed Cocktails

Life aboard a yacht or catamaran is all about discovering the endless possibilities the sea has to offer and celebrating life with family and/or friends. Whether you’re a seasoned seafarer or a soon-to-be yachtie, you know it’s great to have your favorite tipple on board to make your adventures fun-filled.

Black and tan, rum and coke or gin and tonic can always make great cocktails to enjoy at sea. But if you would wish to enjoy something extraordinary, then it can be great to try some of the best nautical-themed cocktails.

Nautical-inspired cocktails usually bring together rums, gins, coconuts and Mediterranean fruits among other ingredients. The result is a refreshing drink that will keep you entertained and make you love seafaring even more.

Here is a list of the top ten nautical-themed cocktails you can enjoy at sea:

Table of Contents

1. Sea Breeze

Sea Breeze Cocktail

The Sea Breeze is a nautical cocktail that’s a popular choice for many, especially during summer.

This refreshing drink brings together vodka, fruit juices, and lime.

Being one of the IBA official cocktails, you already know what to expect.


  •  2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz cranberry juice
  • 3 oz grapefruit juice

Put all the ingredients in a highball glass or double-old-fashioned glass that’s filled with ice cubes and then stir. Garnish it with a lime wedge.

2. Dark n Stormy

Dark n Stormy Cocktail

Dark n Stormy also referred to as the sailor’s drink’ is a cocktail made with rum (mostly Gosling), ginger beer and lime.

The cocktail is inspired by the pirate tradition and its flavor is no doubt exceptional.


  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 3-4 oz ginger beer
  • 1/2 oz lime juice

Pour all the ingredients into a double-old-fashioned or highball glass full of ice. Garnish it with a slice of lime. Garnish it with a slice of lime. Put on an eye-patch for an even more authentic Dark n Stormy drinking experience.

3. A Little Dinghy

A Little Dinghy Cocktail

Taking a catamaran or yacht tour during summer can never be complete without A Little Dinghy cocktail.

Inspired by Caribbean flavors and rums, this feel-good cocktail will make you enjoy the ultimate holiday experience.

  • 2 shots Captain Morgan Parrot Bay coconut rum
  • 2 shorts Malibu coconut rum
  • Pineapple juice
  • cranberry juice
  • Orange juice

Pour the shots into a highball glass full of ice cubes and add equal portions of the fruit juices. Garnish with orange or pineapple slices, candied fruit, and umbrella. Serve while cold.

4. Port & Starboard

The Port & Starboard is a seafaring cocktail that’s as tasty as it is attractive.

Port & Starboard Cocktail

The cocktail, which forms two distinctive layers from the ingredients, is strong and sweet at the same time.

It will certainly make you fall in love with the life at sea even more.

  • 15 ml Giffard Grenadine Syrup
  • 15 ml Edmond Briottet Menthe Blanche

Fully chill a highball or pousse-cafe glass and ingredients (for perfect layering), carefully pour the Grenadine syrup into the glass and proceed to add the Menthe Blanche. Serve without mixing.

5. Sex With the Captain

Sex With the Captain Cocktail

Sex with the Captain is a strong and vibrant cocktail that anyone on a sailing expedition would love. It basically brings together a set of delightful ingredients including rum, peach schnapps, Amaretto and fruit juices.

Sex with the Captain is one of the easiest nautical cocktails to prepare and can be gladly enjoyed by both novice and experienced cocktail drinkers.

  • 1/2 oz spiced rum
  • 1/2 oz Amaretto
  • 1/2 oz Peach Schnapps
  • Splash of cranberry juice
  • Splash of orange juice

Build all the ingredients in a chilled glass and garnish with a cherry. Serve.

6. Salty Dog

Salty Dog Cocktail

A straight up Salty Dog cocktail is all you need to spice up your evening sailing experience.

It basically includes gin that’s doctored with grapefruit juice and salt.

And make it is just easy!

  • 100 ml grapefruit juice
  • Salt for putting on the glass rim

Coat the rim of a highball glass with salt. Fill the glass with ice and proceed to pour the gin and juice. Stir well and garnish with a grapefruit wedge.

7. Anchors Away

The Anchors Away is a royal cocktail drink that you shouldn’t miss on the decks.

Anchors Away Cocktail

This gin-based cocktail is simply as sweet as it’s refreshing.

  • 25 Cointreau
  • 25 ml sweet vermouth
  • 25 ml blood-orange juice

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and pour in the gin, Cointreau, vermouth and orange juice. Shake the mixture well and then strain it into a glass full of ice. Add some soda water. Garnish the cocktail with an orange slice and a sprig of rosemary.

Foghorn Cocktail

It can be quite disappointing to go on a weeklong sailing expedition without trying out the refreshing Foghorn cocktail.

The ingredients for preparing this cocktail are minimal and the resulting flavor in no doubt out of this planet.

  • 25 ml lime juice

Pour the gin and lime juice into a glass full of ice. Stir well and then top up with ginger beer. Gently mix the cocktail and proceed to garnish with lime.99

9. Maritime Martini

The Maritime Martini is a perfect drink if you’re planning to have a nautical party.

Maritime Martini Cocktail

It’s simply one of the sea-related cocktail classics whose flavor is hard to beat.

A chilly Maritime Martini can be all you need for an afternoon party on a typical summer while at sea.

  • 15 ml dry gin
  • 45 ml vodka
  • 10 ml vermouth
  • 5 ml blue curacao

Pour all the ingredients into a shaker filled ice. Stir well and strain the drink into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and serve.

10. Bright n Windy

Bright n Windy Cocktail

A glass of Bright n Windy cocktail is all you need to light up your mood even as you sail across the sea.

The gin and ginger beer combination in this slightly windy cocktail is great and you’ll absolutely love it.

  • Ginger beer

Fill a double old-fashioned glass with ice. Pour in gin. Squeeze some lime juice into the glass and then drop the wedge in. Add ginger beer and stir well. Serve and enjoy!

If you’re going on a private charter sailing expedition, it can be great to bring along an experienced mixologist to help in mixing the cocktails perfectly. Also remember to have on board as many hard drinks, juices, and fruits as possible. This will allow you to enjoy a variety of cocktails while on a sailing expedition or partying aboard a yacht during the weekend.

To enjoy your cocktail even more while sailing, it can be great to have a nautical dress code or at least an eye-patch to feel like a true pirate. Also be sure to bring a fun crew on your sailing expedition in order to get the best of cocktail drinking experience at sea.

In Conclusion

These are by far the most popular nautical cocktails that you can enjoy while on your seafaring adventures. Whether you simply want to enjoy a cocktail solo while aboard a yacht in summer or want to hold an evening cocktail party on a catamaran, these recipes can be quite useful. While each of them uses a set of different ingredients, you can always vary some of them especially the gins, rums, and vodkas to come up with your desired flavor.

Want to Know More Recipes? 

Subscribe to Cruising Sea newsletter  to receive every two-week the latest post straight to your inbox

What about you? What’s your favorite cocktail? Feel free to share your favorite recipe in the comment below. 

Picture of Daniella

Daniella has been passionate about travel, the sea, and nature for many years. As a child, she frequently traveled throughout the Mediterranean and continued with her journeys throughout her adult life.

Her experiences have created the desire within her to share her love for traveling with other passionate and adventurers who want to discover beautiful horizons and new cultures.

4 thoughts on “Nautical Themed Cocktails – 10 Top Drinks!”

I was just commenting on another post about how, as I age, Life is becoming more and more about experiencing things rather than having things. There is so much to enjoy and not a whole lot of time, in the grand scheme of things. These drinks had my mouth watering. I can imagine slowly enjoying one of these drinks with some great company.

Hi Sherman,

Yes, life is quite short so it is important to have fun:) 

These cocktails will add a lot of entertainment to your trip on the water!

Thank you for the comment and wish you a wonderful day!

Hi Daniella, very useful post especially for someone who loves his drink like me; but I was wondering if you know by any chances what it would be better for someone who get easily seasick; do you think that having one before going on the boat would help? or are there any specific cocktails that might help to have an easier experience? and what would be the limit? thanks a lot for post I will definitely try some of these drink either on-board or on land;

Hi Stefano,

I am glad you’ve found the article useful:) 

If you suffer from sea sickness, then it wouldn’t be a good idea to drink alcohol as it will definitely make you sicker. I’ve written an excellent article about seasickness . You should take a look at it. You will find all the answers to your questions. A cocktail of ginger and lemon and with no alcohol. This should help you! Absolutely, you can make these cocktails both on a boat and on land:)

I hope it helped. Let me know if you need more info. I am always happy to help. 

Thank you for the comment and wish all the best!

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Patrón Reposado

Yacht Rock Sangria

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Classic and citrusy, with bold fruit flavors of banana, pineapple, and orange, this sangria will be at the helm of the fun at your next party.

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No special tools, ingredients, or prep work required.

Standard tools and techniques, with some advanced ingredients and prep.

Involves specialized tools, techniques and homemade or exotic ingredients.

Lime wheels & blueberries

Entertaining, Warm Weather

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Unless noted, drinks should be made one at a time.

How to Make

  • Combine liquid ingredients in a pitcher, carafe or punch bowl.
  • Add large chunks of ice and stir to combine and chill.
  • Garnish with lime wheels and blueberries.
  • Serve over ice.

How to Stir & Strain

How to Stir & Strain

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Yacht Rock Pairs Perfectly With Cocktails

Anthony Washington

Nothing sets the mood better than music – and Yacht Rock is still a star

The anthem is Come Sail Away by Styx is the perfect anthem for a dark, cold winter night.  Dreams of a beach, a boat, and escaping helps some survive the winter.  Well, Yacht Rock pairs perfect with cocktails in the summer and evening. Yacht rock is unique music style and aesthetic commonly associated with soft rock, one of the most commercially successful genres from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s. Millennials to boomers have savored the sounds while enjoying drink.

Typified by artists like Christopher Cross, Rupert Holmes, and Pablo Cruise, Yacht Rock is  highlight the casual approach to love, life and a laid back life. Despite being a un-pc, the stuff is irresistible on days you are craving escape. It reeks of sunshine and laziness.

coconut tree near body of water

Yacht Rock is nuanced and usually one of the key themes. They are finding the love of your life, having a memorable one-night stand or doing something nautical. Jimmy Buffet and the beach focus is not usually in the genre.

RELATED: 5 Great Bourbons For Fall

“Yacht rock is the new hipster music. We have a yacht rock playlist at one of our restaurants, Huckleberry Square and we constantly get comments from all generations about how great the music is. At another one of our places, the notorious dove diner The 5 Point Cafe, when the music switches from the usual punk and metal, to yacht rock, people think it’s amazing, like something they’ve never heard. It’s chill nostalgic and fun goes great with cocktails, what more can you ask for?” shares David Meinert, owner of several successful Seattle bars and restaurants.

“The Pina Colada Song” is arguably the most perfect embodiment of yacht rock, fulfilling, as it does, all three of the qualifications cited above. Holmes sings about making love in the dunes, attempts to cheat on his wife, then ultimately, rediscovers that his “old lady” is actually the love he’s been searching for all along. That’s the holy trinity of Yacht Rock themes, all wrapped up in a breezy story of casual adultery.

yacht rock cocktail

Easy Pina Coloda


  • 1 pound (about 3 cups ) frozen pineapple chunks
  • 3 ounces ( 1/3 cup ) white rum
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • Optional garnishes: fresh pineapple slices, maraschino cherries, cute paper umbrellas
  • Combine all ingredients together in a blender, and puree until smooth.  If the mixture is too thick, feel free to add in extra rum or coconut milk to help it blend.
  • Serve immediately, topped with your desired garnishes.
  • David Meinert
  • Huckleberry Square
  • The 5 Point Cafe

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Jungle Bird Is the Word

April 01, 2022, story: punch staff, photo: lizzie munro, the bitter tiki classic has its own flock. here are six of our favorite riffs—clarified, smoky and spiked with cold brew..

A decade ago, the Jungle Bird was a rare sighting. Even as its tiki siblings rose to prominence, the ’70s-era combination of blackstrap rum, Campari , pineapple and lime juice remained a relative obscurity.

Today, the bitter-tropical mixture has not only returned from the brink of extinction—helped along by Campari’s rising star—its popularity supersedes that of many of its tiki brethren. In fact, it’s arguably the genre’s biggest crossover hit, as comfortable alongside Zombies and Pearl Divers as it is next to Negronis and Old-Fashioneds . Naturally, in the wake of the drink’s meteoric rise, a requisite flock of new riffs appeared.   

Among these are recipes that retain two of the drink’s central components— rum and Campari—with the addition of modifiers that take the bittersweet profile in unexpected directions. In New York City, Dante’s Jungle Bird , for example, adds a measure of rabarbaro amaro alongside the bar’s signature “fluffy” juice , for a version that rests firmly in aperitiki territory. Or consider Garret Richard ’s Yacht Rock , which swaps pineapple for orange juice and adds a hit of crème de cacao for a drink he describes as “a weird orange-chocolate thing.” It became a popular off-menu item at New York’s Slowly Shirley and The Happiest Hour.

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Dante’s Jungle Bird

A mashup of Dante's beloved Garibaldi and the bitter tiki classic, the Jungle Bird.

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Garret Richard's Jungle Bird riff is "bitter and a little bit light."

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Kingston Soundsystem

Suze stands in for Campari in this Jungle Bird variation.

Other modified Jungle Birds ditch the Campari altogether. Shannon Mustipher’s Kingston Soundsystem opts for the gentian liqueur Suze , which ticks the bitter box while adding a vegetal, herbal boost to complement the duo of rums in her shaken cocktail. Meaghan Dorman’s Getaway Car , meanwhile, calls on Ancho Reyes chile liqueur to add a spicy kick to the straightforward build. 

The modern flock of Jungle Birds also includes drinks that, at first glance, bear little visual resemblance to the original. The Stirred Bird , for instance, is, as the name implies, stirred and served up in a coupe. But the ingredients are textbook Jungle Bird—rum, Campari, lime and pineapple juices—that have been given the clarified treatment for an entirely different experience of the classic. The Roman Holiday , meanwhile, omits rum altogether, calling instead on Amaro Meletti and cold-brew coffee as the base, complemented by the expected Campari and pineapple and lime juices. As the drink’s creator, Chicago’s Nandini Khaund, explains, “This riff on the Jungle Bird would ideally be drunk in the afternoon on the Italian Riviera, but looking out towards Chicago’s lakefront in the sun feels pretty good, too.”

Jungle Bird Cocktail

Getaway Car

Smoky-spicy-sweet ancho chile liqueur adds an unexpected twist in this Jungle Bird riff.

Stirred Bird Clarified Jungle Bird

Stirred Bird

A stirred spin on the Jungle Bird.

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Roman Holiday

This Jungle Bird omits rum altogether, focusing on amari and cold-brew coffee instead.

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BYRT’s Ultimate Yacht Rock Playlist

Shaggy feathered hair? Check. Mustache? Check. High-pitched male vocals? Check. Perfect for the sailboat? Check. Then it must be yacht rock. And here’s BYRT’s Ultimate Yacht Rock Playlist (scroll to the bottom to hear the tracks)!

yacht rock cocktail

My first acknowledgment of the term “yacht rock” occurred in the short-lived Plymouth record store Mars Records, as there was a yacht rock category. Since then this genre of soft rock mainly from the mid to late 70s to early 80s has gained traction. 

yacht rock cocktail

Typically heralded as just plain corny, artists such as Christopher Cross, Stephen Bishop, and Bernie Higgins have gone through a resurgence of late. During the summertime, there is even a seasonal yacht rock channel on Sirius satellite radio. 

yacht rock cocktail

A Collaborative Effort

Often at work, my friends and I fall deep down rabbit holes. A recent such rabbit hole was compiling the ultimate yacht rock playlist. A big shout out to Mike Landolfi for all of his input on this essential piece (although he needs to grow his hair longer and feather it). 

yacht rock cocktail

Instead of pairing yacht rock with a six-pack of beer, we’re heading for a canned cocktail, an easy sipper for those warm summer boating days. The Litchfielder, a bourbon-based cocktail with lemon juice by Litchfield Distillery, is a good choice for those fall yachting days. Let your mullet and mustache blow in the wind, crack open the canned cocktail, and listen to the following playlist on your favorite listening device, whether through a streaming service or 8 track. 

yacht rock cocktail

Let the ultimate yacht rock playlist begin!

yacht rock cocktail

Starting the playlist is the ultimate yacht rockstar–Christopher Cross, whose “Sailing” gives the genre an identity. Next follows Rupert Holmes with “Escape,” better known as the “Pina Colada Song,” which is my least favorite song, quite terrible, but certainly exemplifies this genre. Steely Dan is a tough inclusion since I really like them and musically they are far more intricate than most on the list. I chose “Deacon Blues” which is one of my favorite Steely Dan tracks. The theme from the Greatest American Hero is known more for this rendition . Ace’s “How Long” is another track that I genuinely enjoy but still fits the bill. 

yacht rock cocktail

America walks that fine line between yacht rock and breezy folk-rock but ultimately belongs on this list. The Captain and Tennille feature elusive female vocals in this male-dominated genre. (and provides the antithesis to Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”). Next up is the crown prince of yacht rock, Michael McDonald. Before I knew they sang “Kiss You All Over,” I thought this band had to be a hair metal band by their name, Exile. Starship finishes out at number 10 with another one of my least favorite songs, “We Built This City.” 

yacht rock cocktail

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band with “American Dream” is also pretty bad, leaning toward the “Pina Colada Song” or Jimmy Buffet by way of light country music. Kenny Loggins and Stevie Nicks are truly forgettable on the track “Whenever I Call You ‘Friend.’” A great yacht rock one-hit-wonder, Player, with “Baby Come Back” is a perfect soundtrack to grocery shopping. Ambrosia, not only a dessert but “Biggest Part of Me” is another genre-defining track. “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight” is simply one of those songs you know, but don’t know who sings it. Well, guess what, it’s England Dan and John Ford Coley! 

yacht rock cocktail

Just like the last track, Robbie Dupree’s “Steal Away” I can promise you know, although I have never heard of the artist. Toto is a funny band, part mullet rock of “Hold the Line,” part pop of “Africa” and pure yacht rock with “Rosanna,” the tribute to a young Roseanne Barr . The Doobie Brothers start as a southern rock type group but head straight to the ocean with the addition of Michael McDonald, best exemplified by “What a Fool Believes.” Hall & Oates part blue-eyed soul, part yacht rock plays the part with “Kiss On My List.” Orleans’s “Still the One” is the theme song to every reelected candidate since the song came out and is still pretty terrible. 

yacht rock cocktail

The sailing theme is in full swing with Bertie Higgins’s “Key Largo.” For those summer nights, “Reminiscing” by Little River Band does the trick. I only knew Stephen Bishop from the soundtrack of the truly essential “ Care Bears Movie II .” The Atlanta Rhythm Section hits off with mundane soft rock, but Gerry Rafferty brings it back powerfully with “Baker Street” with the best sax riff this side of “Careless Whisper.” 

yacht rock cocktail

Boz Scaggs keeps the party grooving with the truly wonderful “Lido Shuffle.” Jackson Browne, all though another borderline yacht rocker, plays true to the genre with “Somebody’s Baby.” The Grass Roots also straddle the line of yacht rock but let’s include them with “Sooner or Later.” We reprise Christopher Cross with “Arthur’s Theme.” “Peg” by Steely Dan is one of their truer yacht rock takes. 

yacht rock cocktail

For the final seven, we start out with “Summer Breeze” by Seals and Crofts. This song fits in somewhere between yacht rock, folk rock, and breezy light hits but would sound just fine by the sea. The only yacht rock instrumental is George Benson’s “Breezin.” Feel the breeze through your feathered hair and mustache as the yacht smoothly glides over the water. Even yacht-rockers celebrate the holidays! Ray Parker Jr’s “Christmas Time is Here” is pretty boring but definitely fits the theme. Daft Punk checks off the yacht rock boxes with “Fragments of Time” from their masterpiece Random Access Memories. Michael McDonald spreads holiday cheer with “Every Time Christmas Comes Around.” Luther Vandross steps out of the bedroom and onto the yacht with the upbeat “Never Too Much.” Michael (we’re on a first-name basis) then closes the show with his superb guest vocals on Christopher Cross’s “Ride Like the Wind.” 

yacht rock cocktail

These 37 yacht rock “classics” will make any outboard motor run. From the kayak to the cruise ship, crack open a canned cocktail, put on this playlist, and drift away on the open water. And after all was said and done, I keep coming back for more Yacht Rock as I am an official convert!

yacht rock cocktail

Backyard Road Trips’ Ultimate Yacht Rock Playlist

  • Christopher Cross – Sailing
  • Rupert Holmes – Escape (The Pina Colada Song) 
  • Steely Dan – Deacon Blues
  • Joey Scarbury – Theme from the “Greatest American Hero”
  • Ace – How Long  
  • America – Sister Golden Hair
  • Captain and Tenille – Love Will Keep Us Together 
  • Michael McDonald – I Keep Forgetting
  • Exile – Kiss You All Over
  • Starship – We Built This City
  • Nitty Gritty Dirt Band –  American Dream
  • Kenny Loggins with Stevie Nicks – Whenever I Call You “Friend”  
  • Player – Baby Come Back
  • Ambrosia – Biggest Part of Me
  • England Dan and John Ford Coley – I’d Love to See You Tonight
  • Robbie Dupree – Steal Away
  • Toto – Rosanna
  • The Doobie Brothers  – What a Fool Believes
  • Hall & Oates – Kiss On My List
  • Orleans – Still the One
  • Bertie Higgins – Key Largo
  • Little River Band – Reminiscing  
  • Stephen Bishop – On and On
  • Atlanta Rhythm Section – So Into You
  • Gerry Rafferty – Baker Street
  • Boz Scaggs – Lido Shuffle
  • Jackson Browne – Somebody’s Baby
  • The Grass Roots – Sooner or Later
  • Christopher Cross – Arthur’s Theme
  • Steely Dan – Peg
  • Seals and Crofts – Summer Breeze
  • George Benson – Breezin’
  • Ray Parker Jr – Christmas Time is Here
  • Daft Punk – Fragments of Time
  • Michael McDonald – Every Time Christmas Comes Around
  • Luther Vandross – Never Too Much
  • Christopher Cross with Michael McDonald – Ride Like the Wind

For further reading, check out BYRT’s Ultimate Hip Hop Playlist !

2 thoughts on “BYRT’s Ultimate Yacht Rock Playlist”

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Take that wretched “Escape” song off there, add some more Steely Dan and I’d listen to this playlist!

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Ha! Yeah that’s pretty bad but is defining of the genre.

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yacht rock cocktail

The Search for the Ultimate Mai Tai

Traveling the Bay Area and beyond to find the best Mai Tai in the world! Tiki, cocktails, and adventures by Kevin Crossman

More Yacht-Rock Menu Cocktails

View this post on Instagram A couple more drinks from Kon-Tiki’s Yacht Rock Hits menu. Only $10…Cheap! First was the Calypso with White Rum, Lime, Grenadine, Passion Fruit, and Absinthe. I don’t happen to think John Denver is Yacht Rock, but this drink is really good. Second was the Key Largo, with Gin, Cream of Coconut, Martinique Shrubb, Lime, and Lemon Soda. I thought this one was just okay, but if you only like a hint of coconut and like bubbly lemon it could be a good option. Thanks to Terry @tuff_break_ for making fabulous drinks last night! #tiki #tikibar #tikidrinks #tikiculture #tropicaldrinks #cocktails #craftcocktails #rum #rhum #maitai #1944maitai #oakland A post shared by Search for Ultimate Mai Tai (@ultimatemaitai) on Jan 30, 2020 at 8:11pm PST

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SFist Drinks: Yacht Rock-Inspired Cocktails From CUESA's Summer Cocktail Event

This Wednesday, August 28th at the Ferry Building, the folks from CUESA are hosting their latest seasonal drinking event. For the August edition, the folks who put on your friendly neighborhood farmers markets are going with a Yacht Rock theme celebrating late Summer produce, boat-friendly booze, and a classic Styx track.

You won't find any slushy, icy or pineapple-coconut boat drinks on the menu, but you will find some creative uses of tomatillo juice, over-proofed rums and various chili peppers.

The bartenders charged with creating nautically themed, locally sourced, in-season cocktails for Wednesday's event include notable cocktail shakers from Burritt Room , 15 Romolo , Trick Dog , Smuggler's Cove , Iron & Gold , Novela and more. On the food side bites and hors d'oeuvres will come from from Tango & Stache , Bluestem Brasserie , Prather Ranch , La Mar Cebicheria and others.

The event itself happens this Wednesday evening 5:30 - 8 p.m. at the Ferry Building. Tickets are $40 , but a few of the bar stars from the event have graciously shared their recipes here so saucy SFist readers and come sail away on their own. Enjoy:

Josh Trabulsi, Burritt Room Peg Leg 2 oz Sailor Jerry  1/2 oz orgeat  1/2 oz serrano strawberry cordial* 3/4 oz lime 3 dash chocolate bitters

Shake and double strain over new ice into Old fashioned glass. Garnish with pirate skull flag and strawberry. 

Blend 20 strawberries, one half serrano chile, and 2 oz overproof white rum (Forres Park) with 2 cups of 1:1 turbinado simple syrup. Strain out seeds and solids 2 or 3 times. 

Vita Simone and Alexeis Filipello of Sassafras Seagrass & Dogwood Tippy Tommy

2 oz tequila  .5 oz fresh lime 1.5 oz tomatillo juice 4 orange cherry tomatoes .6 honey simple syrup Half thin slice Fresno chili seeds included Pineapple mint St George Dry rye rinse

To make tomatillo syrup: Blend 6 pieces of tomatillos. Add 4 cherry tomatoes and strain. Add honey. Mix and serve within 8 hours for best flavor. recipe is for one drink  To serve: Muddle pineapple mint and fresno pepper. Add tequila and lime. Rinse glass with St. George spirits dry rye gin. Fill shaker with ice, cap, and Shake then double strain. Serve in a coup or martini glass for fun or on the rocks with a chili sugar rim. Garnish with a cherry tomato or make an umbrella with a tomatillo wrapper.  Enjoy cautiously.

Abraham Perez, CHAYA Brasserie Gin Barquentine

2 oz St. George dry rye gin 1/4 oz Solerno Blood Orange Liquor 1/4 oz gum syrup Lemon basil leaves Lemon juice Red pluot

Muddle two peeled slices of red pluot with 4 lemon basil leaves, a few of drops of lemon juice, a 1/4 oz of solerno, and a 1/4 oz of gum syrup. Lastly add 2 oz of St. George dry rye gin, stir it up and double strain into an up glass.

Victoria George, Rickhouse To Be or Yacht to Be 1.5 oz Blue Bottle-infused Fernet Branca Menta .75 Raspberry/Rosemary Shrub .75 Fresh Lemon Juice

Shake all ingredients. Double strain into rocks glass. For full-sized cocktail, use crushed ice.  

Mauricio “Moe” Arce, Monarch
 Come Sail Away 1oz Drambuie  3/4 oz Drambuie 15 Bar Spoon Fig Jam (homemade)  1/2 oz Blue Bottle Cold Press  ¼ oz Cereal Milk (homemade) 

More tickets and event info can be found on CUESA's site here . More information about the inspiration behind Moe Arce's cocktail can be found below:

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The 20 greatest yacht rock songs ever, ranked

27 July 2022, 17:50

The greatest yacht rock songs ever

By Tom Eames

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We can picture it now: lounging on a swish boat as it bobs along the water, sipping cocktails and improving our tan. Oh, and it's the 1980s.

There's only one style of music that goes with this image: Yacht rock.

What is Yacht Rock?

Also known as the West Coast Sound or adult-oriented rock, it's a style of soft rock from between the late 1970s and early 1980s that featured elements of smooth soul, smooth jazz, R&B, funk, rock and disco.

  • The 40 greatest disco songs ever, ranked
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Although its name has been used in a negative way, to us it's an amazing genre that makes us feel like we're in an episode of Miami Vice wearing shoulder pads and massive sunglasses.

Here are the very best songs that could be placed in this genre:

Player - 'Baby Come Back'

yacht rock cocktail

Player - Baby Come Back

Not the reggae classic of the same name, this 1977 track was Player's biggest hit.

After Player disbanded, singer Peter Beckett joined Australia's Little River Band, and he also wrote 'Twist of Fate' for Olivia Newton-John and 'After All This Time' for Kenny Rogers.

Steely Dan - 'FM'

yacht rock cocktail

It's tough just choosing one Steely Dan song for this list, but we've gone for this banger.

Used as the theme tune for the 1978 movie of the same name, the song is jazz-rock track, though its lyrics took a disapproving look at the genre as a whole, which was in total contrast to the film's celebration of it. Still, sounds great guys!

Bobby Goldsboro - 'Summer (The First Time)'

yacht rock cocktail

Bobby Goldsboro - Summer (The First Time)

A bit of a questionable subject matter, this ballad was about a 17-year-old boy’s first sexual experience with a 31-year-old woman at the beach.

But using a repeating piano riff, 12-string guitar, and an orchestral string arrangement, this song just screams yacht rock and all that is great about it.

Kenny Loggins - 'Heart to Heart'

yacht rock cocktail

Kenny Loggins - Heart To Heart (Official Music Video)

If Michael McDonald is the king of yacht rock, then Kenny Loggins is his trusted advisor and heir to the throne.

This track was co-written with Michael, and also features him on backing vocals. The song is about how most relationships do not stand the test of time, yet some are able to do so.

Airplay - 'Nothing You Can Do About It'

yacht rock cocktail

Nothin' You Can Do About It

You might not remember US band Airplay, but they did have their moment on the yacht.

Consisting of David Foster (who also co-wrote the Kenny Loggins song above), Jay Graydon and the brilliantly-named Tommy Funderburk, this tune was a cover of a Manhattan Transfer song, and was a minor hit in 1981.

Boz Scaggs - 'Lowdown'

yacht rock cocktail

Boz Scaggs - Lowdown (Official Audio)

We've moved slightly into smooth jazz territory with this track, which is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

The song was co-written by David Paich, who would go on to form Toto along with the song's keyboardist David Paich, session bassist David Hungate, and drummer Jeff Porcaro.

Steve Winwood - 'Valerie'

yacht rock cocktail

Steve Winwood - Valerie (Official Video)

This song is probably as far as you can get into pop rock without totally leaving the yacht rock dock.

Legendary singer-songwriter Winwood recorded this gong about a man reminiscing about a lost love he hopes to find again someday.

Eric Prydz later sampled it in 2004 for the house number one track ‘Call on Me’, and presented it to Winwood, who was so impressed he re-recorded the vocals to better fit the track.

Toto - 'Rosanna'

yacht rock cocktail

Toto - Rosanna (Official HD Video)

We almost picked 'Africa' , but we reckon this tune just about pips it in the yacht rock game.

Written by David Paich, he has said that the song is based on numerous girls he had known.

As a joke, the band members initially played along with the common assumption that the song was based on actress Rosanna Arquette, who was dating Toto keyboard player Steve Porcaro at the time and coincidentally had the same name.

Chicago - 'Hard to Say I'm Sorry'

yacht rock cocktail

Chicago - Hard To Say I'm Sorry (Official Music Video)

Chicago began moving away from their horn-driven soft rock sound with their early 1980s output, including this synthesizer-filled power ballad.

  • The 10 greatest Chicago songs, ranked

The album version segued into a more traditional Chicago upbeat track titled ‘Get Away’, but most radio stations at the time opted to fade out the song before it kicked in. Three members of Toto played on the track. Those guys are yacht rock kings!

Michael Jackson - 'Human Nature'

yacht rock cocktail

Michael Jackson - Human Nature (Audio)

A few non-rock artists almost made this list ( George Michael 's 'Careless Whisper' and Spandau Ballet 's 'True' are almost examples, but not quite), yet a big chunk of Thriller heavily relied on the yacht rock sound.

Michael Jackson proved just how popular the genre could get with several songs on the album, but 'Human Nature' is the finest example.

The Doobie Brothers - 'What a Fool Believes'

yacht rock cocktail

The Doobie Brothers - What A Fool Believes (Official Music Video)

Possibly THE ultimate yacht rock song on the rock end of the spectrum, and it's that man Michael McDonald.

Written by McDonald and Kenny Loggins, this was one of the few non-disco hits in America in the first eight months of 1979.

The song tells the story of a man who is reunited with an old love interest and attempts to rekindle a romantic relationship with her before discovering that one never really existed.

Michael Jackson once claimed he contributed at least one backing track to the original recording, but was not credited for having done so. This was later denied by the band.

Christopher Cross - 'Sailing'

yacht rock cocktail

Christopher Cross - Sailing (Official Audio)

We're not putting this in here just because it's called 'Sailing', it's also one of the ultimate examples of the genre.

Christopher Cross reached number one in the US in 1980, and VH1 later named it the most "softsational soft rock" song of all time.

Don Henley - 'The Boys of Summer'

yacht rock cocktail


Mike Campbell wrote the music to this track while working on Tom Petty’s Southern Accents album, but later gave it to Eagles singer Don Henley, who wrote the lyrics.

The song is about the passing of youth and entering middle age, and of a past relationship. It was covered twice in the early 2000s: as a trance track by DJ Sammy in 2002, and as a pop punk hit by The Ataris in 2003.

England Dan and John Cord Foley - 'I'd Really Love to See You Tonight'

yacht rock cocktail

England Dan & John Ford Coley - I'd Really Love To See You Tonight.avi

A big hit for this duo in 1976, it showcases the very best of the sock rock/AOR/yacht rock sound that the 1970s could offer.

Dan Seals is the younger brother of Jim Seals of Seals and Crofts fame. Which leads to...

Seals & Crofts - 'Summer Breeze'

yacht rock cocktail

Summer Breeze - Seals & Croft #1 Hit(1972)

Before The Isley Brothers recorded a slick cover, 'Summer Breeze' was an irresistible folk pop song by Seals & Crofts.

While mostly a folk song, its summer vibes and gorgeous melody make for a perfect yacht rock number.

Christopher Cross - 'Ride Like the Wind'

yacht rock cocktail

Ride Like The Wind Promo Video 1980 Christopher Cross

If Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins are in charge of the yacht rock ship, then Christopher Cross has to be captain, right? Cabin boy? Something anyway.

The singer was arguably the biggest success story of the relatively short-lived yacht rock era, and this one still sounds incredible.

Eagles - 'I Can't Tell You Why'

yacht rock cocktail

The eagles - I can't tell you why (AUDIO VINYL)

Many Eagles tunes could be classed as yacht rock, but we reckon their finest example comes from this track from their The Long Run album in 1979.

Don Henley described the song as "straight Al Green", and that Glenn Frey, an R&B fan, was responsible for the R&B feel of the song. Frey said to co-writer Timothy B Schmit: "You could sing like Smokey Robinson . Let’s not do a Richie Furay, Poco-sounding song. Let’s do an R&B song."

Gerry Rafferty - 'Baker Street'

yacht rock cocktail

Gerry Rafferty - Baker Street (Official Video)

Gerry Rafferty probably didn't realise he was creating one of the greatest yacht rock songs of all time when he wrote this, but boy did he.

  • The Story of... 'Baker Street'

With the right blend of rock and pop and the use of the iconic saxophone solo, you can't not call this yacht rock at its finest.

Michael McDonald - 'Sweet Freedom'

yacht rock cocktail

Michael McDonald - Sweet Freedom (1986)

If you wanted to name the king of yacht rock, you'd have to pick Michael McDonald . He could sing the phone book and it would sound silky smooth.

Possibly his greatest solo tune, it was used in the movie  Running Scared , and its music video featured actors Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines.

Hall & Oates - 'I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)'

yacht rock cocktail

Daryl Hall & John Oates - I Can't Go For That (No Can Do) (Official Video)

This duo knew how to make catchy hit after catchy hit. This R&B-tinged pop tune was co-written with Sara Allen (also the influence for their song 'Sara Smile').

  • Hall and Oates' 10 best songs, ranked

John Oates has said that the song is actually about the music business. "That song is really about not being pushed around by big labels, managers, and agents and being told what to do, and being true to yourself creatively."

Not only was the song sampled in De La Soul's 'Say No Go' and Simply Red 's 'Home', but Michael Jackson also admitted that he lifted the bass line for 'Billie Jean'!

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How to Host a Yacht Rock Themed Party

Table of Contents

Getting the Basics for Your Yacht Rock Party

To get the basics sorted for your yacht rock party, you need to know how to select the right venue, determine the appropriate size of the party, create invitations and manage the guest list, and pick out the ideal party decorations. In this section, we’ll walk you through each of these sub-sections to ensure that your yacht rock themed party is a memorable success.

Selecting Your Venue

Searching for the ideal spot to hold your yacht rock party? You’re in the right place! Think about these things when deciding where to go:

Ready to choose? Take into account music policy and alcohol/catering restrictions . Ask about docking fees too!

For a unique twist on your yacht rock gathering, host aboard a vessel that suits your party’s theme – like a model ship museum for a pirate-themed occasion!

In Spain, they have themed boat parties such as “Pirates Adventure” from Magaluf marina daily.

Go search for the ideal venue for your smooth sailing shindig! Remember, the size of your yacht rock party should not be determined by the size of your yacht – unless you want a boat-full of unhappy guests.

Size of the Party

Throw a yacht rock party to remember! Size matters – consider:

  • How many can fit in your space?
  • What’s your budget for food, drinks and decorations? Smaller groups may allow for more splurges.
  • What kind of experience do you want? Intimate or larger?

Don’t forget the unique details. Theme photo booth? Signature cocktail? Safety first – consider limiting guests if needed for social distancing.

Nielsen Music’s 2019 report saw a 43% increase in Yacht Rock streaming services.

Make sure your guest list includes people who are comfortable acting like they own the yacht – or at least know someone who does!

Invitations and Guest List

To rock your yacht party, guest list and invites are key. Here’s how to do it:

  • Consider the theme and how many people you can comfortably fit. Not everyone likes 70s and 80s music.
  • Set the tone with creative invites. Use retro graphics, fonts, attire recos and fun quotes from classic yacht rock songs.
  • Track RSVPs carefully. Have a backup list in case of cancellations or no-shows.

Pro Tip: Ask guests to bring their fave bottle of wine or beer. Takes pressure off you and adds camaraderie.

Go for seashell garlands but don’t forget sunscreen for your furniture.

Decorations for the Party

Getting ready for a yacht rock party requires many elements, including decorations to make it special. Let’s look at the basics for party decorations!

  • Incorporate nautical things like ropes, anchors and lifebuoys .
  • Opt for blue and white color schemes to give an ocean feel.
  • Set up a cocktail bar with fresh drinks and cute marine-themed stirrers.
  • Drape twinkle lights along deck railings or tie them to an overhead canopy .
  • Fill glass jars with shells and put them on tables around the venue.
  • Go all out with classic upscale furniture; like leather sofas .

Be creative! Get an oversized photo booth cardboard cutout with Captain Jack Sparrow or night sky canvas prints .

Check with your vendors ahead of time for any items or supplies they need to avoid last-minute stresses.

Lastly, make sure your yacht rock playlist will make Kenny G jealous.

Choosing the Right Music for Your Yacht Rock Party

To create the perfect musical experience for your Yacht Rock party, you need to understand the Yacht Rock genre and create a playlist that resonates with your guests. This can help to engage your guests with the interactive music choices, creating a fun and memorable party atmosphere.

Understanding Yacht Rock Genre

Yacht rock music is the go-to genre for those looking to have a good time on a boat. This genre was born in the late ’70s and early ’80s and has a smooth and mellow sound. To create the perfect yacht rock party, understanding the essentials is key.

To pick the right music, know what makes yacht rock unique. It has a slow but upbeat tempo, with guitar riffs that don’t overpower. Balance cheesy classics and lesser-known gems.

Christopher Cross’s “ Sailing ” was a number one hit in 1980. However, he called his work soft rock . Hall & Oates were not seen as part of this genre until DJs picked up their songs like “ I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) “.

Make your yacht party rock with the perfect playlist!

Creating Your Party Playlist

Creating the perfect playlist for your yacht rock party can be a challenge. But don’t worry! Here are 5 tips to make sure your guests get up and dance:

  • Start with the classics – Steely Dan and Hall & Oates have some great yacht rock tunes.
  • Mix in some deep cuts – Surprise your guests with some lesser-known songs.
  • Organize into themed sets – Group songs into categories like “sailing songs” or “summer jams”.
  • Include modern artists – Who have been influenced by yacht rock legends, such as Tame Impala or Blood Orange .
  • End with an upbeat banger – Leave guests wanting more with a high-energy song.

To really stand out, consider songs with sailing or boating lyrics. Or choose tracks that match the color scheme of your decor . Attention to detail is key.

And don’t worry too much if things don’t go as planned. Even Michael McDonald once accidentally played Phil Collins’ “Sussudio” instead of his own hit song! So have fun and get your guests up and dancing.

Engaging Guests with Interactive Music

Music is key for a yacht rock party. It sets the mood and tone of your event. Consider your guests’ age group, musical taste, and occasion when selecting music. Have a playlist ready for any requested songs.

To keep your guests entertained, opt for interactive music. Try karaoke hour before dinner or host a game show. Music trivia games can add fun too.

Yacht rock gets its name from cruising yachts that played soft rock in the ’70s. This genre blends R&B with mellow pop sounds, creating a relaxing atmosphere.

To sum up, interactive music is essential for yacht rock parties. Select music that fits your guests’ age group, taste, and occasion. Incorporate classic hits into games like karaoke and music trivia. Maintain a balance between lively engagement and relaxation for memorable moments. Drinks and food complete the perfect party, like Lionel Richie & Michael McDonald !

Planning Drinks and Food for Your Yacht Rock Party

To plan a successful Yacht Rock themed party with recommended drinks, appetizer ideas, main course options, desserts, and refreshments, this section with the title “Planning Drinks and Food for Your Yacht Rock Party” provides the perfect solution. Whether you’re hosting a small intimate gathering or a large yacht party, this section will guide you through all the essential food and drink preparations needed to make your party a hit.

Recommended Drinks

Hosting a yacht rock party? Not sure what drinks to serve? Look no further! Here are some recommended beverages to set the mood and make your guests feel like they’re on a luxury boat.

  • Start with Rum-based Cocktails: Mojitos or Daiquiris . These tropical drinks add flavor and color.
  • Serve Wine: White wines like Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay . For red wine lovers, Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.
  • Don’t Forget the Beer: Lagers, pilsners or anything light and refreshing .
  • Cater to Non-Alcoholic Drinks: Mocktails or fruit juices. Virgin Pina Colada, lemonade or Iced Tea.

Garnish the drinks with ocean-themed decorations . Extra ice cubes are a must to keep drinks cold. And don’t forget the appetizers!

Appetizer Ideas

Ready to set sail? Serve up some appetizers for your Yacht Rock party! Try these three:

  • Shrimp Cocktail – Classic and delicious!
  • Charcuterie Board – Meat & cheese lovers, this one’s for you!
  • Cold Dip Platter – Pairs perfectly with warm weather.

For extra fun, serve on nautical plates & trays. Pair appetizers with cocktails for a special touch.

Here’s a true story to share: Friends once had a Yacht Rock party and served mini lobster rolls! Such a hit, everyone talked about it for days! Who needs a captain when you have yummy appetizers?

Main Course Options

When throwing a yacht rock party, it’s important to choose the main course wisely! Seafood is a classic option that goes perfectly with the nautical theme. Freshly caught fish and shrimp can be grilled or baked with sides like rice pilaf or roasted vegetables.

These are other main course options:

Don’t forget to include vegetarian & vegan options, like quinoa salad with mixed greens & avocado dressing, or grilled portobello mushroom burgers . At a yacht rock party I attended, the host surprised us with a sushi bar for the main course – it was definitely a highlight of the evening! Lastly, don’t forget dessert – it’s the only way to make your yacht rock party smoother than the waves!

Desserts and Refreshments

Hosting a yacht rock party can be great fun. Get creative with the menu. Offer light summery options like fruit skewers or sorbet. Create a DIY ice cream sundae bar. Serve classic desserts with a nautical twist, like blueberry cobbler or sea salt caramel brownies. Provide non-alcoholic refreshments, like lemonade, infused water or iced tea. Add an adult touch with boozy frozen cocktails or spritzers.

As an extra touch, get nautical-themed plates or napkins. Display drinks in glass jars or beach pails . Accommodate any dietary restrictions and preferences of your guests. Have plenty of options on hand. Get inventive with desserts. It may become the highlight of the party! Don’t forget games and activities – like yacht rock Jenga !

Fun Yacht Rock Party Games and Activities

To amp up the excitement level at your Yacht Rock Themed Party, you need Fun Yacht Rock Party Games and Activities. Karaoke or Lip Sync Battles, Yacht Rock Trivia and Quizzes, Name that Tune Game, Nautical Relay Race or Scavenger Hunt could be your perfect solutions to this. Enjoy these sub-sections and make your party a hit!

Karaoke or Lip Sync Battle

Want to make your next yacht rock party a night to remember? Think about karaoke or lip sync battle! It’s a classic and easy to set up. Here are some ideas to get the party going:

  • Choose classic yacht rock songs like ‘Escape (The Pina Colada Song)’ or ‘Sailing’
  • Encourage guests to dress up in 70s/80s fashion
  • Create teams for a group challenge
  • Add a surprise element – put song titles on slips of paper
  • If you’re short on time, pick from an existing playlist

Take it one step further with disco balls, fog machines and a makeshift stage . Get everyone involved and try Karaoke or Lip Sync Battle at your Yacht Rock Party! Plus, why not add some trivia and quiz games to test yacht rock knowledge?

Yacht Rock Trivia and Quizzes

Yacht Rock Trivia questions can be both easy and tricky. Ask about the artist’s name or the title of a song . Plus, add some fun facts about the artists or songs.

Engage people with audio quizzes . Create short sound clips from yacht rock songs and ask to guess the name.

Picture quizzes where participants need to identify the artists based on pictures related to yacht rock songs.

Design custom-made Yacht Rock Bingo cards with logos and titles of bands/musicians related to this genre.

A unique feature : Players collaborate and have fun conversations about their favorite bands/artists while dancing to toe-tapping beats. Plus, it offers opportunities for socialization and making new friendships.

Pro Tip : Have practical prizes ready for winners.

Test your music knowledge with Name that Tune . Turn your yacht party into a smooth-sailing adventure.

Name that Tune Game

Test your guests’ knowledge of classic yacht rock hits with a ‘Name that Tune’ game at your next yacht party! Guests will hear snippets of popular tracks and need to guess both the name and artist. Compete in teams or individually, and the team with the most points wins. Include some unfamiliar tunes for an extra challenge – and maybe even offer prizes!

Did you know that ‘Name That Tune’ first aired on TV in 1952? It was a hit and ran for decades in America and abroad. Spice up the party with a nautical relay race or scavenger hunt – just don’t forget the compass (or Dramamine)!

Nautical Relay Race or Scavenger Hunt

Organizing an entertaining yacht rock party may seem daunting, but adding marine activities like the Nautical Relay Race or Scavenger Hunt will keep your guests engaged.

Split guests into teams of four to six. Set a course with challenges for each team. Focus on nautical tasks like running a sailor’s obstacle course, swimming with anchors and rowing inflatable boats.

Set up a scavenger hunt for various ocean-related items like shells, whistles and flags. Guests will have fun competing and exploring the sea’s delights. Sea Star Base Galveston provides educational marine science and ecology programs for kids.

To make the yacht rock party even better, select captains for each team and create logos or badges. Provide game manuals with rules and safety instructions. Have prizes ready for first through third place and participation rewards.

Time to dress up in your best Captain Stubing and Gopher costume!

Dress Code and Costume Ideas for Your Yacht Rock Party

To complement the music and ambiance of your yacht rock party, dressing up in the appropriate attire is a must. With the help of yacht rock fashion trends and ideas for creating a themed costume or outfit, your guests can fully immerse themselves in the experience. Encourage your guests to dress up and make it a part of the party with the right dress code and costume ideas.

Yacht Rock Fashion Trends

Yacht rock fashion is a classic trend from the ’70s that’s still popular today. A go-to look is a polo shirt paired with pastel-colored shorts or pants . An iconic look is a nautical striped shirt with white trousers and boat shoes . Add extra style with sunglasses, loafers, and sports coats . Spice it up with vintage elements like retro bathing suits or wide-legged pants. For women, try flowy dresses in tropical prints or elegant maxi dresses in neutral colors.

Choose a theme for your party to inspire creativity and add more fun. Encourage guests to dress their best nautical or honor yacht rock icons like Lionel Richie or Christopher Cross. Someone once attended a yacht rock party where everyone wore sailor hats and oversized sunglasses. Those pictures are still shared today!

Dress up for a yacht rock party to embrace smooth tunes and laid-back vibes. Get deck shoes and a captain’s hat. Be a captain of cool and dress to impress!

Ideas for Creating a Themed Costume or Outfit

Hosting a themed party is now super exciting! The latest trend is the ‘Yacht Rock Party.’ Get imaginative and dress up like you’re on an actual yacht cruise. Here are some ideas for costumes and outfits:

  • Throwback clothes – go vintage and classic from 70s – 90s.
  • Sailor-themed attire – stripes, navy blazers, white skirts or shorts.
  • Accessories – shades, watches, bracelets, hats, beanies.
  • Shoes – yacht shoes, retro sports sneakers or flip flops.
  • Patterns – paisley, flowers, geometric prints.
  • Hair & Makeup – blow-dried hairdos, afro styled wigs, bold eyeliner, bright lip colors.

For an extra authentic touch, choose cotton blends with either nautical inspired or tropical prints.

Our expert tip for standing out – an all-white suit , just like Captain Stubing’s Love Boat uniforms!

A group of friends once rocked it as The Village People at a Yacht Party. Have fun creating a unique outfit that fits your style while still honoring the theme.

Remember, a bad outfit choice can seriously affect your reputation!

Encouraging Your Guests to Dress Up

Your Yacht Rock party isn’t just about the music. Dress code is important too! Encourage guests to dress up by clearly mentioning it on the invitation – give them time to plan their costumes. Here are some ideas:

  • Nautical-wear and accessories
  • 70s and 80s-style outfits
  • Vintage sunglasses and hats
  • Bold colors, patterns and prints

It’s all in good fun – no pressure! Offer a prize for the best dressed guest, for extra creativity. Get style cues from classic yacht rockers like Hall & Oates, Michael McDonald and Steely Dan . If all else fails, share a funny story of a previous party. That will loosen up the mood and make everyone enjoy their attire. Anchor your yacht and wrap up the party. The only thing sinking tonight are the disco balls!

Wrapping Up Your Yacht Rock Party

To wrap up your yacht rock party with a bang, explore the sub-sections of party favors and souvenirs, thank you notes and feedback, tips for hosting a successful yacht rock party. This is the ultimate guide to make sure your guests leave happy and satisfied with their experience at your party.

Party Favors and Souvenirs

Customized Koozies – Keep drinks cold! Choose from designs or create one that fits your party.

Goodie Bags – Filled with candy, snacks, and music-themed accessories.

Vinyl Records – Gift vinyl records for a sense of authenticity.

Plus, party hats, tees, muslin curtains can be personalized for guests to remember the event.

Party favors date back to ancient European traditions. Nowadays, they express gratitude to guests. Lastly, thank you notes give closure to your party.

Thank You Notes and Feedback

After a successful Yacht Rock Party, expressing gratitude and collecting feedback is key. Send handwritten thank you notes to show appreciation. Ask guests for constructive criticism using surveys or interviews. Promote the event on social media with images, videos, and highlights.

Reach a broader audience by acknowledging comments on social media. Encourage RSVPs early via email lists or social media to prepare for future parties. With these tips, you’ll have all the tools needed for success! Hosting a yacht rock party? Steer clear of rocky playlists!

Tips for Hosting a Successful Yacht Rock Party.

Yacht Rock Party success? It’s easy! Follow these five tips.

  • Get a yacht-like ambiance , indoors or outdoors.
  • Set up a top-notch sound system .
  • Serve light finger foods – no need for cutlery.
  • Ask guests to dress in 70s-80s yacht style .
  • Plan a fun activity- like yacht music trivia.

Plus, add tunes that speak of love, life on a boat and easy living. Then let folks relax on open decks with sun umbrellas, sipping cocktails with mint leaves or lemon slices.

I did this for my birthday and it was amazing! Everyone was dancing in their silk scarves and blouses, singing along to Michael McDonald and other legendary yacht rock artists.

Moscow Muled

Moscow Muled

8 best american mule recipes.

8 Best American Mule Recipes

Dec 22, 2017

We think you'll agree with us when we say that any cocktail named after the United States of America must be a good one. The American Mule is no exception! In this post, we describe the 8 best American Mule cocktail recipes and discuss the interesting history of the American Mule. Read on to learn more!


It is hard to imagine summer afternoons without those icy cold, tangy, fizzy, and refreshingly delectable drinks called cocktails. There are quite a few cocktail drinks popular in America, but the American Mule drink easily takes the cake.

One of the most popular cocktail drinks, the American Mule drink is perfect for all occasions. Be it a late night party when you really want to let your hair down, an outdoor barbeque, a gathering of friends reminiscing over old times, or just a lazy afternoon you happen to spend by yourself at home catching a movie or a sitcom, the American Mule is suited to all occasions.

But what exactly is an American Mule cocktail? Where did it originate? What sort of variations does it have and which are the most popular and delicious ones? Read on for the low-down on all this.

A Brief History of the American Mule (The Provenance)

The American Mule is a variation on the classic Moscow Mule cocktail. The name of the classic Mule cocktail is a bit misleading as it seems to hint at a Russian origin of the drink. The only link between Russia and the Moscow Mule cocktail is vodka – an alcoholic beverage that originated in Russia and Poland. 

The classic mule cocktail that is now popularly known as the Moscow Mule cocktail was first mixed in the bar of Chatham Hotel in 1941. The ingredients used were two ounces of vodka, ginger beer, lemon and, of course, ice. Another story regarding the origin of the cocktail surfaced around 2007, but the Chatham version holds more water compared to the other. 

The fact remains that the first mule cocktail was concocted in America itself (not in Russia) and it caught on like wildfire. Owing to its rising popularity, several versions of the Moscow Mule were concocted and the term ‘The Moscow Mule’ slowly metamorphosed into ‘The American Mule’ though the older term still continues to be widely used for the cocktail with original ingredients. 

So, practically speaking, there is little difference in respect of the American Mule versus the Moscow Mule because both cocktails are fundamentally the same. The American Mule cocktail is now used to refer to the variations of the classic mule that either substitute Russian vodka with American vodka or other alcoholic beverages, or use some other ingredients to add a twist to the original recipe.

What Does It Taste Like?

The American Mule cocktail is a term applied to so many variations of the classic Mule cocktail that it is difficult to generalize as to what the American Mule tastes like. Different ingredients bring their own twist to this popular drink. 

However, every variation on the American Mule retains the basic spicy and tangy flavors. The spicy flavor is the constant for the American Mule thanks to the ginger beer that is the mandatory ingredient. The touch of tanginess or sourness too is ubiquitous in an American Mule, owing to the use of lime juice. 

At the end of the day, the American Mule is delicious and refreshing and guaranteed to lift your spirits.

How is the American Mule Cocktail Best Served?

Traditionally, Mule cocktails have been served in copper mugs . The reason being the cold copper has the tendency to increase the amount of bubbles in the carbonated ginger beer. The copper mugs also take on the cold temperature of the liquid.

two Moscow Muled copper mugs filled with liquid crushed ice and lime slices

However, the American Mule tastes equally good in a highball glass commonly used to serve other cocktails. More importantly, the American Mule has to be served on the rocks i.e. poured over ice (crushed ice accentuates the flavor of the drink).

The American Mule cocktail goes with a wide range of dishes and snacks that include fish, chicken, bacon, and Italian food items like pizzas and pastas. That makes it an ideal drink for all sorts of parties and get-together events.

Where Can You Grab One?

The American Mule is fast gaining in popularity and has become one of the most searched cocktails on the internet. If you're not in the mood to make your own, here is a list of some of the popular places to look for your fix of the American Mule.

LuxBar, Chicago   

The Mules are one of the most popular items on its menu. The cocktails they serve stand out because of the crushed ice used in their preparation.

Drink, Boston 

This place with rustic industrial ambience serves excellent Mule cocktails.

Ataula, Portland, Oregon

Made with local organic cranberry juice, sherry, and ginger beer, this restaurant serves a special variation of the Mule cocktail that tastes great.

Libertine Social, Las Vegas

Mule cocktails are widely served in Las Vegas. However, this restaurant stands out. Crushed nugget ice is used to serve cocktails.

Lilt Lounge, Miami

This swanky lounge serves excellent mule cocktail variations.

Four Seasons, Baltimore

The menu is dominated by variants of American Mule cocktails. One of the variations is a blackberry mule that uses whiskey, honey, lemon, and cayenne pepper.

Standard Pour, Dallas

This 1920s-styled spot serves some genuine Mule cocktails and is super popular. Food is outstanding as well. 

J-Bar, Aspen, Colorado

This bar used in Hotel Jerome uses local Woody Creek vodka.

Ascent, New York

This posh lounge offers great variations that include a Whiskey Mule. Has great views of Central Park and Columbus Circle to go with the great cocktails.

33 Degrees North, Dana Point, California

Offers great variations of the American Mule like the Dragon Mule made with orange, rhubarb bitters, fresh dragon fruit, and ginger liqueur. Stunning views of Pacific ocean add to the special flavors of the cocktail drinks resulting in a heavenly experience.

How to Make an American Mule Cocktail

As you now know, the American Mule is basically a variant of the Moscow Mule cocktail. Sometimes, the terms are even used interchangeably. In other cases, variations of the American Mule vary from tradition by:

  • Retaining vodka, ginger beer, and lime, but also adding different ingredients like syrups, grapes, cucumbers, pumpkin puree, pomegranate juice, chocolate, mint, etc. for the purpose of adding a twist to the taste of the American Mule; or
  • Replacing vodka with other alcohol like whiskey and brandy and adding other ingredients that go with the recipe of your choice. 

The basic ingredients and equipment needed to make an American Mule cocktail are listed below:

  • Vodka or any other alcohol, like whiskey 
  • Ginger beer 
  • Ice (crushed ice is an added bonus)
  • Copper mug or a highball glass

You can choose other ingredients depending on the specific recipe you are following or the availability of items.

Let us begin with some of the recipes that use vodka as primary ingredient.

The Traditional American Mule Recipe


  • 1 ½ oz vodka
  • 3 oz ginger beer
  • ½ oz fresh lime juice


  • Fill a shaker halfway with ice.
  • Add fresh lime juice and vodka.
  • Top with ginger beer.
  • Stir and garnish with a lime wedge and a bit of mint, and you are ready to go!

American Mule with Syrup and Lime

  • 1 ½ oz tonic
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • 1 lime  squeezed
  • 5 grapes (mashed)


  • Mash grapes and mix them with vodka in a shaker.
  • Add syrup,  lime juice, and ice.
  • Shake the mixture vigorously and strain into a glass over fresh ice.
  • Top with tonic water, and your very own fix of a American Mule with a twist is ready!

American Mule with Pumpkin Pie Mix 


  • ½ oz half & half
  • 1 tbsp canned pumpkin pie mix
  • 1/8     tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 dash cinnamon
  • Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice.
  • Shake and double strain  into a highball glass.
  • Garnish with a small amount of freshly grated nutmeg  and there you have it - a nother delicious variation of the Mule cocktail is ready to be sipped!

American Mule with Apple juice

  • 2 oz apple juice
  • ½ oz ginger syrup
  • ½ oz lime juice
  • 4 ginger slices (mashed)
  • Mash ginger slices in a shaker.
  • Add remaining ingredients and ice.
  • Shake and strain into a moscow mule mug over fresh ice.
  • Garnish with an orange slice.
  • Sit back and enjoy a glass of this delicious Mule cocktail!

American Mule with Lemonade and Tea

  • 3 oz lemonade
  • 2 oz sweetened or unsweetened tea
  • Fill up a mug halfway with crushed ice cubes.
  • Stir the ingredients in a shaker.
  • Pour the mixture into the mug and add fresh lime or slice.

Let us now move on to the recipes that substitute spirits like moonshine and whiskey instead of vodka. Once you try these recipes, you will realize that the variants are just as delectable as the vodka-based Mule cocktails.

The Fruit Berry Mule Cocktail

  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 oz unflavoured moonshine
  • 2 teaspoons can sugar
  • 4 oz of ginger beer
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Mash and mix raspberries, sugar, and moonshine.
  • Chill the mixture for one hour.
  • Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer.
  • Add ginger beer and stir gently.
  • Serve in a mug or a highball glass over ice with blueberry garnish.

The Mule Cocktail with Rye Whisky and Apple Brandy


  • 1 oz rye whiskey
  • 1 oz apple brandy
  • 75 oz lime juice
  • 0.25 oz  honey syrup (2:1 honey: water)
  • Ginger beer
  • Angostura bitters.
  • Combine in shaker and shake with ice.
  • Pour into a copper mug, top with ginger beer.
  • Add a few dashes of angostura bitters.
  • Use lime wheel to garnish.
  • 2 oz whisky
  • 2 oz sweet or unsweetened tea
  • Pour the mixture into the mug and add a fresh slice of lime.

The Bottom Line

It must be pretty obvious by now that the American Mule recipes are easy to make. Just make sure you use the specified quantities. The ingredients for almost all recipes are readily available and you do not even need any special gadgets to make an American Mule cocktail.  To take your American Mule to the next level, make sure to get some authentic copper mule mugs !

Did You Enjoy This Article?

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this article, you might also like the following articles:  7 Best Russian Mule Recipes and  Best Kentucky Mule Recipe

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