Make a Hand Grenade Drink & Put a Little Boom in Your Belly

Capture the spirit of the Big Easy and mix up this popular NOLA cocktail at home — minus the plastic hand grenade, of course.

Updated February 1, 2024
hand grenade drink

Boy, do we have an explosively good cocktail for you. It's the hand grenade drink — a cocktail born in the Big Easy in the 1980s. You'll have to head to NOLA to get the long-necked glasses they're served in there, but if it's the flavor you're after, we've got you covered. 

How to Make a Hand Grenade Drink

If you've never been to New Orleans, then the popularity of the hand grenade cocktail can feel bamboozling. In the Big Easy, bars serve the hand grenade in a plastic mock... well... hand grenade, but with a long neck. All the better for drinking as you wander from bar to bar, enjoying all the city has to offer. If you have food-grade plastic fake grenades lying around the house (as one does) use 'em. Otherwise, a glass will do. 


  • ¾ ounce gin
  • ¾ ounce white rum
  • ¾ ounce vodka
  • 1½ ounces melon liqueur
  • 1½ ounces pineapple juice
  • Crushed ice
  • Pineapple wedge for garnish


  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, gin, white rum, vodka, melon liqueur, and pineapple juice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over crushed ice.
  4. Garnish with a pineapple wedge.

Bomb Variations and Substitutions of the Hand Grenade Cocktail

Although the ingredients in this cocktail are pretty standard, you can still make a bombshell cocktail with a few swaps.

  • Gin can be a pretty divisive spirit for people. If you're not a fan, add a little extra white rum or vodka, or just substitute tequila for gin entirely.
  • Instead of white rum, why not use coconut rum for a slightly warmer weather twist?
  • Experiment with using orange juice with the pineapple juice or using just orange juice.
  • A flavored vodka, such as vanilla, lemon, coconut, or citrus adds another layer of flavor.


If you're looking for a rocket of a garnish, any of these alternatives will do the trick.

  • Add an orange slice or wheel, with or without the pineapple wedge, for another layer of color.
  • Cherries, both cocktail or maraschino, will add another bright pop of color, too.
  • Pierce honeydew melon wedges or balls on a cocktail skewer to emphasize the melon notes.
  • Give it a totally tropical look with a single pineapple leaf.

Related: 11 Vibrant Midori Cocktails With Melon Magic (+ Mixers)

An Explosively Green Cocktail

Go ahead and close out of the tab you're using to frown at the cost of flights to New Orleans and shake up a pretty close version to the hand grenade cocktail for much less at home. Don't forget to grab some beads!

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Make a Hand Grenade Drink & Put a Little Boom in Your Belly