With its tart key lime, hint of sweet vanilla and pineapple, and creamy finish, this sparkling key lime pie martini is the perfect beachy dessert cocktail. Sometimes you need a tropical, fruity cocktail in your life, and when those moments hit, this sparkling key lime pie martini will make you think you're sipping on a beachside cocktail in the Florida Keys.
Back when Matt and I first started dating, we often found ourselves at this cute, little martini bar with a menu full of pages and pages of cocktails. Naturally, all those martini options invoked my competitive spirit, and I was determined to eventually try every martini on the list. Dream big, right?
But even with all those options, we didn't always stay on task and couldn't help but returning to our favorite of the bunch: the key lime pie martini. Given our mutual love for this delicious martini, I had to recreate the recipe for our at-home cocktail nights but with my own slight spin.
I'm obviously a little bubbles obsessed, so giving my key lime pie martini a sparkling kick felt natural. For that bit of fizz, I like to use La Croix Key Lime.
Have you tasted La Croix's Key Lime? To me, it's easily one of La Croix's most delicious flavors. Obviously, I expected a level of key lime pie flavor, but I was surprised at how well it translated to sparkling water.
My local grocery store keeps La Croix Key Lime well stocked, but if you can't find it, you can use plain sparkling water instead. I just happen to love the extra key lime flavor it adds, but don't feel like you won't still have a tasty drink if you can't find that exact variety.
Now let's get shaking. We start by finely crushing graham crackers, which we'll use as a garnish as a nod to key lime pie's classic graham cracker crust. Considering that we only need a small amount of graham cracker crumbs, I prefer to do this with a rolling pin rather than a food processor. I love my food processor, but cleaning it is a bit of a pain.
Let's not waste our time cleaning excessive equipment when drinks are on the agenda. For even less of a mess, you can place the graham cracker in a zipped bag and then roll.
To finish our garnish, we place the graham cracker crumbs on a plate, run a key lime around the rim of a chilled martini glass and then dip the glass into the crumbs.
With our martini glass perfectly garnished, we're ready to make our cocktail. Grab a cocktail shaker and pour in vanilla vodka, pineapple juice, key lime juice and a touch of heavy cream. The vanilla vodka makes a big difference in flavor, so I definitely recommend using that as opposed to regular vodka. You just won't get the same pie-in-a-glass vibe without the extra flavor boost.
For the key lime juice, I always recommend freshly squeezed over bottled, but sometimes it doesn't make logistical sense. Juicing key limes, even with a lime juicer, takes a bit of time because of how small they are. When making only a couple martinis, freshly squeezed juice isn't too much of a hassle, but if you're playing bartender and making this sparkling key lime pie martini for a crowd, bottled key lime juice will make your life much easier.
Now throw in some ice, pop on the top and give the mixture a good shake. Take a quick taste and decide if the martini is sweetened to your liking. If not, add a touch of simple syrup.
I like adding a little simple syrup to really give it a dessert feel, but some people prefer theirs on the tart side. No right or wrong here. You do you.
Pour the cocktail into your chilled martini glass and top with a splash of La Croix Key Lime. If you want to get extra fancy, garnish with a key lime slice and happily sip away. Clink!
Can You Make Nonalcoholic?
Sure, just leave out the vanilla vodka and add a little more sparkling water. I do love the vanilla flavor the vodka adds and find it rounds out the drink, so if you plan to skip the vodka, I recommend adding a smidge of vanilla extract. Keep in mind, vanilla extract is potent, so I'd start with just an eighth of a teaspoon and adjust to your liking from there.
Oh, or you could mix up the ingredients, pour over a scoop of vanilla ice cream and top with La Croix Key Lime for a fun nonalcoholic float variation. Depending on the size of your ice cream scoop, you may want to double the amount of liquid ingredients. Just eyeball it and trust your gut. You can't go wrong with these tropical flavors and a little vanilla ice cream.
Naturally, you might be tempted to pair this with an actual slice of key lime pie. And I don't blame you. When a drink is based off some kind of dish, I always think it's fun to put the two together to see how they compare.
At the same time, this sparkling key lime pie martini is delicious with a big slice of coconut cake. We already have the cream going on in this martini, which I like with coconut cake for two reasons.
- We get nice textural contrast pairing a creamy martini with a light and fluffy coconut cake.
- Think of how satisfying it is when you take a big gulp of milk after a bite of cake. With this martini's creamy, chilled finish, this pairing is a lot like that --- except with booze and key lime juice. Just trust me and go with it.
Plus, key limes and coconut make for one delicious flavor combination.
If a boozy key lime pie in a cocktail glass sounds like your kind of happy hour celebration, I hope you shake up a round of this delicious martini.
Thirsty for More Refreshing Drinks?
- Minted strawberry lemonade
- Peach sangria
- Coconut margarita
- Sparkling pomegranate martini
- Cucumber-mint lemonade
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Sparkling Key Lime Pie Martini
- 1 graham cracker for garnish, optional
- Slice of key lime for garnish, optional
- 2 ounces vanilla vodka
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed key lime juice
- 1 ounce pineapple juice
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- Splash of heavy cream
- Splash of La Croix Key Lime or sparkling water
- If desired, chill the martini glasses in the freezer. With a rolling pin, crush the graham cracker into fine crumbs. To keep from getting too messy, you can place the graham cracker in a zipped bag for rolling if you'd like. Moisten the rim of a martini glass with a slice of key lime. Spread the graham cracker crumbs onto a plate and invert the martini glass into the crumbs. Twist the glass a few times to help the graham cracker crumbs adhere to the rim. Turn over and add a slice of key lime on the rim.
- Pour the vanilla vodka, key lime juice, pineapple juice, simple syrup and heavy cream into a cocktail shaker. Add a handful of ice, pop on the top and shake vigorously for 15-30 seconds.
- Strain into the martini glass. Top with La Croix Key Lime and gently stir. Enjoy!
- To make the simple syrup, simmer the 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir frequently to dissolve the sugar. As soon as the sugar dissolves, remove from heat. Allow to cool and store chilled.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.