Classic Transfusion Cocktail


Cool down with this popular golf-course cocktail. 

Hands On Time:
2 mins
Total Time:
2 mins

When you think about what golfers might be guzzling down in between strokes, your initial guesses might go to a crisp, light beer or a bourbon cocktail. A mimosa for early tee times, perhaps. But if you pay attention, you'll notice another very popular, oddly named drink all over the golf course. It's fizzy, reddish-purple in color, and looks appropriately iced-down for a sweaty afternoon of sporting. Meet the Transfusion.

Transfusion Cocktail
Getty Images/JB325

What Is a Transfusion Cocktail?

"A Transwhat?" That's fair. Odds are, unless you're a golfer or have someone in your life that loves to break out a putter in his or her spare time, you might not have ever heard of this niche cocktail.

As for its origins, the Transfusion drink is largely a mystery. At its core, the easy-to-make beverage is just incredibly refreshing, which is perhaps why it's garnered the title of "golf's greatest drink."

Ingredients for a Transfusion Cocktail

A proper Transfusion contains four ingredients: vodka, ginger ale, Concord grape juice, and lime juice. Some prefer using Sprite or Fresca, which doesn't offer quite the same subtle ginger note, but takes care of the bubbles just fine. Others will use cranberry juice in lieu of grape juice, which we can't recommend on good will. However, to each their own.

To finish, you can garnish with a fresh lime on the rim, crystallized ginger, or even pop frozen grapes into the glass to keep it cool without watering it down.

Between the carbonation, touch of sweetness, tons of ice, and generous pour of liquor, a Transfusion has all the qualities of a perfect outdoor cocktail. The best part? There's no rule that says you need to be on the golf course to enjoy it. Thank goodness, because it's too refreshing to pass up. Here's our simple recipe for a classic Transfusion cocktail.


  • 3 ounces vodka such as Tito's (about 2 shots)

  • 1 ½ ounces Concord grape juice (about 1 shot)

  • 1/4 ounce fresh lime juice (about 2 lime wedges)

  • Ginger ale

  • Lime wedge or frozen grapes for garnish (optional)


  1. Fill a glass (preferably a highball glass) with ice.

  2. Add vodka, grape juice, and lime juice. (For those who prefer a fruitier, slightly sweeter kick, add an extra shot of grape juice to taste.)

  3. Top with ginger ale to finish. Garnish, if desired.


Can substitute Sprite or Fresca in lieu of ginger ale.

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