The Nevada Cocktail

I was born and raised in Northern California. Twenty five years later, I moved to Nevada. While I’ll always be from Cali, I can honestly say that my heart now belongs to the wonderful Silver State. So, in honor of Nevada Day which always falls on the last Friday of October, I’m sharing The Nevada Cocktail.

The Nevada Cocktail recipe comes from Harry Craddock’s book, The Savoy Cocktail Book. The book has over 750 cocktail recipes in it but somehow when I first sat down to look through it, this particular drink caught my eye. In fact, The Nevada Cocktail was the very first drink recipe I made from the book.

Before I go on to give you the cocktail recipe, let’s talk a bit about Nevada. Now, I live in Reno, Nevada. For those of you unfamiliar with the state, it’s nowhere near Vegas. In fact, in Reno we usually get snow each winter. Yes, that fact often surprises people but it’s true

According to Nevada Day history, Nevada officially became a state on October 31, 1864. Instead of celebrating Nevada Day on Halloween, voters back in the ’90s decided they wanted it to be celebrated on the last Friday of the month. This was passed by legislation and it’s been this way since 2000. Many businesses will close on Nevada Day and kids usually have the day off school.

The following Saturday there is a Nevada Day Parade held in the capital city of Carson City. I’ve never actually been to the parade but I’m sure people have fun. I prefer to stay in my neck of the woods and celebrate while drinking The Nevada Cocktail.

The original cocktail recipe called for a “hooker of Bacardi Rum, the juice of 1/2 grapefruit, the juice of 1 lime, powdered sugar and 1 dash bitters.” I tweaked the recipe a bit because the original was a little too sour for me. Adjust according to your own tastes. Just make sure you use fresh squeezed grapefruit juice if you can.

Serves: 1Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Bacardi white rum
  • 1 to 1½ ounces fresh squeezed grapefruit (1/2 of a grapefruit)
  • ½ ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 barspoon of powdered sugar (or simple syrup)
  • Dash of Angostura bitters


  1. Put all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. Enjoy while saying nev-ADD-uh and not Nuh-VAHD-uh.