The Malibu Cocktail Gets a Bittersweet Makeover in This Easy Recipe

Trade in the sweet cocktail for a semi-bitter one.

Malibu cocktails don’t have to be sweet. In fact, the coconut rum has a place in cocktails that are downright bitter. Cody Held, a bartender at Zero Restaurant in the Zero George hotel in Charleston, South Carolina, uses a mix of two Italian amari—Zucca and Campari—to balance Malibu’s sweet flavor. He shakes everything together with lemon juice, Peychaud’s bitters and two pieces of salted pineapple, which deepen the tropical flavors without adding too much sweetness. Garnished with a bright, beautiful flower, this sunny sipper is perfect for serving at a garden soiree.


Bitter, Sweet


  • 1 oz Malibu
  • .5 oz Pimm's
  • .5 oz Zucca Rabarbaro
  • .5 oz Campari
  • .75 oz lemon juice
  • 2 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
  • 2 salted pineapple
  • Angostura bitters
  • lemon twist
  • edible flower


Step one

Add all ingredients, save for the Angostura bitters and garnishes, to a shaker with ice.

Step two

Shake and double strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice.

Step three

Spritz Angostura bitters over the top of the drink.

Step four

Garnish with a lemon twist and edible flower.

Contributed by Cody Held