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Sloppy Joe


Sloppy Joe

The Sloppy Joe contains equal parts white rum and dry vermouth, combined with a dash of triple sec and the juice of a whole lime, shaken with grenadine and served straight up. A nicely balanced tiki cocktail that is pure tiki but without all the elaborate garnishes, bells and whistles, a great all rounder.

White Rum, Dry Vermouth, Triple Sec, Lime Juice, Grenadine.

*premium glassware pictured, event glassware may differ.

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The Sloppy Joe is a far more elegant and balanced cocktail than the name might suggest. 

This tiki cocktail is the signature drink of Sloppy Joe’s bar in Key West Florida, but far from being a juice-filled mug full of rum, laden with garnishes and garish liqueurs, this clever twist on a Daiquiri boasts subtle tropical flavours with the class of a French, Martini-style cocktail. Making it a great inclusion for anyone planning a tiki-based menu for their mobile bar hire.

Mixing vermouth and rum with lime and grenadine and served straight-up, in a Martini glass, this tiki cocktail is the perfect choice to offset a menu full of large and often complex tiki cocktails. With many tiki drinks containing reams of ingredients and taking a lot of time and effort to make, it’s worth considering a drink like the Sloppy Joe to help regulate speed of service. The Sloppy Joe also stands out from its tiki cousins in that it represents a touch of class amongst a fun and casual family of cocktails.

If you’re looking for some fun tiki cocktails to serve alongside the Sloppy Joe, you may want to consider featuring some tiki classics like the Hurricane or the Mai Tai on your menu. The Mai Tai is perhaps the most famous tiki drink and balances fun and flavour, sunshine and sophistication, combining rum with lime and orgeat, a subtly flavoured, almond syrup.

For those wanting to pair the Sloppy Joe with some other classy rum-based cocktails, served straight-up, Martini style, there are tons of great options. The original rum cocktail the Daiquiri, works well on any menu, or for more seasoned drinkers there’s always the El Presidente; this classic rum drink is remarkably similar to the Sloppy Joe, containing rum, grenadine and dry vermouth but forgoing lime juice and adding a dash of orange curacao and gently stirring instead of shaking. The El Presidente is a great way to showcase the grown up side of rum cocktails.

If you’re planning a mobile bar hire featuring the Sloppy Joe as part of your menu and want to know more about what drinks might pair well with it, make sure to speak to your event organiser about your options, or check out some other rum-based, tiki-style and Martini-style cocktails from our list.


The Sloppy Joe cocktail comes from the eponymous bar, and here is what they have to say about its inception:

“The official beginning of Sloppy Joe’s Bar, the famous and infamous Key West saloon, was December 5, 1933–the day Prohibition was repealed. The bar was destined to go through two name changes and a sudden change of location before it would become Sloppy Joe’s, seen by millions of visitors to Florida’s southernmost outpost.

Key West being a bastion of free thinkers even in the thirties, Prohibition was looked on as an amusing exercise dreamed up by the government–and Joe Russell was just one of the enterprising individuals who operated illegal speakeasies. Even Ernest Hemingway, who made Key West his home at the time, slipped over to Russell’s on occasion to buy illicit bottles of Scotch, and the two struck up an enduring friendship.”

Myths & Legends

Sloppy Joe’s bar, the home of the Sloppy Joe, is a longstanding Florida institution and proudly boasts Ernest Hemingway as one of its long-term patrons. The bar went through various name changes before becoming Sloppy Joe’s with a little persuasion from Hemingway himself. The name refers to the original Sloppy Joe’s in Havana, Cuba, where the proprietor sold drinks and iced seafood, due to the imposing Havana heat the ice would always melt causing customers to tease proprietor, Jose, that he ran a sloppy joint. 


Sloppy Joe’s is name-dropped in the legendary 1941 film Citizen Kane, when reporter, Thompson, interviews Kane’s old friend and dramatic critic Jedediah Leland:


“Five years ago, he wrote me from that place down there in the south — what’s it called … uh … Shangri La, El Dorado … oh, Sloppy Joe’s — what, what is the name of that place? *laughs* Oh, all right — Xanadu”

Jedediah Leland, Citizen Kane

Ingredients & Equipment

There are loads of great white rums available, so feel free to use whichever is your favourite, we like to make our Slopy Joe’s with the classic Cuban rum: Havana Club, or for a more complex tasting cocktail, the floral, grassy notes of rhum agricole make a great alternative to white rum.

When choosing dry vermouths there are loads of options our favourites are Noilly Prat, a traditional, dry French vermouth, and Cocchi Americano, a more floral and delicately flavoured vermouth from Italy.


  • 25ml White rum
  • 25ml Dry Vermouth
  • 10ml Triple Sec
  • 25ml Lime juice
  • 15ml Grenadine
  • Lime Wheel or Wedge for Garnish



  • Shaker
  • Jigger/Measure
  • Hawthorne Strainer
  • Fine Strainer
  • Mexican Elbow
  • Martini Glass
  • Cubed Ice
  • Chill your Martini glass in the freezer or fill with ice
  • Take your Boston glass or small tin
  • Using your jigger to measure, add the rum, vermouth, triple sec and grenadine to the shaker
  • Using your Mexican elbow and your jigger to measure, squeeze 25ml of lime juice and add to the shaker
  • Fill the shaker with cubed ice and seal with the Boston tin or lid
  • Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds, or until your tin is very cold
  • Remove your glass from the freezer or empty it of ice if necessary
  • Using your Hawthorne strainer and your fine strainer, double strain the cocktail into your chilled Martini glass
  • Garnish with a lime wheel or wedge with a slit cut into it to rest it on the side of the glass
  • Serve and enjoy!

For larger groups of six or more students, we offer the option to take things private. Our classes are fully portable, and we are able to set ourselves up efficiently and professionally in a wide variety of locations and settings across the capital, the UK, and beyond. You name the location, and we’ll endeavour to make it happen.

Give one of our dedicated event organisers a call on 020 8003 7982. They’ll happily talk you through your options, and answer any questions you may have about both our mobile and in-house cocktail making classes.