A tasty (and creepy!) cocktail that gets its purple hue from blue curacao, grenadine, and cranberry juice. A perfectly purple cocktail for any party!

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Two purple people eater cocktails with a black background and with burning candles.

About Purple People Eater Cocktail

Halloween is one of the best holidays to have fun with festive food and drinks, and this spooky purple people eater cocktail is no exception.

Because, I mean, have you seen the deep purple hue of this drink? Or the bright purple sanding sugar? Both create a pretty drink on their own, but once you jazz it up with a black or orange straw, you’ve got an iconic look that’s perfect for a Halloween party or movie night.

Can this drink be made in advance?

Yes, it totally can!

If you’d like to whip up a large batch in advance (be sure to check the “how to measure this cocktail section”), feel free to whip up as much as you need and store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Can you decorate the glasses in advance, too?

Yes, the glasses could be decorated in advance, too, but be careful; it doesn’t take much for the sugar to fall off, whether it be gravity or a gentle touch. And how well the sugar sticks to the glass will depend on what you use to adhere the sugar to the glass (whether it be simple syrup, fruit juice, etc).

Because how well this works could depend on a lot of factors (like temperature, humidity) I would recommend testing this with one glass and see how long the decoration holds up. Store the glass in the refrigerator or a cool place to help keep the sugar from sliding down the glass. And no matter what you plan, I’d recommend not letting the prepared glasses sit for more than four to six hours before serving.

Close up of prepared purple people eater cocktail.

What’s in a purple people eater cocktail?

To craft this purple drink, you’ll need to have the following on hand:

  • Vodka – Any non-flavored type or brand will do.
  • Blue Curacao – A sweet liquor with a blue hue. Flavored from the dried peel of bitter oranges.
  • Cranberry Juice – This helps add some fruity flavor to the drink as well as some strong coloring.
  • Sweet and Sour Mix – A standard in many mixed drinks, this adds some sweetness with a dash of tartness.
  • Grenadine – Another mixed drink favorite, this helps smooth out the flavor while also adding a strong dose of red coloring. Also helps sub some of the tartness of the cranberry juice.

Can you make this drink in advance?

Yes, you totally can mix the core drink ingredients in advance! Prepare the drink as instructed and then store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before serving.

Can you make a big batch of purple people eater cocktail?

Yes! There are no special “effects” with this drink (such as layering, gradients, etc) so it’s perfectly safe to mix this drink and serve it in a big batch.

And in order to make a big batch, all you need to do is measure this drink in parts.

Recipes that measure in parts usually mean it’s written so that you can adjust the size of the drink to whatever you want. The measurements they give you (1 part, 1/2 part, etc) are so you can keep the ratio of the ingredients correct.

For example, let’s say you wanted to make one drink – this typically means you’re using 1 standard shot glass for measuring. So then when the recipe says “1 part” you would interpret that amount as “1 standard shot glass” full. If the recipe says “1/2 part” you’d fill the shot glass halfway so that it’s “1/2 standard shot glass.” OR, let’s say you wanted to make enough drinks for a few friends. When making the drink you could interpret “1 part” as “1 cup” (or “1/2 part” to “1/2 cup.”)

Given the above, to measure a purple people eater cocktail in parts, you would need:

  • 1 1/2 part vodka
  • 1 part blue curacao
  • 1 part sweet and sour mix
  • 1 part grenadine
  • 1 part cranberry juice, can also use cran-grape or grape juice

Keep in mind that the above is just for mixing the core drink ingredients. It does not include the measurements for decorating individual drinks, since how much you need will depend on the type of glasses you use and how many guests you have. You can also choose to totally skip decorating the glasses to make serving this drink easier.

notes & tips for this purple cocktail

More Halloween themed recipes

More fun drinks

How to make a purple people eater cocktail

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – If you’d like to make your glasses festive, decorate them by dipping the rims in simple syrup, then dusting the top with purple sanding sugar. I find it easiest to add the simple syrup and sugar to two separate plates and dip the glasses that way.

Step 2 – In a cocktail shaker, add the following ingredients: ice, vodka, blue curacao, sweet and sour mix, grenadine, and cranberry juice. Give it a good shake until everything is combined.

Step 3 – Pour the mixed drink into the prepared glass filled with ice.

Step 4 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Two purple people eater cocktails with a black background and with burning candles.
4.28 from 101 votes

Purple People Eater Cocktail

5 minutes prep
335 kcal
Yields: 1 drink
A tasty (and creepy!) cocktail that gets its purple hue from blue curacao, grenadine, and cranberry juice. A perfect cocktail for any type of party!



  • On a small plate, add purple sugar. Wet the rim of a glass with simple syrup (or cranberry juice or just water) and gently dab the top the glass in the purple sugar, coating the rim. Set glass aside.
    simple syrup, purple sugar
  • Combine vodka, blue curacao, sweet and sour mix, grenadine, and cranberry juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until combined.
    1 1/2 ounces vodka, 1 ounce blue curacao, 1 ounce sweet and sour mix, 1 ounce grenadine, 1 ounce cranberry juice
  • Fill the sugar-coated glass with ice. Pour purple people eater cocktail mix into glass until full.
  • Serve immediately.


Serving: 1drink | Calories: 335kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.04g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 16mg | Potassium: 38mg | Fiber: 0.03g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 13IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.1mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy

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Recipe Rating


    • MrsWhitten
    • 4 stars

    Posting 4 stars only because, though it’s YUMMY, it can be made just by mixing ¢.50 grape Kool-Aid and dumping vodka in it. Save some dallahssss….

    • Mrs. T

    Loved the idea for my upcoming Halloween party. However, I made a sample glass, and this is SWEEEEET. Tastes like a melted freeze pop. Not my favorite. Also came out more dark blue than purple. I added some seltzer, helped soften the taste.

    • Susan

    Could this be made and put in a punch bowl?

      • Kit


    • Nazra Boyle

    Can you make the sweet and sour mix at home instead of buying it at the liquor store?

    • J
    • 4 stars

    I was thinking for more purple add Chambrode liquor..

    • Viktorija

    mwahahaha, ice wedges look like bones of the ones it devoured. Creepy! Awesome!

    • Shelley P.

    Can you make this in advance for a large party and refrigerate it until party time?

    • Linda
    • 5 stars

    Super easy to make. Mine turned out very dark too, but once I added the ice the nice purple hue was there. I made my own purple sugar too by adding a few drops of food colouring in a plastic sandwich bag. 👍

    • Keith
    • 5 stars

    Great recipe, thanks for sharing. I have a sodastream so made some club soda and added the for some fizz. Made it even more fun. I can’t say how much I added, as I just did it to taste. Lightens the color a bit too, but still purple!

    • Tara Dorough
    • 4 stars

    I was wondering how parts in the recipe for people people eaters is a part is equal to a cup? If I did the math correct then it calls for 5.5 cups of liquid plus the ice, this will not fit in a mason jar the size it looked like you were holding. So did the written story get the size of your past wrong or is the recipe wrong? Thank you for your time.

      • Ron
      • 4 stars

      Did you even read the whole article? She explained it all already. Sheesh…

    • FandomEats
    • 5 stars

    Oh, this looks amazing. Saving for later!

    • Norma

    The color doesn’t turn out that way if you follow the recipe.

    • Stacy Neulinger
    • 5 stars

    We just made these and they were good BUT ours came out black. I mean it looked like tar water…lol! What are we doing wrong????

      • Chrisy

      Oh no, sorry to hear that Stacy! I’ll be honest, I haven’t heard that before, so not quite sure :O Did you use extra cranberry juice? Or maybe used an alternative? The cranberry juice IS very dark in color, so if a lot was used it could end up dominating the drink. Also, did you serve it with ice? The ice helps bring out the hue.

        • Michelle Lunde
        • 4 stars

        Add more vodka 😁

      • Lara

      Mine is more black then purple too.

    • Megan

    This looks awesome for our upcoming Halloween party! Do you think it would serve well from a drink dispenser or would it likely separate? Thanks for the advice.

    • Karine Richard

    What is sweet and sour mix exactly?

      • Chrisy

      Hey Karine! Sweet and Sour Mix is just a sweetener that has a slightly citrus taste 🙂 You can see an example of it here: http://amzn.to/2gQIsIs

    • Heather @ Sugar Dish Me
    • 5 stars

    love love love this! That color is fab. Also vodka. 🙌🏻

    • Blair

    Oh man the Purple People Eater? I gotta try it and I can only hope it tastes as good as the PPE from Pat O’Briens NOLA

    • Fe

    Name for Anytime of the year: “purple rain”
    … even more appropriate bc the condensation!
    Karaoke Prince/ ’80s party… ????????it!!!!

    • Trina

    What is the sweet and sour mix? Can you buy it at the liquor store?
    Looks yummy.

      • Chrisy

      Hey Trina! Yes, sweet and sour mix is pretty common at liquor stores as well as grocery stores. You’ll find it near things like mudslide or bloody mary mix 😀 Typically in a large bottle and yellow in color.

    • Brandy

    How much of each would I need to use to make a large amount for a party? Like 30-40 drinks?

    • Hey Brandy! Did you try changing the number of servings within the recipe card? Below the ingredients is a black bar, and if you click on the box next to “servings’, you can adjust it to how many drinks you want to make. It’ll try to calculate how much you’d need of each ingredient.