You don’t need to be a golfer to enjoy a proper Transfusion Cocktail! This classic drink features sweet grape juice, ginger ale, fresh lime juice and the perfect amount of vodka in an ice cold glass. Whether you’re just getting the night started or treating yourself to some hair of the dog, you’ll love this fruity cocktail!

Three glasses of transfusion cocktails are placed on a placemat.

Transfusion Drink

If you’ve hung around enough golf courses in your life, you more than likely have at least heard of a transfusion drink. It’s a classic fruity cocktail that Dwight D. Eisenhower supposedly loved to treat himself to at country clubs after his presidency. If it’s good enough for a president to love, it’s worth trying, right?!

Vodka is the liquor of choice in a transfusion cocktail. If you don’t love the taste of vodka, no worries – this is one of those cocktail recipes that beautifully disguises the taste of the booze with bold ingredients. I think that’s why it’s such a common choice for hangover cures. You can help yourself to some hair of the dog without having to taste the vodka too much… Unless you make it a double!

It’s rumored that the transfusion cocktail got its name for exactly that reason. Apparently, the sugary grape juice also contains electrolytes that helps that morning after headache that just won’t quit! The ginger ale also helps with nausea. Combine those two with some of the vodka that got you into trouble in the first place, and voila! You have a little transfusion that might just help your golf game.

The ingredients for a transfusion cocktail are placed on a white surface.

How to Make a Transfusion Cocktail

This easy cocktail recipe comes together in just a few simple steps. Whether you’re hosting a party or need something quick the next morning, a transfusion is your buddy you can count on!

  1. Pour the ingredients into your glass. Add ice to your glass, then top it off with 1 ounce grape juice, 2 ounces ginger ale, 2 vodka, 1/4 ounce lime juice. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  2. Enjoy! Garnish your glass with some fresh limes and grapes and serve immediately.

We adore these fun “19th Hole” cocktail picks for serving golf themed drinks. These work for the Transfusion, Arnold Palmer and John Daly drinks, especially!

Ginger ale is being poured into a glass.

Ingredient Notes

Here are just a few things to keep in mind as you shop for your cocktail ingredients. You only need a total of 4 ingredients – this list really is short and sweet!

  • Grape Juice – Use concord grape juice that has a nice purple color. White grape juice won’t work well with this recipe and you’ll lose the drink’s signature hue.
  • Ginger Ale – Any brand will work well! I always recommend picking ingredients that you already know you like the flavor of, so consider using a ginger ale you’re already a fan of.
  • Vodka – The quality of your cocktail will always depend on the quality of your liquor. When choosing a bottle of vodka, you’ll want to stay away from the cheaper bottom shelf options (especially if you’d like to avoid a massive headache). You don’t need to reach for the pricey top shelf, either. A good quality middle of the road vodka works very well here!
  • Lime Juice – For the very best flavor, only use freshly squeezed lime juice. Anything bottled or from concentrate just won’t cut it.

Who created the transfusion cocktail?

While Eisenhower made the drink popular, no one’s really sure who first concocted this vodka cocktail. It’s served at clubhouses and golf courses spanning the east to west coasts, so it’s hard to pinpoint an exact origin!

How much sugar is in a transfusion drink?

With no simple syrup or white granulated sugar, this drink recipe can boast that it has no added sugar. There’s only sugar from the grape juice, so check the nutritional label on the grape juice you purchase to see how much sugar you’re sipping on.

Two glasses of transfusion cocktail are garnished with grapes and limes.

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Two glasses of transfusion cocktail are garnished with grapes and limes.

Get the Recipe: Transfusion Drink Recipe

A fruity cocktail and hair of the dog, this Transfusion Cocktail is easy to make with just grape juicy, ginger ale, lime and vodka.
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  • 2 ounces Concord grape Juice
  • 4 ounces Ginger Ale
  • 4 ounces Vodka
  • 1/2 ounce Lime Juice


  • 1 glasses


  • Add ice to a glass then top with 1 ounce grape juice, 2 ounces ginger ale, 2 vodka, 1/4 ounce lime juice.
  • Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  • Garnish with grapes and lime.
  • Serve immediately.


YouTube video


A Transfusion is best served soon after making!
Calories: 338kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 0.3g, Fat: 0.1g, Saturated Fat: 0.01g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g, Sodium: 12mg, Potassium: 78mg, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugar: 18g, Vitamin A: 12IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 12mg, Iron: 0.4mg