Mary Pickford


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Welcome to the timeless allure of the Mary Pickford cocktail. This Prohibition-era classic is a symphony of light rum and sweet fruit flavors. It’s a drink that captures the essence of its era with a taste that remains modern.

The Mary Pickford is a delightful concoction that combines the tropical notes of pineapple juice with the subtle almond flavor of maraschino liqueur. Its sweetness is perfectly balanced by the tartness of grenadine, making it a favorite among sweet cocktail lovers.

Named after the iconic silent film star, this cocktail has a story as rich as its taste. Let’s dive into the world of the Mary Pickford and discover what makes this drink a timeless classic.

Key Facts About the Mary Pickford

Alcohol Volume: Approximately 22% ABV

Calories: Approximately 182 kcal

Preferred Glass: Traditionally served in a chilled coupe glass

Typical Garnish: Maraschino Cherry

Interesting Facts about the Mary Pickford

The Mary Pickford cocktail was created during the Prohibition era, a time when speakeasies and secret cocktail recipes flourished.

It’s said to have been invented in Havana, Cuba, celebrating the American actress’s visit to the country.

The drink’s popularity endures, symbolizing the glamour and rebellion of the 1920s.

Mary Pickford Cocktail

Tasting Notes

The Mary Pickford cocktail offers a sweet and fruity flavor profile with a light rum base. It’s a drink that appeals to those who enjoy a sweeter cocktail with a tropical twist.

Its refreshing nature makes it perfect for summer gatherings or as a celebratory drink. The pineapple juice provides a juicy backdrop, while the maraschino liqueur adds depth with its cherry notes.

The grenadine offers a hint of pomegranate sweetness, rounding out the drink’s complexity. It’s a cocktail that suits any occasion, from a casual brunch to an elegant evening affair.

History of the Mary Pickford

The Mary Pickford cocktail has a storied past, intertwined with the glamour of Hollywood’s golden age. It was during the 1920s that this drink first made its mark, named after one of the era’s most beloved actresses.

As the story goes, the cocktail was created by a bartender in Havana, who was inspired by Mary Pickford’s visit to Cuba. The drink quickly gained popularity in the United States, despite the constraints of Prohibition.

The Mary Pickford became a symbol of the speakeasy culture, a secret indulgence enjoyed by those who knew where to find it. Its legacy continues today, as a testament to the creativity and resilience of that era’s bartenders.

Mary Pickford Ingredients

  • Light Rum: 2 oz (60 ml) – The backbone of the cocktail, providing a smooth and subtle base.
  • Pineapple Juice: 2 oz (60 ml) – Adds a tropical sweetness and a velvety texture.
  • Maraschino Liqueur: 1 tsp (5 ml) – Imparts a light cherry flavor with hints of almond.
  • Grenadine: 1 tsp (5 ml) – Provides a rich sweetness and a beautiful blush color.
  • Maraschino Cherry: For garnish – The classic finishing touch that adds visual appeal and a fruity bite.

Did you know?

The Mary Pickford cocktail’s popularity soared in the 1920s, a time when women were just beginning to frequent bars and enjoy the social drinking scene.

Mary Pickford Ingredients

Mary Pickford Method


Begin by filling a cocktail shaker with ice to chill the ingredients and dilute the cocktail to perfection.


Pour the measured amounts of light rum, pineapple juice, maraschino liqueur, and grenadine into the shaker. This combination is crucial for achieving the signature Mary Pickford taste.


Shake the mixture vigorously for about 15-20 seconds. This not only chills the drink but also ensures a well-blended cocktail with a frothy top.


Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass to maintain the cold temperature and provide a smooth drinking experience.


Finish by garnishing with a maraschino cherry, adding a touch of elegance and a hint of cherry flavor.

Serving Suggestion

The Mary Pickford is traditionally served in a chilled coupe glass. The wide bowl and long stem of the coupe allow the aromas to concentrate while keeping the drink cool.

Garnish with a maraschino cherry for a classic look. To prepare the garnish, simply skewer the cherry on a cocktail pick and rest it on the rim of the glass or drop it in the drink.

Elevating the Mary Pickford

  • Quality Ingredients: Use premium light rum and freshly squeezed pineapple juice for a superior taste.
  • Homemade Grenadine: Consider making your own grenadine syrup for a more authentic and less sweet flavor.
  • Proper Chilling: Ensure your coupe glass is well-chilled before serving to keep the cocktail at the perfect temperature.

Mary Pickford Serving Suggestion

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Mary Pickford

If light rum isn’t available, white rum can be a suitable substitute, though it may alter the flavor slightly.

For a less sweet version, reduce the amount of grenadine or use a pomegranate syrup as an alternative.

Similar cocktails include the Hemingway Daiquiri and the Clover Club, which share a similar balance of fruit and spirit.

Add a twist

For a modern take, infuse the light rum with tropical fruits like mango or passion fruit for added depth.

Experiment with different garnishes, such as a pineapple wedge or an edible flower, to enhance the visual appeal.

Introduce a hint of spice by adding a dash of bitters or a cinnamon stick stirrer for a warm undertone.

Preferred Liquors for the Mary Pickford

Select a light rum that is smooth and not overly complex, such as Bacardi Superior or Havana Club 3 Años, to maintain the cocktail’s delicate balance.

For the maraschino liqueur, Luxardo Maraschino is a classic choice that offers the authentic cherry flavor integral to the drink.

When choosing grenadine, opt for brands that use real pomegranate, like Monin or Sonoma Syrup Co., for the best taste.

Similar Cocktails to the Mary Pickford

The Daiquiri is a close relative, sharing the rum and citrus profile but without the additional sweetness of grenadine.

The Aviation cocktail also features maraschino liqueur, but with gin as the base and a touch of lemon juice for tartness.

The El Presidente, another rum-based classic, offers a similar vibe with its combination of rum, orange curaçao, and grenadine.

Food Pairings to go with the Mary Pickford

Classic pairings include light appetizers like shrimp cocktail or prosciutto-wrapped melon to complement the drink’s sweetness.

For a more adventurous pairing, try spicy Asian-inspired dishes that will contrast nicely with the Mary Pickford’s fruity notes.

Mary Pickford FAQs

Can I use dark rum instead of light rum? While you can use dark rum, it will significantly change the flavor profile and color of the cocktail.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Mary Pickford? Yes, you can create a mocktail version by omitting the rum and maraschino liqueur, and adding a splash of lemon-lime soda for fizz.

How can I make the cocktail less sweet? Reduce the amount of grenadine or use a homemade version that’s less sugary.

What’s the best way to chill the coupe glass? Place the glass in the freezer for at least 20 minutes before serving, or fill it with ice water while you prepare the cocktail.

Can I batch make Mary Pickfords for a party? Absolutely, mix all ingredients except ice in a pitcher, and shake individual servings with ice as needed.

Mary Pickford_001

Mary Pickford

A classic cocktail from the Prohibition era, the Mary Pickford is a delightful mix of light rum, pineapple juice, maraschino liqueur, and grenadine. Named after the famous silent film actress, this sweet and fruity drink is as charming as its namesake.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Cuisine American
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 182 kcal


  • Cocktail shaker
  • Jigger
  • Strainer
  • Coupe glass


  • 2 oz Light Rum 60 ml
  • 2 oz Pineapple Juice 60 ml
  • 1 tsp Maraschino Liqueur 5 ml
  • 1 tsp Grenadine 5 ml
  • Maraschino Cherry for garnish


  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Pour the light rum, pineapple juice, maraschino liqueur, and grenadine into the shaker.
  • Shake well until the mixture is chilled, about 15-20 seconds.
  • Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass.
  • Garnish with a maraschino cherry.


The Mary Pickford cocktail can also be served in a martini glass. Adjust the sweetness by varying the amount of grenadine to your personal taste.
Keyword Classic Cocktail, Fruity, grenadine, Light Rum, Maraschino Liqueur, Mary Pickford, pineapple juice, Prohibition-Era, silent film actress, Sweet

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