Recipe Review

I Tried Reba McEntire’s “Strange Juice” Cocktail, and It’s the Refreshing Drink You Need This Summer

published Jun 16, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Someone in yard holding cocktail glass of Reba McEntire's strange juice.
Credit: Choya Johnson

When Reba McEntire opened her first restaurant earlier this year, the “Queen of Country” promised everyone that it would include “great bread” and cocktails that were nothing less than “fancy.” And while I haven’t had the chance to make the trek out to Reba’s Place in Atoka, Oklahoma, after stumbling across her recipe for Strange Juice, I know that anyone lucky enough to visit is in for exactly what she’s said they’ll get. 

Made with a few citrusy ingredients, this cocktail is one that I couldn’t wait to try. So, I took inventory of what I had at home and made a run to the store to pick up what I needed. 

Get the recipe: Reba McEntire’s Strange Juice

How to Make Reba McEntire’s Strange Juice

Making this cocktail is simple and only requires a few ingredients: pineapple juice, lemon juice, gin, dehydrated (or fresh) pineapples, pineapple leaves, and orgeat syrup. The latter of the ingredients, however, may be difficult to find, so you’ll want to make sure you get that in advance. 

Credit: Choya Johnson

In a shaker, add crushed ice, pineapple juice, lemon juice, and orgeat syrup and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Then, fill a highball glass with crushed ice and strain the mixture into the glass. Top it off with the purple-colored gin (Reba’s recipe suggests Empress 1908, but I used McQueen and the Violet Fog’s Ultraviolet Edition) without mixing so that it stays separate and garnish with both a pineapple slice and leaf before serving. 

My Honest Opinion of Reba McEntire’s Strange Juice

When I first saw this drink, I initially thought it needed to be enjoyed on the beach and after my first sip, I immediately knew I was right. A perfect sip for the summer, Reba’s “strange juice” is far from that. It’s citrusy and sweet, and makes for a refreshing drink whether you’re hosting a party midday or just hanging out in your backyard for a summer night. Not to mention, it’s aesthetically-pleasing, too.

The flavors of this drink sit on your palate long after each sip and it’s one that I could see myself making as a staple drink as soon as the spring season kicks in, and I’d keep making it all through summer. The only suggestion that I would have would be to use fresh pineapple slices as opposed to dehydrated ones, but that’s really at your discretion and determined by what you have handy. 

Credit: Choya Johnson

2 Tips for Making Reba McEntire’s Strange Juice

  1. Unless you happen to have orgeat syrup on hand, be sure to shop for it in advance. Though I thought finding orgeat syrup would be as simple as finding any simple syrup, I actually had to go to a few different stores to find it. So, if you’re keen on keeping this recipe identical to Reba’s version, you may want to be sure to order some from Amazon or check your local liquor store a day or two in advance of making the drinks. 
  2. Use fresh pineapple. While you can use dehydrated pineapple for this drink, fresh pineapple definitely takes it up a notch.