Food & Drinks

What Are Cocktail Peanuts? (& How To Make Them at Home)

What Are Cocktail Peanuts?

If you’re a cocktail enthusiast, you’ve probably come across cocktail peanuts a few times. But if you aren’t, you can’t help but wonder, are they peanuts mixed with cocktails?

Try to stop guessing because you’re about to find out exactly what they are.

Cocktail peanuts are peanuts roasted in oil, salted then mixed with a variety of flavors. Some flavors these peanuts are mixed with include strawberry, raspberry, lime, and margarita. They’re often served as appetizers, cocktail snacks, or added into cocktails to enhance their flavor.

Continue reading as we explore everything you need to know about cocktail peanuts and how to make them at home.

Types of Peanuts

Types Of Peanuts

There are four types of peanuts, each with distinctive features: Runner, Virginia (cocktail), Spanish, and Valencia peanuts.

Runner Peanuts

Runner peanuts are the most consumed of the group. They’re dominant because of their delicious flavor, high yields, and great kernel size.

For these reasons, they’re mostly used in the production of peanut butter. They’re mostly grown in Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.

Virginia Peanuts aka Cocktail Peanuts

Also called cocktail peanuts, they have the largest kernels and are mostly roasted and eaten in shells. Due to their size, they’re great for salting, roasting, and confections. They’re grown in Virginia, Texas, and North Carolina.

Spanish Peanuts

They’re called Spanish peanuts because they were originally developed in Spain in the 1700s, they’re the smallest of the group, and they have the most oil content.

Commonly referred to as Earthnuts, Groundnuts, and Goobers, they’re often used for candy bars or peanut snacks. Spanish peanuts are mostly grown in Oklahoma and Texas.

Valencia Peanuts

Valencia Peanuts are sweet and have bright red skin. There are usually three or more small kernels in a pod. Valencia peanuts are sold in-shell, boiled, or roasted. It’s not grown as much as its counterparts in the US, but it’s grown in Texas and New Mexico.

How To Make Cocktail Peanuts

How To Make Cocktail Peanuts

Now that you know the different types of peanuts, you might be interested in learning how to make spicy cocktail peanuts.

Things You’ll Need

  • 2 cups of raw peanuts
  • 1/4 cup of peanut oil
  • Chopped red onions
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped cilantro, jalapenos, or lemon juice


  • Add your raw peanuts to oil in a pan and set the heat to medium.
  • Shake the pan from time to time, and after about 15 minutes, you should hear popping sounds.
  • When you hear popping, turn off the heat and shake the pan for a minute or two.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peanuts to a plate.
  • You can garnish your peanuts on the plate with onions,  cilantro, jalapenos, and lemon juice.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Enjoy.

Cocktail Peanuts vs. Dry Roasted Peanuts

Cocktail Peanuts Vs. Dry Roasted Peanuts

Cocktail peanuts are cooked in oil but also salted and roasted with their shells. They’re the largest peanuts because of their big kernels.

On the other hand, dry roasted peanuts are roasted or dry heated to make them crunchy and give them a new taste. Dry roasted peanuts are roasted without their shells. Let’s examine the differences between cocktail peanuts and dry roasted peanuts. 


One primary difference between cocktail peanuts and dry roasted peanuts is the use of oil. Cocktail peanuts are processed with oil, so they’re much greasier than dry-roasted peanuts that are just roasted dry.


Dry roasted peanuts are much saltier than cocktail peanuts. Dry roasted peanuts have over 190mg of sodium, while cocktail peanuts have only 90mg. Without the saltiness, dry roasted peanuts don’t have any flavoring, so manufacturers add salt to make them eatable.

Consuming salt in excess can cause high blood pressure and many heart issues, so cut back on dry roasted peanuts.


As I said, Virginia peanuts are the largest in the world. This is why they’re perfect for confections. Dry roasted peanuts are regular-sized.


I imagine everyone stuffs peanuts in their mouths while watching a movie or doing something interesting without actually caring if they cause weight gain.

But for people watchful about their diet and calorie intake, an ounce of dry roasted peanuts contains approximately 166 calories and 1.9 grams of saturated fat. There are about 32 peanuts in an ounce.

One ounce of cocktail peanuts contains 168 calories and 2.4 grams of saturated fat.

How To Eat Cocktail Peanuts

How To Eat Cocktail Peanuts

Whether you make cocktail peanuts at home or buy processed cocktail peanuts from the grocery store, here are some ways to enjoy this snack.

Mix It Into Meals

Peanuts can improve the flavor of a variety of meals. You can sprinkle them into salads, eat them with sandwiches or add them to a dip and watch the flavor of that food get so much better.

Add Them to Cocktails

What will a cocktail peanut be without the cocktail? After making your favorite cocktail, try adding a few peanuts. I can’t promise it’ll taste better, but it’s worth a try.

Eat Them Like Snacks

Whether you’re watching a movie or just need a snack for family game night, try putting a bowl of cocktail peanuts in the middle of all the fun, and you’ll have a splendid night. You get to munch on tasty snacks without the nutritional pitfalls of unhealthy snacks.

Unlike regular peanuts, cocktail peanuts might be a bit messy to eat with your fingers because of the oil, so you may need a small spoon.

Final Thoughts

Cocktail peanuts are super easy to make and go well with various foods and cocktails. If you’re a cocktail or peanut lover and you want the thrill of variety, cocktail peanuts are your best bet.