This easy-to-make drink has been a summer staple for years.
Born in the 1920s, the Sea Breeze was made very differently when it was first developed. Originally, the Sea Breeze consisted of gin and grenadine. Then, bartenders made it with gin, apricot brandy, grenadine, and lemon juice. The Sea Breeze has had many variations throughout the years, but what remains is consumers’ love for the drink.
Related to the Cape Codder, the Sea Breeze today contains vodka, cranberry juice, and grapefruit juice. After its early success, the Sea Breeze went on a bit of a hiatus between the 50s and 60s. Some cranberries in the Northwest contained traces of herbicide aminotriazole—a weed killer that was dangerous to consume—that made cranberry juice undesirable. This resulted in the drink finally regaining major popularity in the 80s.
This cranberry pandemic affected the farmers the most. Wanting to recover, Ocean Spray released a recipe booklet that listed ways to use the tart berries in all their glory. It was during this time that Ocean Spray declared and marketed cranberry juice as a mixer for alcohol — first with gin then with vodka.
The Sea Breeze is a refreshing summer cocktail that pairs perfectly with beach days. It’s a classic and easy drink to add to your summer specials. While we always suggest using fresh juice when it comes to cranberries, the juice from them can be quite tart. In this case, it’s better to opt for a bottled cranberry juice. Grapefruit juice is best hand-squeezed as bottled grapefruit juice often contain tons of sugar which will overpower the cocktail.
This cocktail relies on its simplistic ingredients. You won’t need a shaker to create a delicious Sea Breeze cocktail; everything can be built directly in the glass. Topping the drink off with some soda water will give it a nice fizzy texture, but it isn’t necessary. Next time you’re in the mood for this classic, beloved cocktail, here is our favorite recipe.
- 1 1/3 oz. Vodka
- 1 oz. Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Juice
- 4 oz. Cranberry Juice
- Lime Wedge
Preparation: Build the drink in a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wedge and enjoy!