Sea Breeze

Let Your Taste Buds Set Sail with the Sea Breeze Cocktail T here are a set of cocktails that just scream “summer” and evoke images of la...

Let Your Taste Buds Set Sail with the Sea Breeze Cocktail

There are a set of cocktails that just scream “summer” and evoke images of lazing around on the beach, soaking up the sun in the balmy summer air. One of those cocktails is the Sea Breeze, a beach bar staple and a perfect libation to sip for a refreshing buzz while watching the waves crash onto the shore.

The Sea Breeze doesn’t have an extensive history to it. That’s because it’s still a young cocktail. It was created in the late 1920s, but back then, gin and grenadine were used because it was the during the time of the Prohibition. Come the 1930s, it still featured gin and grenadine, however it had the lovely addition of apricot brandy and lemon juice.

These days, we know it as a pink concoction that contains vodka, cranberry juice and grapefruit juice. Some bartenders shake it up which creates a foamy texture like the froth from the ocean. How did it change so drastically from earlier renditions? According to food and beverage expert Dale Degroff (also known as “King Cocktail”) in his book, The Craft of the Cocktail, he explains that the Sea Breeze was merely born as part of a promotion from the Ocean Spray Company in the 1960s.

Since vodka was increasing in popularity, Ocean Spray saw it as an opportunity to flourish. Ocean Spray and other cranberry companies were eager to bring cranberry juice back in popularity because in 1959, the US Department of Health issued a statement about the tainting of cranberry crops with toxic herbicides.

By the 1980s, the Sea Breeze was randomly in the top 10 most popular mixed drinks, along with other similar cocktails like the Bay Breeze and the Cape Cod. Those are worth a taste as well and perhaps a beach bar tasting is in order the next time you find yourself luxuriating along the sandy shores miles away from your troubles.

While they are indeed very similar and each contain vodka and cranberry juice, there are seemingly subtle differences between them that you can noticeably taste. To make a Sea Breeze properly by today’s standards, you need to mix 1.5 ounces of vodka with 3 ounces each of cranberry juice and grapefruit juice. You can pour it into an awaiting highball glass filled with ice and garnish it with a lime wedge, or you can shake it up for that jazzy frothiness, whatever brings you more pleasure.

The Bay Breeze uses the same measurements for the vodka as well as the cranberry juice, but instead of grapefruit juice, it uses 3 ounces of pineapple juice. It’s also garnished with a wedge of lime. The Cape Cod merely uses 1.5 ounces of vodka and 5 ounces of cranberry juice with a lime wedge thrown on for good measure.

It’s believed the Sea Breeze inspired the other two cocktails, though no one can truly say for certain. We like that though because it adds to the charming mystique of the cocktail, one as alluring as the siren songs found deep at sea.


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The Cocktails Portal: Sea Breeze
Sea Breeze
The Cocktails Portal
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