Have you ever heard of a Madras? This beauty is my new favorite cocktail. Technically speaking, a Madras is similar to a Sea Breeze. Some call them cousins. Both are made with vodka and cranberry juice. But where a Sea Breeze includes grapefruit juice, a Madras substitutes orange juice. As I dabble with mixology and learn the history of specialty drinks, I’m always surprised that making one small change in an existing drink can create a completely new cocktail.
The most significant ingredient in the Madras cocktail is cranberry juice. Bartenders began using cranberry juice in cocktails after the Cranberry Grower’s Cooperative evolved into Ocean Spray, which began heavily marketing cranberry juice in the 1950s. Cranberry juice first was used as a mixer for gin, and later with vodka. The Harpoon (later called the Cape Codder) was born, and its descendants included the Greyhound, the Salty Dog, the Bay Breeze, and the Sea Breeze.
I like to add freshly squeezed lime juice to my Madras, which keeps it light and a bit more tart than sweet. Garnished with a sugared rim and edible flowers (you can find them in the grocery store refrigerated vegetable section), a Madras can be an elegant drink and a great one to try this Fall.
- 2 ounces vodka
- 3 ounces cranberry juice
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- raw sugar, for garnish
- edible flowers, for garnish
- crushed ice
- Step 1 Place a good amount of raw sugar on a small plate. Use a lime wedge to moisten the rim of a lowball glass. Dip the glass in the sugar to coat. Add a good amount of crushed ice to the glass. Set aside.
- Step 2 Using a cocktail shaker add the vodka, cranberry juice, orange juice and lime juice. Shake vigorously for about 15 seconds.
- Step 3 Strain into the prepared glass and garnish with edible flowers.