Madras Cocktail

I mentioned on Monday that vodka is one of the most versatile — if not the most versatile — spirits. There are tons of vodka-based cocktail recipes out there. A Google search should confirm that.

In bartending school, we had to learn the most-ordered recipes for our big test, especially because a lot of the drinks are very similar. If you work in a bar and you substitute one ingredient, chances are good you made another drink entirely. And your customer — who knows what they like enough to call it by name — might not be happy. Go people-watch at Starbucks for a few hours and you’ll know what I mean.

The Madras, a classic vodka cocktail for summertime // Feast + West

One of the sets I always get confused is in the vodka family. It all starts with the Cape Codder, which is made with vodka and cranberry juice. A classic with a thousand (or so it seems) spin-offs. It’s like the CSI of cocktails.

There’s the Sea Breeze, which is vodka, cranberry juice and grapefruit juice.
There’s the Bay Breeze, which is vodka, cranberry juice and pineapple juice.
There’s the Madras, which is vodka, cranberry juice and orange juice.

It gets even crazier:

There’s the Rose Kennedy cocktail which is a Cape Codder with club soda.
There’s the Cosmopolitan, which is vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice and triple sec.
And there’s the Sex on the Beach, which is vodka, cranberry juice, orange juice and schnapps.

Surely you can see why all of that is confusing, right? I forgive you if you get them wrong too.

The Madras, a classic vodka cocktail for summertime // Feast + West

The Cape Codder is such a classic, (Come on, who hasn’t ordered a vodka-cranberry before?) so I thought I’d focus on one of those spin-offs instead of the classic today. The Madras cocktail is like the CSI: Miami of the group — AKA the best of them all. I love the citrus kick amid the tart cranberry, but I still find it sweet and refreshing. I encourage you to try its sisters and decide which one you like best for yourself. // susannah

Click below for the Madras recipe!

The Madras, a classic vodka cocktail for summertime // Feast + West

The Madras, a classic vodka cocktail for summertime // Feast + West

The Madras Cocktail

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This vodka cocktail is a classic. It's the picture of sunshine.


  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 3 ounces cranberry juice
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • orange slice


  1. Fill a rocks glass with ice. Add vodka and cranberry juice. Stir. Top with orange juice. Garnish with an orange slice.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 cocktail
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 159Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 1g

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  1. Anne says

    I’m obsessed with the colors of everyone’s drinks! I love looking at them and then subbing out the alcohol for water (because um, not at drinking age yet). Especially this one… I love the ombre —so mesmerizing!

    • Susannah says

      Oh, I love that, Anne! I like making mocktails too. I wouldn’t necessarily sub water for the alcohol, though. You might dilute the flavor too much. I am overdue for a round-up of mocktail recipes — I’ll remedy that soon! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog and taking the time to read it and leave a comment, by the way!

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