If the Cosmo is the little black dress of the vodka-cranberry cocktail world, the Sea Breeze is its bikini equivalent. This totally tart, vodka-based drink brings together cranberry juice and grapefruit juice in a visually stunning way. Notice the glitz, the glamour, and the glory of the muted red crimson hue accented with a pale green lime wedge is: It looks good and is oh-so-refreshing. Plus, that color combo makes this drink a total winner for holiday cocktail parties–especially for brunch.
Note: The Sea Breeze should not be confused with a Bay Breeze cocktail. The ladder swaps in pineapple juice in place of the cranberry juice. (And you can always leave out the vodka altogether for a juicy mocktail that will quench your thirst on a hot summer’s day.)
This Sea Breeze is said to have come into being around the 1920s or 1930s at the height of Prohibition. But what we know as a Sea Breeze today wasn’t always made with this exact recipe. According to Salvator Calbreze, author of Classic Cocktails, it was originally made with a potent combination of gin instead of vodka, plus apricot, brandy, grenadine, and lemon juice. A couple of decades later, he writes, it got a makeover once again, this time with vodka, vermouth, Galliano, and blue Curaçao. (We love a cocktail that has such a deeply delicious history!)
While its previous iterations are enticing, we have to say that we love the simplicity of the modern-day iteration. It’s easy to find all of the ingredients and it doesn’t cost a fortune to make. —Kelly Vaughan