A simple vodka, cranberry and orange juice highball, Madras sounds like it has a very complex recipe. In truth this is very easy to make and can easily be made in large batches if you’re having a gathering.
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What is Madras?
Madras is a vodka and cranberry highball, with a splash of orange juice as well. It’s one of the simplest vodka drinks, and it’s very easy to make. The recipe is made with plain vodka, and this allows the cranberry to really shine. You can use flavored vodka if you want to add more flavor, or feel like experimenting.
Madras Cocktail Recipe
A riff on the classic vodka cranberry.
- 1.5 oz vodka
- 3 oz cranberry juice
- 1 oz orange juice
- Build in ice-filled glass (highball)
Try to get fresh orange juice, it will add some life into the drink.
When is this drink best ?
The Madras is a great summer cocktail, and I think it works especially well in brunch and lunch settings when you may want a glass of fruit juice with your meal. In the same vein as a Mimosa, the madras can go with any casual or semi-formal setting. It could be a day out with the girls, it could be a lazy Saturday by the pool, it could be a drink at home while watching a movie, anything you like.
My thoughts on Madras
I liked the Madras, it had a nice blend of OJ and cranberry juice. Even in such a small amount (3 times less than cranberry juice) the orange juice was very noticeable and brought a nice fresh fruit note to this whole drink. The cranberry juice I used came in a carton, and it was quite sour but had a sweet note at the end that went well with the orange juice.
Vodka is very simple and plain, it’s easy to hide in fruit juice so I didn’t notice a flavor but I did feel a slight alcohol burn. Overall I found Madras to be a very nice blend between a Screwdriver and a Cape Codder.
If you like Madras, you might also like…
Screwdriver – vodka and orange juice
Cape Codder – vodka and cranberry juice
Sea Breeze – vodka, cranberry, and grapefruit juice
Blood Orange Martini – a vodka Martini with blood orange juice
Brass Monkey – a Screwdriver with added dark rum
Notes, substitutes, and tips
Most of the time you’ll be using carton cranberry juice, and that’s perfectly fine. But try to use fresh orange juice, for two reasons. First, carton OJ tends to have a bitter aftertaste, and second the freshly squeezed orange juice beings much-needed acidity and life into this drink.
If you want to use a flavored vodka, I suggest you aim for the citrus versions (lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, what have you). Those seem to work best with most vodka cocktails, including this one.