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Sea Breeze Highball Recipe

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The Sea Breeze sounds like something you’d expect to find at a beach bar, but interestingly enough that’s not how the drink got its name. Read on to find out more. 

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sea breeze

What is a Sea Breeze ?

Sea Breeze is basically a twist on the vodka-cranberry, but also features some grapefruit juice to change things up. This is an older cocktail but the version we know today is largely due to a marketing campaign by Ocean Spray, meant to push their cranberry products. A cocktail named Sea Breeze was touted by them as excellent when made with their signature Ocean Spray cranberry juice, and it’s been the de-factor cranberry option ever since. You can guess how the drink name derived from the company’s own name. 

Since Sea Breeze is similar to the classic vodka-cranberry, it naturally gained a lot of popularity. I think the addition of grapefruit juice is a nice touch, since I think just cranberry by itself can be a bit too tart. The citrus in grapefruit works well here. 

sea breeze 2

Sea Breeze Cocktail Recipe

Ioana Ciuraru
A sibling of the Cape Codder and Bay Breeze.
Prep Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Servings 1


  • 1.5 oz vodka
  • 3 oz cranberry juice
  • 1.5 oz grapefruit juice
  • lime or grapefruit for garnish


  • Build in a Collins glass, half-filled with ice.
  • Stir a few times, add garnish.


  • Bottled cranberry juice is the preferred choice, as this recipe dates back to Ocean Spray's cranberry campaign in the '60s.

When is this drink best ?

Sea Breeze is great whenever you want to have a highball, and also want to enjoy some cranberry. I think this works just fine as a dinner drink, club drink, or even lunch drink. The cranberry in it makes me think of Thanksgiving and dried leaves, but the name makes me think of a body of water. So perhaps this could be a great highball to serve at a lakeside party ?

My thoughts on Sea Breeze

I found the Sea Breeze very similar to a vodka cranberry, despite the added grapefruit. Perhaps a 50/50 would change the flavor more. I could still taste the grapefruit, I just wish it was more noticeable since I very much love grapefruit juice. 

Seeing as this is a vodka drink, the alcohol easily blends into the mixer and this makes it very easy to sip on throughout the night. Was it my favorite drink ? No, but it’s definitely one I wouldn’t send back if someone got my order wrong.  

sea breeze making

If you like Sea Breeze, you might also like…

Cape Codder – the classic vodka cranberry

Cosmopolitan – a cranberry-vodka-lime sour

Bay Breeze – like the Sea Breeze, but with rum and sweeter

Notes, substitutes, and tips

Normally you build this in the glass, but you can shake it just as well and then strain it into the ice-filled glass.

Even if you get fresh grapefruit juice, the cranberry juice absolutely needs to be store-bought to get a good flavor, and a very good color too. 

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