Cape Codder Cocktail with lime and ice. Cranberry and vodka alcohol Cape Codder Cocktail
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Cape Codder Cocktail

Many people don’t order this drink by its name at the bar and instead ask for a Vodka Cranberry. Let’s talk about this popular drink that many don’t know the name of. 

About & History

This drink gets its name from the peninsula in Massachusetts. Cape Cod is known for cranberries. The entire state of Massachusetts is second only to Michigan in cranberry production.

You can tour the cranberry bogs on Cape Cod and even witness the harvest if you visit from mid-September to early November. Dry harvesting is when machines comb the berries off of the vines. Farmers sell these cranberries as fresh fruit that you can use for baking.

Wet harvesting is when the cranberry vines float in the bog until they are naturally dislodged. Over 90% of cranberries are wet harvested. Manufacturers use these berries to make dried fruit, sauce, and juices.

Though known for cranberry production, Cape Cod is also a resort location popular with celebrities. Nearby islands include the upscale Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, which you can get to by taking a ferry.


This cocktail is as straightforward as its basic name. All you need is vodka and cranberry juice. Since you won’t need a shaker filled with ice to mix this drink, you might want to keep your cranberry juice chilled.

This will also prevent you from using too much ice to cool your drink. Melting ice will dilute the flavor of the Cape Codder since it’s only made with two main ingredients.

You can elevate your drink by adding a lime wedge as garnish. You can also squeeze the lime into the drink because the citrus will add depth to the Cape Codder’s flavor.

  • 1 ½ ounce of vodka
  • about ½ ounce of cranberry juice
  • Garnish: lime wedge

The beauty of this mixed drink is that any decent vodka will do. A top-shelf brand will certainly make a delicious drink, but using an average vodka will still produce a great cocktail. The key to this beverage is the way the alcohol mixes with the tart cranberry juice.

Directions to Make

  1. Put a few cubes of ice in a highball glass. Pour the vodka over the ice.
  2. Add in the cranberry juice and stir to combine the ingredients. Since this drink is so simple, you can add cranberry juice pour by pour, tasting it as you mix. You can add just a hint of cranberry juice for color, or add enough to give your drink a kick.
  3. Squeeze the lime wedge into your drink and then place it on the rim. You can also drop it into the glass to continually add flavor to your Cape Codder.

Variations of the Cape Codder include other nautical, vodka-based drinks like the Sea Breeze and the Bay Breeze. The Sea Breeze includes the vodka and cranberry juice from the Cape Codder and adds a splash of grapefruit juice.

The Bay Breeze is even more tropical, combining vodka, cranberry juice, and pineapple juice. You can spice up any of these coastal drinks by using a fruit garnish. The right fruit can highlight the tastes in the drink or add something unique to the flavor profile.

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