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The Madras cocktail is a delightful and fruity beverage that’s easy to make. What sets the Madras apart is its perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess, creating a cocktail that appeals to a wide range of palates. With its bright, ruby-red hue, the Madras not only looks visually appealing but also promises a burst of refreshing flavors with every gulp. The sweetness from the cranberry juice is complemented by the citrusy notes of the orange juice, while the vodka adds a subtle kick, making it a well-rounded and enjoyable drink.

tropical juice madras cocktail served on a dark bar setting garnished with a lime wedge

Ideal for various occasions, the Madras cocktail is a versatile choice that suits brunch gatherings, daytime celebrations, or evening soirees. Its simplicity is its charm – you can effortlessly whip up this cocktail in just a few minutes, using ingredients readily available at your local grocery store. Whether you’re an experienced bartender or a novice mixologist, mastering the Madras is a breeze, and it’s a surefire way to impress your guests.


The Madras Cocktail, also known as the Vodka Madras, is a simple and refreshing drink that has been enjoyed for decades. The cocktail is believed to have originated in the United States in the 1980s. 

The Madras Cocktail is a variation of the Cape Codder, which is made with vodka and cranberry juice. In the Madras, orange juice is added to the mix, giving the drink a more citrusy flavor. The orange juice also helps to cut the tartness of the cranberry juice.

Despite its name, the Madras Cocktail has no connection to the city of Madras, now known as Chennai, in India. The drink is simply named after the city, possibly as a nod to the popularity of Indian cuisine in the United States during the 1980s.

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How to Make It

tropical juice madras cocktail served on a dark bar setting garnished with a lime wedge


Yield: 1
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes


  • 1 ½ oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Orange juice
  • 3-4 oz Cranberry juice
  • Lime wedge or orange slice (for garnish)
  • Optional: Simple syrup or sugar (for sweetness)


  1. Fill a highball glass with ice.

  2. Pour vodka into the glass.

  3. Add orange juice to the glass.

  4. Top it off with cranberry juice.

  5. Stir gently to combine the ingredients.

  6. Garnish the cocktail with a lime wedge or orange slice on the rim of the glass.

  7. Optional: Add a splash of simple syrup or sugar for sweetness, or use unsweetened cranberry juice for a tangy flavor.

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If you want to mix things up with your Madras cocktail, there are plenty of variations to try. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Bay Breeze

Swap out the orange juice in your Madras for pineapple juice to create a Bay Breeze. This variation is perfect for those who want a more tropical taste.

Sea Breeze

For a more tart and refreshing cocktail, add grapefruit juice to your Madras to create a Sea Breeze. This variation is perfect for those who enjoy a citrus flavor in their drinks.


The Madras has some similarities to a Cosmopolitan, which is made with vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice, and triple sec. If you want a more sophisticated version of a Madras, try making a Cosmopolitan instead.

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Party Punch

If you’re making a batch of cocktails for a party, consider making a Madras punch. Simply mix together vodka, cranberry juice, orange juice, and a splash of lemon-lime soda for a fruity cocktail that everyone will love.


For a brunch-friendly version of a Madras, swap out the vodka for champagne to create a Madras Mimosa. This variation is perfect for those who want a sweeter, bubbly drink.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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