Cape Cod: The Popular Vodka and Cranberry Drink

Cape Codder Cocktail - Vodka and Cranberry Mixed Drink
It's simple, true. Yet the Cape Cod never lets you down when all you want is a tall, refreshing mixed drink. Photo: S&C Design Studios
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The Cape Cod (or Cape Codder) is one of the easiest mixed drinks that you will find. There is no mystery to it and nothing special about it: it is quite simply vodka and cranberry. Despite its simplicity, it is a great tasting drink and a perfect choice for happy hour or anytime you simply want a fruity, refreshing cocktail.

This is one of those easy vodka cocktails that is a good everyday drink. It is reliable and one that you can mix up in minutes. It is also a popular drink and one that you can order at any bar, though it may be just as easy to say, "I'll have a vodka-cranberry."

This is also one of the few times that the ingredients (particularly the vodka) do not really matter. Cranberry juice has a heavy flavor and it will disguise almost any impurities that are in the vodka, so go ahead and use the budget-friendly brands. The fact that it's a cheap drink to make at home is just one more benefit to the Cape Cod.

What You'll Need

How to Make It

  1. Pour the ingredients into a highball glass with ice cubes.
  2. Stir well.
  3. Squeeze the juice from the lime wedge into the drink and drop it into the glass.

Tip: If you want to spritz up the Cape Cod, simply add a splash of your favorite clear soda. Ginger ale is a perfect choice.

How Strong is the Cape Cod?

As with any highball mixed drink, you can make the Cape Cod as strong or weak as you like. It's as simple as pouring more or less of either of the two ingredients.

If, however, you pour the drink according to the recipe above and use an 80-proof vodka, your Cape Cod will be right around 14% ABV (28 proof). That's a little stronger than the average glass of wine.

More Vodka-Cranberry Cocktails

Vodka and cranberry are a popular combination and it's a match made in bartending heaven. The two ingredients make an appearance together in a number of cocktails, which also lends to the Cape Cod's budget friendliness.

If you can make a Cape Cod from your bar stock, it's likely that you can also make any of these drinks. They may require an additional ingredient or two, but as long as you have vodka and cranberry juice, you're halfway there.

  • Cosmopolitan - Without a doubt, the Cosmo is the most popular vodka-cranberry martini around. It's a simple way to enjoy the duo in a fancier form and you can sweeten it as much as you like with the juice. All you need to add to the mix is an orange liqueur and a touch of lime.
  • Crantini - This 'up' drink combines the easy of the Cape Cod with the style of the Cosmopolitan. It returns to that simple two-ingredient recipe we love in the highball, though it shakes things up and is served in a cocktail glass.
  • Jolly Rancher - A very fun rendition of the Cape Cod, here we return to the refreshing spiked juice combo on the rocks. This time, however, you'll choose your favorite apple vodka and toss in a little peach schnapps to make it taste like the famous candy.
  • Woo Woo - If you love that peach-cranberry combination in the Jolly Rancher, you'll love the Woo Woo. It traditionally returns to a clear vodka, but use the flavor of your choice. You can also serve this fun cocktail 'up' in a cocktail glass, on the rocks, or as a party shot.
  • Purple Haze - A fun and simple twist on the Cape Cod, you simply need to add a splash of black raspberry liqueur to the mix to create the cranberry version of the Purple Haze. Chambord's the most likely liqueur, but there are other options available as well.

More Vodka and Juice Drinks

Mixed drinks like the Cape Cod fall into two classifications: duos and trios. These terms are used to define simple liquor and juice drinks that are served either tall or short over ice. 'Duos' refer to two ingredients: liquor and one fruit juice. 'Trios' include three ingredients: liquor and two fruit juices.

Among the duos and trios of the bartending world, vodka makes the biggest splash. It is, after all, the most mixable liquor in the bar and with all this juice, it can easily get lost in the mix. This adds to its appeal for many drinkers.

If you add just one more juice to the Cape Cod, a number of equally popular mixed drinks are born. Knowing these is a fantastic way to spice up your routine with no extra effort, so they are worth filing into your memory bank.

  • Sea Breeze - The 'sea' comes from the addition of grapefruit juice. Think tropical breezes on the beach when remembering this one.
  • Bay Breeze - In the 'bay' we're thinking about pineapple juice. Place this one in your memory by recalling a calm cove on a tropical island.
  • Madras - Orange juice makes the splash in this popular drink. To remember it, simply think of the mandarin orange.

You can also use Blavod, a black vodka, to turn the Cape Cod into a Halloween-worthy cocktail called the Black Widow.