Cape Codder

Cape Codder

Once in a while, and it doesn’t happen very often, the best things are also surprisingly easy. Like when your guests want a juicy cocktail that’s refreshing and you, the home bartender, are looking for something quick and simple to make. The Cape Codder fills the bill. It’s a combination of Vodka and Cranberry juice served in a Highball fashion. Unlike the classic Highball’s 4:1 – 6:1 ratio of mixer to liquor though, the Cape Codder runs a slightly stiffer 4:2 – 5:2. That is, four parts Cranberry, the Cape Codder’s mixer, to two parts Vodka, the drink’s only liquor. 

Cape Codder Recipe

Collins Glass
  • 2 oz Vodka (I used Kettle One)
  • 4 – 5 oz Cranberry Juice to taste (use 100% Cranberry juice, not Cranberry Juice Cocktail which is mostly sugar)
  • Lime wedge or wheel for garnish

Like any highball, the drink should be mixed in the glass. Fill the glass about 2/3rds of the way with ice. Pour in the Vodka and follow up with the Cranberry. Use a bar spoon to gently stir. Garnish with the lime wedge or wheel after giving it a slight squeeze to coat the top of the drink with lime juice..


If you want to do it the way they make this drink in bars, don’t measure the Cranberry Juice. Just fill the rest of the glass with the juice after putting the ice in the glass and adding the measured Vodka.

A word about Cranberry Juice. Most of the stuff you find at the store is a mix of multiple fruits or Cranberry combined with corn syrup. If the mix is with multiple fruits and is otherwise unadulterated, go for it. It may taste a little different from this recipe, but it’ll probably be great. If it’s the Cranberry Juice Cocktail variety with added sweetener, you will probably need to increase the Vodka to compensate for all the added sweetness. Or, better yet, just mix a different drink.

An easy variation of the Cape Codder is the Madras. To make the Madras, replace one once of the Cranberry Juice with 1 oz of Orange Juice. This results in a 3:1:2 ratio of the Cranberry, Orange and Vodka, respectively. Also delicious.

Why You’ll Like the Cape Codder

A super easy drink to make that’s a crowd pleaser. Especially for those occasions that call for a lower alcohol drink or those guests that like their cocktails on the lighter side.

Negroni Sbagliato Redux

Negroni Sbagliato

We mentioned the Negroni Sbagliato as a not too well known variation of the classic Negroni in our post about that cocktail a while back. The additional term, Sbagliato, which means mistaken, erroneous or just plain wrong, is used to describe a variant of the Negroni which is not, actually, a Negroni at all, but something else – a cocktail of its own that’s sorta like a Negroni. The classic Negroni uses a 1:1:1 ratio of Gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. The Sbagliato variation replaces the Gin with Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine) using the same ratio. Other than the fact that they are both dominated by the taste of Campari, each drink goes down in its own, unique way.

I’m not a Campari fan and I’m not a fan of the Negroni. Campari is one of those love it or hate it things and I’m not on the love it side of this one. As you’d expect, I don’t like the standard Negroni Sbagliato any more than the Negroni. If the Gin in the standard Negroni can’t overcome my dislike of Campari, it’s unlikely that sparkling wine ever will. 

Never one to give up, I replaced the Campari with Aperol in the drink to give it a spin. Campari and Aperol are both Italian aperitivos and both are made by the same company. That’s where their similarities end. Campari is bolder, more bitter and has twice the alcohol of Aperol. It also has a richer ruby color as well. Aperol is a bit lighter tasting and has more sugar. While it’s hardly sweet, the lower alcohol content, less bitter taste and more sugar make it a much nicer mixer when you’re going for a bitter taste that’s not overwhelming. As it turns out, the switch of Aperol for Campari in the Negroni Sbagliato works great and creates an excellent drink. It’s a light aperitif that’s perfect before any meal. It’s light enough to have almost any time.

The Negroni Sbagliato Redux

Mixing GlassRocks Glass
  • 1 oz Aperol
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth (I used Carpano Antica)
  • 1 oz Prosecco
  • Orange slice for garnish

Add ice to a mixing glass then measure and pour the Aperol and Sweet Vermouth into the glass. Stir until very cold. Add more ice to the rocks glass and pour the Aperol/Vermouth over the ice. Add the previously chilled Prosecco to the rocks glass and stir the glass once or twice to mix. Try not to release too much of the carbonation from the Prosecco. Garnish with an orange slice or peel.

Keep Calm and Drink Negroni Sbagliato

Why You’ll Like the Negroni Sbagliato Redux

It’s a light, appropriately and reasonably bitter drink that’s perfect as an aperitif or anytime you or your guests want something that’s refreshing, but bold.


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