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
- 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 ounce 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.