Lots Of Sea Breeze Recipes Blowing In The Wind
The Seabreeze cocktail is a three ingredient drink made with vodka, cranberry juice and grapefruit juice. At least the modern version is and its that mixture that is used in today’s International Bartender’s Association Official cocktail recipe.
This cocktail originated in the 1920s and has gone through significant changes along the way to become a completely different drink. Starting out as a gin based punch in a 1922 citation, the Savoy Cocktail Book then lists their Sea Breeze Cooler as gin, apricot brandy, grenadine and lemon juice in 1930.
In Classic Summer Cocktails (2001), Salvatore Calabreze describes a Seabreeze recipe which came later containing vodka, dry vermouth, Galliano and blue Curacao. We have been unable to find any other references to that version as of this writing.
However, both the Titanic and the Gale At Sea are prepared using those same four ingredients and the recipes are identical as well. Origins unknown. Several others were found too with different names and different recipes, but the information was inconsistent, seemed questionable and couldn’t be corroborated so they have been omitted. Used a combination name for the recipe since there seems to be no agreed upon standard.
Cranberries In The Breeze Brings About A Sea Change
At least you can see a progression with Planter’s Punch as its recipe evolves that sort of makes some sense. Not so here, until you know a little bit more history about the Seabreeze and cranberries in particular.
In 1959, the U.S. Department of Health warned that parts of the cranberry crop had been tainted with dangerous herbicides which caused the industry to collapse as consumer demand plummeted among the fears. Seeking to recover and diversify the uses for cranberries, Ocean Spray, which started as the grower’s cooperative, launched a blend of cranberry juice and vodka they bottled and sold as “Sea Breeze.” This eventually became the modern classic most people know and love once grapefruit juice was added to the mix as a cocktail recipe.
Timeline - The Evolution Of Seabreeze Cocktail Drinks
Sea Breeze Punch (1922*):
- 1 1/2 oz gin
- 1 1/2 oz pineapple syrup
- 1 oz grape juice
- 1 oz orange juice
- 1-2 oz soda water
Fill soda glass 1/3 full of fine ice. Add ingredients and mix. Decorate with a slice of pineapple and a cherry.
Sea Breeze Cooler Drink Recipe (1930):
- 1 3/8 oz Dry Gin
- 1 3/8 oz Apricot Brandy
- 3/4 oz lemon juice
- 2 dashes Grenadine
- 1 lump of ice
Use a long tumbler and fill with soda water. Garnish with 2 sprigs of fresh mint on top.
Seagram Seabreeze Drink (1953†):
- 1 jigger Seagram’s Ancient Bottle Gin
Pour gin into cocktail glass filled with ice. Add tonic water.
Titanic - Gale At Sea (breeze) - ????:
- 1 1/2 oz vodka
- 1/2 oz dry vermouth
- 1/2 oz blue Curacao liqueur
- 1/2 oz Galliano herbal liqueur
Fill a shaker half full with ice cubes. Pour in all the ingredients and shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass and serve.
Tropico Sea Breeze (19631):
- 3-4 oz bottled Ocean Spray cranberry juice & Don Cossack vodka mixture
Add to cocktail glass and enjoy on the rocks.
Seabreeze Cocktail Drink Recipe (modern & IBA Official):
- 1 1/3 oz vodka
- 4 oz cranberry juice
- 1 oz grapefruit juice
Build all ingredients in a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.
So, Its Official Then, Right?
Well, not quite and maybe not ever.
There are at least two rum based seabreezes blowing in the wind. Both are completely different recipes from those listed above and from each other for than matter. Guess the name stirs up fond memories that drink creators want to associate with.
Behind The Bar
The modern Seabreeze cocktail is an easy recipe every home bar owner should have in their arsenal. Its a great summer time drink to add on to your menu from time to time and perfect for brunch year round.
Drinks Similar To The Seabreeze Official Recipe:
- Bay Breeze - vodka, cranberry and pineapple juice
- Cape Cod - vodka and cranberry juice; Codder adds lime juice; Cooler adds club soda.
- Greyhound - vodka and grapefruit juice.
- Sex On The Beach - Cape Cod plus peach schnapps & orange juice.
* - Practical druggist and pharmaceutical review of reviews - Page 54 by Benjamin Lillard in 1922‡
† - Look Magazine: Volume 21, Part 2 in 1953‡
‡ - Seabreeze by David Herpin
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