This Madras Cocktail recipe is a delicious drink that brings together the zing of cranberry juice, the sweetness of orange juice, and the smoothness of vodka. 

Close up of a madras cocktail with dried citrus garnish.

Looking for the perfect Madras drink recipe?

This classic cocktail is a simple concoction of vodka, tart cranberry juice, orange juice, lime juice, and simple syrup. It's the perfect easy drink for social gatherings and relaxing by the pool. 

The Madras cocktail is a vibrant and refreshing drink that's both simple and delicious. It typically consists of vodka, cranberry juice, and orange juice, creating a fruity blend of sweet and tangy flavors. The bright red color of the cranberry juice makes it visually appealing, and the combination of sweet orange juice and lime juice gives it a tropical and summery vibe. It's like a mix between a vanilla sea breeze cocktail and a painkiller cocktail.

What Is a Madras Cocktail?

Emerging in the 1970s, the Madras Cocktail became popular during the cranberry juice craze and hasn't left since. It's a fruity drink that puts a fun spin on your typical cocktail recipes

Bright and colorful madras cocktail.

What you'll love about this recipe:


  • SIMPLE - This simple cocktail only requires 5 ingredients, perfect for quickly whipping up on a moment's notice.
  • REFRESHING - The fresh orange juice and fresh cranberry juice create a refreshing drink to cool you down on a hot summer day.

What You Need to Make a Madras Cocktail

  • Vodka – use any brand of vodka you like. 
  • Cranberry juice – slightly sweet and sour. 
  • Orange juice – Adds a citrusy flavor. Use store-bought or fresh-squeezed orange juice. 
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice – adds a tart flavor to the cocktail.
  • Simple syrup – adjust according to sweetness preference.
  • Dehydrated orange slice for garnish
  • Ice cubes

How to Make This Madras Drink

  • Prepare Ice: Fill a highball glass with ice cubes to chill the glass.
  • Build the Cocktail: In the chilled glass, add the vodka.
  • Add Cranberry Juice: Pour in the cranberry juice over the vodka.
  • Add Orange Juice: Add the orange juice to the mix. This adds a sweet and citrusy balance to the cocktail.
  • Fresh Lime Juice: Squeeze the juice of half a lime (approximately ½ oz) into the glass for a burst of citrus freshness.
  • Simple Syrup: Add the simple syrup to the mix. Adjust the amount based on your preferred level of sweetness.
  • Stir Gently: Use a bar spoon or stirring stick to mix the ingredients gently. This ensures all the flavors are well combined.
  • Garnish with Dehydrated Orange Slice: Float a dehydrated orange slice on the surface of the cocktail for a visually appealing garnish. This adds a touch of elegance and a hint of concentrated orange flavor.

Expert Recipe Tips


  • Dehydrated Orange Slice: To make dehydrated orange slices, thinly slice an orange and dehydrate the slices until they are dried and slightly crispy. This can be done using a dehydrator or in a low-temperature oven.
  • Simple Syrup Adjustment: Taste the cocktail before adding the garnish and adjust the sweetness by adding more or less simple syrup to suit your taste.
  • Presentation: Place the dehydrated orange slice carefully on the rim of the glass or let it float on the surface for an eye-catching presentation.
  • Fizz: If you want to add some bubbles, add a splash of club soda. 
Side shot of a layered Madras cocktail in a highball glass.

How to serve this cocktail

Serve in a tall glass with a dehydrated orange wedge dropped into the cocktail. 

If you're looking for a fun spin on a vodka cranberry, aka a Cape Codder, then you'll love this Madras Cocktail recipe. If you try this recipe, please rate the recipe card and leave a comment down below to help out the next reader! 

📖 Recipe

Close up of a dried orange slide atop an icy cold madras cocktail.

Madras Cocktail

Experience a burst of tropical flavors with the Madras cocktail, a vibrant mix of vodka, cranberry juice, and orange juice that brings a refreshing and fruity twist to your glass.
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Cocktail Recipes
American
Author: Kita
5 minutes
Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ oz vodka
  • 3 oz cranberry juice
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • ½ oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup - adjust according to sweetness preference
  • Dehydrated orange slice for garnish
  • Ice cubes

Instructions

  • Prepare Ice: Fill a highball glass with ice cubes to chill the glass.
  • Build the Cocktail: In the chilled glass, add the vodka.
  • Add Cranberry Juice: Pour in the cranberry juice over the vodka.
  • Add Orange Juice: Add the orange juice to the mix. This adds a sweet and citrusy balance to the cocktail.
  • Fresh Lime Juice: Squeeze the juice of half a lime (approximately ½ oz) into the glass for a burst of citrus freshness.
  • Simple Syrup: Add the simple syrup to the mix. Adjust the amount based on your preferred level of sweetness.
  • Stir Gently: Use a bar spoon or stirring stick to gently mix the ingredients. This ensures all the flavors are well combined.
  • Garnish with Dehydrated Orange Slice: Float a dehydrated orange slice on the surface of the cocktail for a visually appealing garnish. This adds a touch of elegance and a hint of concentrated orange flavor.

Notes

  • Dehydrated Orange Slice: To make dehydrated orange slices, thinly slice an orange and dehydrate the slices until they are dried and slightly crispy. This can be done using a dehydrator or in a low-temperature oven.
  • Simple Syrup Adjustment: Taste the cocktail before adding the garnish and adjust the sweetness by adding more or less simple syrup to suit your taste.
  • Presentation: Place the dehydrated orange slice carefully on the rim of the glass or let it float on the surface for an eye-catching presentation.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.02g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 148mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 102IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional informations provided as a courtesy and is only an approximatation. Values will changes based on ingredients used.

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Recipe FAQs

Nope! Just pour all your ingredients into a chilled cocktail glass, and you're done!

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