The Best Memorial Day Weekend Cocktail Is Sea Breeze

It’s the official start of summer. And while we’re not quite ready to announce our official summer cocktail, we are ready to party. As it’s going to be a party weekend with backyard barbecues coast to coast, the Uproxx team thought it was time to pull out a real classic cocktail for the festivities. This is one that’s super easy to make, you can mix it up, and… well, it’s summer in a glass.

We are talking about the Sea Breeze!

Although it sounds very 1980s, the drink dates back to the 1930s. The original Sea Breeze was more of a gin cooler with a lot more sugar and a bit of mint. When the drink came back into people’s consciousness in the 1960s, it had become a cranberry-based citrus highball that was all about refreshing tartness. By the 1980s (the age of the wine cellar) it was huge again, then faded…again.

Now it’s time for a resurgence because this drink rules. The best part is that it’s really easy to do. You can get all the ingredients easily. Plus, you really don’t need much prep – you can do this one quickly and on the go. Let’s mix!

Also Read: The Five Best Cocktail Recipes of the Last Six Months

Sea breeze

Zach Johnson


  • 1.5oz. vodka
  • 1.5oz. fresh grapefruit juice
  • 3 oz. cranberry juice
  • Lime slice
  • Ice

As I mentioned above, you don’t need to worry about the ingredients here. I used a small leftover grapefruit and leftover cranberry juice from another cocktail I was making. Any decent vodka will do here as you use huge flavorful ingredients on top of the base alcohol. The only thing you really want to make sure is that you have fresh lime and grapefruit.

One thing that could make or break this for you is the type of cranberry juice you get. I like the unsweetened type because it adds citrus acidity. It has a bite to it and I get a lot of sweetness from the grapefruit (a very high sugar citrus fruit). That said, it’s not a very sweet drink that way. Standard cranberry juice from any grocery store will be very sweet. So figure out what you like and go for it.

Sea breeze
Zach Johnson

What you will need:

  • Collins glass
  • paring knife
  • Jigging
  • Straw
Sea breeze
Zach Johnson


  • Fill the Collins glass with ice.
  • Add the vodka, grapefruit juice and cranberry juice and stir lightly with the straw to incorporate.
  • Squeeze the lime wedge over the drink and drop it in. Serve

Conclusion :

Sea breeze
Zach Johnson

I mean, it should be pretty obvious that it’s refreshing as f*ck. It’s fruit juice, citrus and vodka with a hint of lime. It’s like a cool breeze on a hot day in all the best ways.

I like the tartness of unsweetened cranberry juice (I can also drink gallons of Berliner Weisse and Belgian Lambic). But I also fully appreciate that pie is not everyone’s friend. Yet this is the very definition of top-down refresh.

Finally, if you want to bundle this up for any hubbub you might host or attend this weekend, just grab a bottle of vodka. It’s 25 ounces, which will make 16 servings. The recipe therefore becomes:

  • 1 bottle of vodka
  • 25 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
  • 50 ounces cranberry juice
  • 16 lime wedges
  • Ice bag (pour batch over fresh ice in a glass/mug)

Have fun there!

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