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The Sea Breeze is a cocktail blending vodka, cranberry juice, and grapefruit juice.
The origins of the Sea Breeze trace back to the cocktail culture of the 1980s, an era marked by bold flavors and creative new cocktails. In defiance of its substantial reputation on the streets of the 1980s, the cocktail likely has roots that extend beyond this flashy decade. A glimpse into the past reveals that the Sea Breeze, albeit in a different form, existed in the 1930s. The influential mixologist Harry Craddock documented a recipe named the Sea Breeze Cooler in his famed 1930 tome, “The Savoy Cocktail Book”. This early iteration suggests that the Sea Breeze has a heritage predating its ’80s heyday, showcasing its enduring appeal across generations.
As the 1980s rolled around, the Sea Breeze cooler underwent a subtle transformation, thanks in part to the collaborative efforts of Ocean Spray and Absolut vodka. Ocean Spray, a company renowned for its cranberry products, partnered with Absolut Vodka to publish recipe booklets that aimed to showcase the versatility of tart berries in various culinary and cocktail applications. Within these pages, a particular gem emerged – the Sea Breeze cocktail, featuring cranberry juice as a key ingredient. This collaboration between Ocean Spray and Absolut vodka may well be the catalyst for the widespread adoption of cranberry juice in the Sea Breeze, marking a pivotal moment in the drink’s evolution.
The Sea Breeze’s composition adheres faithfully to the classic cocktail principle of achieving equilibrium between the strong and the weak, the sweet and the sour. Vodka, a clear and potent spirit, forms the backbone of the cocktail, providing the necessary kick that defines any well-crafted mixed drink. The addition of cranberry and grapefruit juice introduces a sweet and tart profile, offering a delightful contrast to the alcohol’s strength.
The Sea Breeze’s popularity in the 1980s can be attributed not only to its delicious taste but also to its status as an icon of the drinking culture of that era. As neon lights and bold fashion statements dominated the landscape, the Sea Breeze found itself at the center of the cocktail scene at that time. Its vibrant hues, a result of the cranberry and grapefruit juices, mirrored the flamboyant spirit of the ’80s. The Sea Breeze became a staple at bars and social gatherings, admired for its refreshing qualities and the undeniable charm it brought to any occasion.
Beyond its aesthetic appeal, the Sea Breeze is a testament to the enduring nature of classic cocktails and their ability to adapt to changing tastes and preferences. In an era when elaborate mixology has become a celebrated art form, the Sea Breeze remains a humble yet sophisticated choice, embodying the timeless principles of balance and simplicity.
45 ml vodka
90 ml cranberry juice
30 ml fresh grapefruit juice
Garnish: grapefruit slice
Fill a highball glass with ice, and add the vodka, fresh grapefruit juice, and cranberry juice.
Stir well, until chilled.
Garnish with a grapefruit slice, and serve.