Beverages, Recipes

Easy Bay Breeze Cocktail Recipe

The Bay Breeze cocktail is light and fruity with a subtle tropical twist.

Think of it as a vodka cranberry that went on a beach vacation. 

A glass of ice cold Bay Breeze Cocktail garnished with lime wedge

While it may taste tropical, you can enjoy it year-round. It’s great poolside or on a cold winter day when you long for a warm ocean breeze. 

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So frost those highball glasses, and let’s take a look at the Bay Breeze cocktail!

What’s in a Bay Breeze Cocktail? 

The bay breeze (aka Hawaiian sea breeze) is similar to a vodka and cranberry.

You can make this cocktail in a jiffy with these simple ingredients:

  • Ice – The bay breeze is best served chilled. You want just enough ice to fill a highball glass to the top for one serving. You can also pop your highball glass in the freeze to ensure everything stays nice and frosty. 
  • Vodka – Good quality vodka is essential in this simple cocktail. Consider a brand you wouldn’t mind drinking straight up. I love Tito’s, but brands like Barr Hill or Absolut are also great options.
  • Cranberry juice – Always opt for cranberry juice or cranberry juice cocktail over the pure stuff. Pure cranberry juice is sour and won’t provide any sweetness. Cranberry juice cocktail combines simple syrup and cranberry flavor in one package!
  • Pineapple juice – Always reach for pure pineapple juice in this recipe. It adds the perfect hint of tropical flavors without all the added sugar. If you use a pineapple juice cocktail, it’ll be overly sweet.
  • Lime wedge or lime wheel – Adding a lime wedge or wheel adds a pop of citrus and bright colors. The classic bay breeze always comes with a flashy lime green garnish. 
Two glasses of Bay Breeze Cocktail garnished with lime wedge and a jigger on a table

How to Make a Bay Breeze Cocktail 

You won’t believe how quickly this cocktail comes together. 

There’s no cocktail shaker needed for this recipe. Check out how easy it is to make!

1. Add ice. Fill a highball glass to the top with ice. 

2. Add the vodka and mixers. Pour the vodka (or coconut rum), cranberry juice, and pineapple juice over the ice. Stir it for a few seconds until combined. 

3. Garnish (optional). Add a lime wedge or wheel to the rim of the glass. Serve, and enjoy!

Top view of a Bay Breeze Cocktail and lime slice on a table

Tips and Variations

Here are a few tips and tricks to take your bay breeze over the top: 

  • Be picky with the vodka. Middle-shelf vodkas are the perfect budget-friendly option. Brands like Tito’s are the perfect marriage of budget-friendly and tasty. 
  • Select your sweetness level. Add more cranberry juice if you prefer your cocktails on the sweeter side. Use a heavy pour of pineapple juice if you like more sour notes. 
  • Layer it up. Stirring this cocktail helps all the flavors blend. However, you may want to try an unstirred version! It creates a beautiful sunset effect. The pineapple juice hangs out at the bottom with a beautiful red gradient at the top. 
  • Make it a mocktail. The alcohol-free version of this cocktail is just as fruity and delicious! Swap out the vodka for lemonade. Or, for a bubbly twist, try club soda, seltzer, or lemon-lime soda. 
A Jigger, shaker, lime slice and a glass of Bay Breeze Cocktail in one frame

What’s the Difference Between a Bay Breeze and a Sea Breeze? 

The difference between all boils down to mixers. The classic sea breeze uses grapefruit juice as a mixer, while the bay breeze uses pineapple juice. 

They’re both fruity and tropical, with different flavors and accents depending on what flavors you prefer.

And if you add orange juice instead of pineapple or grapefruit, you have a madras!

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Bay Breeze Cocktail