Cape Cod Cocktail Recipe

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Cape Cod Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Cape Cod cocktail, also known as the Cape Codder, is a classic American highball drink that dates back to the 1940s. It is named after the Cape Cod region in Massachusetts, which is known for its cranberry bogs. The cocktail is popular among those who enjoy fruity and refreshing drinks, and it is often served at summer parties and gatherings.

  • Originated in the 1940s
  • Named after the Cape Cod region in Massachusetts
  • Popular among those who enjoy fruity and refreshing drinks

How Cape Cod Tastes?

The Cape Cod cocktail has a refreshing, fruity, and slightly tart taste. It is well-balanced, with the sweetness of the cranberry juice complementing the sharpness of the vodka. The lime adds a touch of citrus and acidity, making it a perfect summer drink.

Interesting facts about Cape Cod

  • The Cape Codder is sometimes called the 'Cranberry Bog'
  • The cocktail is often served with a lime wedge garnish, which can be squeezed into the drink for added citrus flavor
  • The Cape Codder is related to other vodka-based highball cocktails, such as the Screwdriver and the Greyhound


A few good options for Cape Cod are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


  • Vodka is the spirit base of the Cape Cod, providing a clean, clear foundation without overpowering the other flavors. Using 1.5 oz offers a balanced kick that won't overshadow the cranberry juice. If you skimp on the vodka, your cocktail might be too mild; too much, and you're at a college party.

Mary Mitkina

Cranberry Juice

  • Cranberry Juice gives the Cape Cod its signature tartness and pink hue. At 4 oz, it's not just a splash—it's the star of the show, offering both balance and vibrancy. If you forget the cranberry juice, it's no longer a Cape Cod; it's just sad vodka on the rocks.

Emma Rose

Fresh Lime

  • The Fresh Lime wedge is the zesty final touch. It's not just for looks; it's like the pinch of salt that brings out all other flavors. Without it, your drink is like a joke without a punchline—sure, it's a drink, but something's missing.

Alex Green


  • Ice keeps the drink cold and refreshing. As needed, because Cape Cod's heart is as chilled as its surroundings. No ice means a lukewarm experience, and who wants a room-temperature cocktail?

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Cape Cod Drink

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice
  2. Pour 1.5 oz of vodka over the ice
  3. Top with 4 oz of cranberry juice
  4. Stir gently to combine
  5. Garnish with a fresh lime wedge

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh cranberry juice for a more authentic and refreshing taste.
  • Chill your glass before serving to keep your cocktail cold longer.
  • Experiment with flavored vodka like citrus or vanilla for a unique twist.

Perfect Pairings

Seafood Dishes

  • Grilled shrimp or lobster - The acidity and the fruitiness of the cranberry juice complement the sweetness of the seafood.
  • Fish Tacos - Especially with a zesty lime dressing, which pairs nicely with the citrus notes in the cocktail.

Cheese Plates

  • A selection of mild cheeses, like Brie, Havarti, or a young cheddar, can balance the tartness of the cranberry.


  • Fruity desserts that aren't overly sweet, such as a berry tart or lemon sorbet, can work well after sipping on a Cape Cod.

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What you could change in Cape Cod

  • Gin or Rum can be used instead of Vodka for a different flavor profile.
  • Lemon can be used as a substitute for Lime.
  • Pomegranate juice can be used as a substitute for Cranberry juice for a sweeter cocktail.

Explore all drinks starting with C here

And of course - twists🍹

Cape Codder with a Sparkling Twist

  • Replace half of the cranberry juice with sparkling cranberry juice or a splash of club soda for a fizzy variant. It'll make your taste buds dance the tango with its bubbly personality.

Spicy Cod

  • Throw in a slice of jalapeño before you stir. It's not just a Cape Cod anymore; it's an adventure in a glass. The kick of the pepper should pair surprisingly well with the tartness of the cranberry.

Berry Cape Cod

  • Mix in some muddled raspberries with the cranberry juice for a berry-licious twist. It's like the Cape Cod went berry picking and decided to bring friends to the party. The result is a richer, fruitier flavor that's hard to resist.

In case you forgot basics how to make Cape Cod

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Cape Cod

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Cape Cod cocktail?

Yes, you can simply replace the vodka with a non-alcoholic spirit or just use more cranberry juice.

What are some of the common mistakes to avoid while preparing a Cape Cod cocktail?

Some common mistakes include using low-quality ingredients, not chilling the glass before serving the drink, and mixing the ingredients in the wrong proportions.

Are there any variations of the Cape Cod cocktail that are also popular?

Yes, the 'Sea Breeze' which adds grapefruit juice, and the 'Bay Breeze' which adds pineapple juice, are two popular variations of the Cape Cod.

Is Cape Cod a good cocktail to pair with food?

The fruity and refreshing taste of the Cape Cod cocktail makes it a good match for seafood, especially dishes like grilled fish or shrimp.

I don't have a highball glass. What else can I use?

If you don't have a highball glass, you can also use a Collins glass or any tall, straight-sided glass.

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