Madras Cocktail Recipe

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Madras 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 Madras cocktail is a fruity and refreshing drink that gained popularity in the 1980s. It is named after the city of Madras, now known as Chennai, in India. This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy a fruity, tropical drink with a hint of tartness. It is often served at summer parties and beachside events.

How Madras Tastes?

The Madras cocktail has a sweet and tangy taste, with a hint of tartness from the cranberry juice. The orange juice adds a refreshing citrus flavor, while the vodka provides a subtle kick. Overall, it is a light and fruity cocktail that is perfect for warm weather.

Interesting facts about Madras

  • The Madras cocktail is named after the city of Madras, now known as Chennai, in India.
  • It gained popularity in the 1980s as a fruity and refreshing drink.
  • The cocktail is often served at summer parties and beachside events.


A few good options for Madras are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


Vodka (1.5 oz): The backbone of many cocktails, including the Madras, vodka adds a clean, crisp spirit without overwhelming the other flavors. Get heavy-handed, and you’ll tip the scales to a boozier sip; go light, and it’s juice with a hint of mischief.

Emma Rose

Orange Juice

Orange Juice (3 oz): The sunny disposition of orange juice offers a sweet and tangy profile that makes the drink refreshing. Using less could make the cocktail too tart, while too much might turn your Madras into a morning OJ routine.

Alex Green

Cranberry Juice

Cranberry Juice (3 oz): The tartness defines the character of a Madras, setting it apart from being just another fruit punch. Skimp on it, and your drink loses its zing; overdo it, and you might pucker up more than you’d intended.

Mary Mitkina


Ice (1 cup): It chills, dilutes, and dances in your glass, bringing the perfect sipping temperature and balancing the intensity of the drink.

Emma Rose

Garnish: Orange Slice

Orange Slice (1): That citrus wheel isn’t just a pretty face, it’s your cocktail’s flair and a hint of what’s inside. No garnish? It’s like a joke without a punchline.

_Alternatives: Substitute vodka with gin for an herbaceous take; switch orange juice for pineapple for a tropical twist; replace cranberry juice with pomegranate for a deeper sweetness.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Madras Drink

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
  2. Pour 1.5 oz of vodka over the ice.
  3. Add 3 oz of orange juice to the glass.
  4. Top with 3 oz of cranberry juice, allowing it to mix with the orange juice and vodka.
  5. Stir gently to combine the ingredients.
  6. Garnish with an orange slice on the rim of the glass.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh juices for the best flavor.
  • Chill the vodka before using it to keep the cocktail cold longer.
  • Stir gently to avoid diluting the cocktail too much.

Perfect Pairings


Grilled shrimp or scallops: The citrus flavors in the Madras cocktail complement the sweetness of the seafood.


Chicken salad with citrus dressing: The lightness of the chicken pairs well with the Madras, and a citrus dressing will echo the orange notes.


Cheese and crackers: Opt for mild cheeses that won't overpower the drink's flavor.


Eggs Benedict: The Madras is a fantastic brunch cocktail, pairing exceptionally well with the rich hollandaise sauce.

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What you could change in Madras

  • Grapefruit juice can be used instead of orange juice for a more tart flavor.
  • Rum can be substituted for vodka for a tropical twist.
  • Lime slice can be used as garnish instead of orange slice for a different citrus note.

Explore all drinks starting with M here

And of course - twists🍹

Madras Mimosa

Ingredients: Swap out vodka for sparkling wine. Recipe: Use sparkling wine instead of vodka, and gently stir to avoid losing bubbles. Flavor: This twist turns your cocktail into a bubbly brunch favorite, with an effervescent personality.

Madras Sunset

Ingredients: Add a splash of peach schnapps. Recipe: Pour the schnapps into the glass before the other ingredients, creating a gradient effect. Flavor: Adds a peachy sweetness that sets like the sun over the horizon of your taste buds.

Berry Madras

Ingredients: Add a handful of fresh muddled berries. Recipe: Muddle the berries in the glass before adding ice, creating a fruity infusion. Flavor: Introduces a ripe berry melody that sings harmony with the cranberry and orange.

In case you forgot basics how to make Madras

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 Madras

Are there variations of the Madras cocktail?

Yes, some variations include adding a splash of pineapple juice for a more tropical taste or substituting peach schnapps for the vodka for a sweeter version.

Can I use any type of vodka for a Madras cocktail?

It's best to use a high-quality vodka for a smooth taste. Flavored vodkas can also add a twist to the cocktail.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Madras cocktail?

Yes, you can make a 'mocktail' version of the Madras by simply omitting the vodka. The result is a refreshing cranberry and orange juice blend.

Why is it called a Madras cocktail?

The cocktail gets its name from the Madras pattern that originated from the same city as the drink, famous for its bright and colorful plaid cotton fabric.

What is the difference between a Madras cocktail and a Screwdriver cocktail?

A Screwdriver is made with vodka and orange juice, without cranberry juice. Both are served with ice and have a fruity taste, but a Madras has a more complex, tart flavor.

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