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The Bay Breeze cocktail pairs the tropical flavor of pineapple with vodka and cranberry juice. It’s an easy mixed drink you can make in minutes!

Bay breeze
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Looking for an easy and refreshing fruity cocktail? Enter: the Bay Breeze! Also called the Hawaiian Sea Breeze, it’s one in a family of cranberry cocktails that have a vivid color and sweet tart flavor. Because the Bay Breeze features the tropical taste of pineapple, it feels carefree and beachy. It’s perfect as a summer cocktail on the patio, or a wintery cocktail when you’re dreaming of the sun’s warmth! Here’s all about how to make this tasty cocktail.

Looking for more inspiration? Our top 20 cocktails you should know.

What’s in a Bay Breeze cocktail?

The Bay Breeze is part of a family of cranberry cocktails that are based on the Cape Codder (or vodka cranberry). It’s closest to a drink called the Sea Breeze, a classic drink that makes the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails. The Bay Breeze is a tropical variation on the Sea Breeze; here’s what’s in it:

  • Vodka
  • Cranberry juice
  • Pineapple juice

These ingredients are served on the rocks, or with crushed ice. You’ll simply mix them all together with a bar spoon: no cocktail shaker needed! Or, you can make a layered drink, like we’ve done here!

Layered drink

How to make a layered drink

See those beautiful layers? With the Bay Breeze, you can make a layered drink look with the different fruit juices! Making a layered drink is easy: all you have to know is a few tricks. It’s not as simple as just pouring one juice on top of the other. Here’s how to make a layered drink:

  1. Put the less dense layer in the glass first. Usually the alcohol will be less dense than the juice. For this drink, we mixed the vodka with the pineapple juice first.
  2. Tip the glass and slowly pour in the denser layer so that it settles under the first layer. Watch this video to see how! We poured in the cranberry juice second, so that the pineapple-vodka mixture floats on top.
Bay Breeze

This drink uses unsweetened cranberry juice!

Most traditional versions of a Bay Breeze use sweetened cranberry juice. But this recipe uses 100% cranberry juice! Cranberry juice is unsweetened: it tastes tart and is labeled as “100% juice”. Cranberry juice cocktail is sweetened, often with added sugars or high-fructose corn syrup.

Most cranberry cocktail recipes call for cranberry juice, but they really mean “cranberry juice cocktail.” Yes, it’s a little confusing! But for this version of the Bay Breeze, Alex and I decided to use the 100% juice. Why use unsweetened juice here?

  • It’s got less sugar. Use 100% juice and the drink has less sugar overall.
  • You can customize the sweetness. To balance the flavor of this drink, you can add you own desired amount of maple syrup or simple syrup. Below we’ve specified 1 teaspoon: feel free to adjust how you’d like!
  • It can be naturally sweet. Alex and I like using maple syrup because it provides a gentler sweetness. If you prefer, you can use simple syrup.
Bay Breeze

There’s a whole family of cranberry cocktail recipes related to the Bay Breeze! It’s also called a Hawaiian Sea Breeze, Downeaster, or Paul Joseph. Here are the most popular in the family:

  • Cape Codder: Also known as a Vodka Cranberry, this is the simplest cranberry drink: cranberry juice and vodka
  • Sea Breeze: The Sea Breeze is closest to the Bay Breeze: it uses cranberry juice, vodka and pineapple juice
  • Madras: The Madras cocktail uses cranberry juice, vodka and orange juice
  • Cosmo: The Cosmopolitan features cranberry juice, Cointreau and lemon juice
  • Rum & Cranberry: The Rum & Cranberry uses rum, Cointreau and lime juice

When to serve a Bay Breeze cocktail

This Bay Breeze cocktail is breezy and refreshing, perfect as a summer cocktail or in winter when you’re dreaming of the beach! It’s great as a:

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Layered drink

Easy Bay Breeze Cocktail

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


The Bay Breeze cocktail pairs the tropical flavor of pineapple with vodka and cranberry juice. It’s an easy mixed drink you can make in minutes!


  • 1 ½ ounces (3 tablespoons) 100% pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) vodka
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) 100% unsweetened cranberry juice (do not use sweetened or cocktail)
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or simple syrup*
  • 1 lime wedge


  1. Add the pineapple juice and vodka to a glass and stir. Fill the glass with ice.
  2. In a shot glass or small pitcher, combine the cranberry juice and syrup* and stir.
  3. To make a layered drink look, tip the glass of pineapple juice slightly and pour the cranberry mixture along side of glass so that it can glide to bottom. (See How to Make a Layered Drink.) Otherwise, just pour in the cranberry and maple and stir.
  4. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.


*If all you can find is sweetened cranberry juice / cranberry juice cocktail, omit the syrup.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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