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This Malibu Bay Breeze recipe is a delicious tropical cocktail that pairs coconut rum, cranberry and pineapple. Layer together and enjoy!

Malibu Bay Breeze
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Looking for an easy coconut rum cocktail? Try the Malibu Bay Breeze! This tropical drink could not be easier and it looks stunning in the glass. Layer coconut rum, pineapple and cranberry juice and you’ve got a delicious fruity drink: sweet tart with a tropical finish! This one’s a spin on the classic Bay Breeze using Malibu Coconut Rum. We spent hours perfecting how get that lovely layered look: here’s how it’s done!

What’s in a Malibu Bay Breeze?

The Bay Breeze is part of a family of cranberry cocktails that are based on the Cape Codder (aka, the Vodka Cranberry). It’s similar to a Sea Breeze, but uses pineapple with cranberry instead of grapefruit juice. These drinks became popular in the 1960’s, originally invented by Ocean Spray as a way to push cranberry juice as a drink mixer. The Malibu Bay Breeze takes the classic formula of the Bay Breeze and uses coconut rum instead of vodka. Here’s what’s in the Malibu Bay Breeze:

  • Coconut rum (Malibu Coconut Rum or another brand)
  • Cranberry juice
  • Pineapple juice
Malibu coconut rum

Use 100% unsweetened cranberry juice

In our cranberry cocktails, we prefer using 100% unsweetened cranberry juice. Make sure to look for this when you’re shopping! Here’s a little more about how to find it and why it’s great in a Malibu Bay Breeze:

  • Avoid sweetened cranberry juice, aka cranberry juice cocktail. This is what was used in cranberry cocktails of the past, but it’s got lots of added sugar. These days you can find bottes marked with 100% juice or “unsweetened” cranberry juice.
  • Unsweetened juice makes a balanced drink. Malibu Coconut Rum has a lot of added sugar, and pineapple juice is very sweet. So using unsweetened juice makes a great balance.
  • It also affects the layers in the drink. Keep reading for why!

How to make the layers in a Malibu Bay Breeze

How to make layered cocktails? It’s all based on density. The denser liquids float to the bottom, and the less dense liquids float to the top.

  • Make sure to use unsweetened cranberry juice here. The sugar affects the density! The order you float the liquids matters.
  • Add the pineapple and coconut rum to a glass and stir. These will stay on the bottom.
  • Top with the unsweetened cranberry juice, which will float on top! If you’d like, stir gently to get a bit of a swirl effect.
Malibu bay breeze recipe

More about Malibu coconut rum

The Malibu Bay Breeze is most often made with Malibu Coconut Rum, the most common type of coconut rum on the market. The coconut is essential to the tropical flavor. Here’s what to know about Malibu:

  • Malibu coconut rum is actually a coconut-flavored liqueur made with rum. Malibu has lots of added sugar and a low alcohol level: it’s only 21% ABV. In contrast, rum has no sugar and a 40% ABV.
  • Malibu coconut rum was launched in 1982 as a way for bartenders to simplify making the Piña Colada. It’s the most popular brand on the market, but there are others like Bacardi, Capitan Morgan, and so forth.
  • What other drinks can you make with Malibu? Try more Malibu drinks: the icy Bahama Mama or the Malibu Sunset, another layered drink with grenadine!

Variations on the Malibu Bay Breeze

There are lots of variations on the Malibu Bay Breeze, and a few other tropical cocktails and beach drinks that use similar ingredients! Here are a few more to try:

  • Try the famous Sea Breeze with vodka, cranberry and grapefruit juice
  • Opt for a straight-up Bay Breeze with vodka, cranberry and pineapple
  • Go for a Madras with cranberry, orange, and vodka
  • Mix coconut rum with pineapple juice for a Malibu and Pineapple
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Malibu Bay Breeze

Malibu Bay Breeze

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


This Malibu Bay Breeze recipe is a delicious tropical cocktail that pairs coconut rum, cranberry and pineapple. Layer together and enjoy!


  • 2 ounces 100% pineapple juice
  • 1 ½ ounces coconut rum
  • 2 ounces 100% unsweetened cranberry juice*
  • 1 lime wedge


  1. Add the pineapple juice and coconut rum to a glass and stir. Fill the glass with ice.
  2. In a shot glass or small pitcher, place the cranberry juice (make sure it is unsweetened; see notes!). Pour the cranberry juice right on top of the ice and it will settle on top.
  3. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.


*Look for 100% unsweetened cranberry juice: it has the best flavor. Sweetened cranberry juice (aka cranberry juice cocktail) has a different density, so it will not layer in the same way.

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

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 for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. yes no wheel says:

    I love this blog! The recipes are so easy and delicious.