Cape Codder cocktail with garnish

Cape Codder

By Timo Torner / Last updated on March 16, 2022 
The Cape Codder is a refreshing Highball cocktail made with Vodka and cranberry juice. A simple yet delicious drink from the 1940s.

The Cape Codder, also called Cape Cod, is a mix of Vodka and cranberry juice with a splash of lime juice. It has been a favorite drink to order in bars since it was invented in the 1940s. But did you know that it was actually a part of an Ocean Spray marketing campaign? Back then, in 1945, the drink went under the name "Red Devil."

It's part of a series of coastal-themed cocktails mixed with Vodka and cranberry. Other members of this series are the Sea Breeze and the Bay Breeze cocktail. But let's focus on the Cape Codder for now. Read on to learn how to make this delicious drink at home.

What is a Cape Codder cocktail, and where did it come from

The Cape Codder is a popular Highball that gets its name from the East Coast town in Massachusetts, which is known for growing cranberries. The cocktail contains Vodka and cranberry juice, poured in a Highball glass and garnished with a lime wedge. You don’t even have to shake it, strain it or employ any bar tools to make the Cape Codder.

All you need is high-quality Vodka, cranberry juice, and just a bit of fresh lime juice for this easy-to-make cocktail. It doesn't matter what the Vodka you use is actually made of. You can go with a typical grain Vodka or opt for a gluten-free corn Vodka. Pour all those ingredients into your cocktail shaker and shake with ice until the drink is chilled. Then strain everything into a glass tall enough to fit plenty of ice and garnish with a lime wedge. You can also add in some club soda for a fizzy version.

The history of the Cape Codder cocktail

The Cape Codder cocktail originated in the East Coast town of Massachusetts. It’s believed to have first been made in the 1940s and since has become a popular drink all over the world.

Ocean Spray probably was the creator of the Cape Codder. And it is sure that the drink, initially named Red Devil, was part of an Ocean Spray campaign from 1945. Yet, it wasn't until the 1960s that the drink got renamed Cape Codder - or alternatively also "Cape Cod."

Variations on the recipe

There are many variations of the Cape Codder cocktail that you can try. One of the most popular variations is the Cosmopolitan which probably is the most famous Vodka & cranberry Martini. In addition, the recipe asks for a Triple Sec like Cointreau and some fresh lime juice.

And let's not forget to mention the coastal-themed cocktails Sea Breeze and Bay Breeze. The Sea Breeze is made of Vodka, cranberry juice, and grapefruit juice instead of lime juice. It gets served in a Highball glass garnished with a lime wheel, too. The Bay Breeze cocktail, on the other hand, contains Vodka, cranberry juice, and pineapple juice. And just like the Cape Cod, both these drinks are sweet, fruity, and refreshing.

Serving suggestions

There are many occasions when you might want to serve a Cape Codder cocktail. Some splendid examples include BBQs and picnics, holidays like Christmas and Valentine's day, or even book club nights. After dinner is also an excellent time for enjoying this drink on the back porch. Whatever the occasion, these serve suggestions will have you whipping up cocktails that everyone will love.

If you are looking for something a little bit more festive, try adding some fresh fruit to your drink. Add some fresh strawberries, raspberries, or fresh cranberries to make the drink even prettier.

Cape Codder cocktail with garnish

Cape Codder

An uncomplicated and fruity Highball cocktail made of Vodka and Cranberry juice.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vodka
Servings: 1
Calories: 179kcal
Cost: $2


  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 3 oz Cranberry juice
  • 0.25 oz Lime juice
  • 1 Lime wedge (for garnish)
  • 3-5 Fresh cranberries (for garnish)


  • Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice.
  • Shake until well-chilled.
  • Strain into an ice-filled Highball glass and garnish with a lime wedge. Additionally, you can garnish your drink with some fresh cranberries skewered on a cocktail pick.


Serving: 5.5oz | Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 1.3g | Fat: 0.025g | Sodium: 8.5mg | Potassium: 262.25mg | Sugar: 36.43g | Vitamin C: 35.4mg | Calcium: 27.5mg | Iron: 0.93mg
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