The Bay Breeze has always been one of my go-to cocktails. Simple and basic. It never fails, on a nightly basis there’s a number of customers who don’t know what they want to drink. They’ll say “What do you like?”, “Give me something fruity or sweet”, or “Surprise me”. Then I pause, look around at the bottles (as if for inspiration), then start to make my go-to cocktail.
When I first started bartending I was taught a way of remembering the difference between a Bay Breeze and a Sea Breeze. A fellow bartender once told me his memory trick. “A bay sounds more exotic than the sea. So use the more exotic juice, pineapple instead of grapefruit.” To this day I don’t know which is more exotic, if either, but it always stuck. Pineapple juice in a Bay Breeze, grapefruit juice in a Sea Breeze. The rest is the simple part. Vodka and cranberry. The pineapple juice when mixed with the tartness of the cranberry gives it the fruity and sweet taste most people look for in a cocktail. Shake it up and you get a reddish, pink cocktail with a little froth on top that is easy to drink.
An easy variation of the basic Bay Breeze is to substitute coconut flavored rum instead of using vodka. This is most commonly known as a Malibu Bay Breeze. Malibu is just a popular brand of coconut flavored rum, any brand will do. Coconut flavor and pineapple juice mix very well together, and this is a more popular cocktail at my location than the standard Bay Breeze.
- 1 ½ ounces vodka
- 2 parts cranberry juice
- 2 parts pineapple juice
- Combine ingredients in a cocktail glass over ice.
- Shake and serve with a lime wedge for garnish.