The Madras Cocktail

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The Madras cocktail is a classic. It’s a vodka cocktail that’s made with orange and cranberry juices. A true holiday flavor combination.

Cocktails with cranberry juice or orange juice and vodka drinks are quite popular, especially among women who tend to enjoy a sweeter drink.

Pin The Madras Cocktail to make later.

Madras cocktail garnished with fresh cranberries.

The History of the Madras Cocktail

The traditional madras is simply a Cape Cod cocktail with orange juice added to it. Some might call it a cranberry screwdriver or vodka Madras.

The orange juice gives the drink a more citrus flavor and cuts the tartness of just the cranberry juice. Usually garnished with a lime wheel or wedge, I chose to use fresh cranberries for a festive, more holiday look.

A Madras cocktail is the classic flavor combination of orange and cranberry making it refreshing for summer and festive for the holidays. Click to Tweet

How do you pronounce Madras?

The cocktail is named for the summery fabric, which in turn is named for the Indian city-state, however, they are pronounced differently. The pronunciation of the cocktail follows that for the fabric, rather than the city. So call the cocktail (and the fabric) MAD-dr’ss. And the city muh-DRUSS

Close up of the Madras cocktail.

Not only is the Madras a festive cocktail for the holidays, but it’s also a refreshing drink for summer entertaining too.

When I serve this at parties, I usually make up a pitcher and leave it next to a bucket of ice. Guests can fill their glass with ice and pour the Madras over it. That way the ice doesn’t water down the mixture.

Madras Pinterest image.

As with any cocktail use your favorite ingredients. If you prefer orange juice with pulp, use one, fresh cranberry juice should be bright red. If your cranberry juice has started to brown in the bottle there’s a chance it’s past the expiration date.

If you love cranberry in recipes too, some of our favorites include this warm cranberry spread which would be a great appetizer pairing with this Madras, or this panko-crusted chicken with maple cranberry sauce.

The Madras Cocktail

End a long with a Madras cocktail.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Beverages and Cocktails
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 1


  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 5 ounces cranberry juice
  • 2 ounces orange juice
  • Fresh cranberries for garnish


  • In a highball glass filled with ice add vodka, cranberry juice, and orange juice. Stir gently to mix.
  • Garnish with fresh cranberries.

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One Comment

  1. I love this festive drink for the holidays and cranberry is one of my favorites this time of year! Looks delicious!

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